Title page for ETD etd-07082009-182740

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Nealy, Elizabeth A
URN etd-07082009-182740
Title An Experimental Study of the Effects of Workforce Bullying on Three Affective Constructs: Self-Efficacy, Satisfaction and Stress
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Michael F. Burnett Committee Chair
Ed F. Holton, III Committee Member
Geraldine Johnson Committee Member
Satish Verma Committee Member
Richard D. White Dean's Representative
  • harassment
  • emotional abuse
  • workplace violence
  • incivility
  • and bad behavior at work
  • bullying
  • interpersonal aggression
  • abusive supervision
Date of Defense 2009-07-02
Availability unrestricted
The primary purpose of this study was to determine the effects of “bullying” behavior on the affective constructs of self-efficacy, satisfaction and stress of students enrolled in a junior level course at a research extensive university in the southern region of the United States.

The sample included 35 undergraduate students at one research-extensive university in the southern region of the United States who were enrolled in a leadership course in the spring semester of 2009. The dependent variables were participants’ scores on measures of self-efficacy, satisfaction and stress. The independent variable was whether or not participants were exposed to “bullying” behavior.

The measures used to collect data included the New General Self-Efficacy Scale (NGSES) (Chen, et al. 2001) to measure self-efficacy; Global Job Satisfaction Scale (GJSS) (Pond & Geyer, 1991) to measure satisfaction; and the Work Related Depression, Anxiety and Irritation Scale (WRDAIS) (Caplan, et al. 1980) to measure stress.

Key findings revealed participants (N=35) had high self-efficacy. This was based on the finding that 33 (94.2%) of the students had scores classified as high or very high, and only 2 (5.7%) had scores lower than high. Study participants also had high satisfaction. This was based on the finding that 33 (94.3%) had high or very high scores, and only 2 (5.7%) had scores lower than high. In addition, study participants had low stress. This was based on 32 (91.4%) having scores classified as low or very low and only 3 (8.6%) with scores higher than low. There was no difference by treatment group on measures of self-efficacy, satisfaction and stress. This was based on statistical analyses which revealed no differences in self-efficacy (t=.423; p=.743; df=33); satisfaction (t=.048; p=.971; df=33); and stress (t=.032; p=.986; df=33) by treatment level. This is inconsistent with the literature. Several possible explanations for this conclusion include IRB restrictions, small sample size and the brief exposure to the treatment.

The researcher recommended additional studies which could possibly explain the effects of bullying. Additional variables suggested were: elimination of confederates, increase the sample size, length of the treatment and use of an ex post facto research design.

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