Thesis supervisor Prof Maaja Vadi (PhD), University of Tartu
Opponents: Prof Ruth Alas (PhD), Estonian Business School, Eesti
Prof Dana Mesner-Andolšek (PhD), University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
The workplace bullying represents a very serious problem in many countries because of the considerable harmful impact to employees, organizations and to whole society. However, workplace bullying is so far an unexplored topic in post-transitional countries (the countries, which have passed the transition from centrally planned economy to market economy), its prevalence and causes are unclear and there have no societal debates about bullying. The aim of the present dissertation is to identify the prevalence and causes of workplace bullying in Estonian organizations in example of a post-transitional country.
The results of the present dissertation reveal that bullying presents a serious problem in Estonia. Compared to Western and Northern European countries the risk groups of workplace bullying are not clearly identified and workplace bullying affects a wider range of employees. Therefore, the prevention in post-transition countries should be more general involving employees at all levels. According to the results of the study, the organizational culture that tolerates negative behavior represents the main antecedent of workplace bullying. Strong task and relationship orientation of organizational culture have a positive effect to employees´ behavior. The study confirms that the values of the new generation of managers (tenure up to 10 years) have changed, their awareness as well as readiness to deal with the negative behaviour is higher, compared to the managers with longer tenure. The study demonstrated managers´ general willingness to deal with the prevention and awareness of their role in tackling bullying via management style.
Individuals, organizations and society should be involved in the process of prevention in order to decrease the occurrence of workplace bullying in organizations. The surrounding environment has a significant impact on individuals´ pattern of behaviour, and therefore planning and performing national long-term preventive policy of workplace bullying should be the priority.