Original Research

The impact of workplace bullying on flourishing: The moderating role of emotional intelligence

Elizabeth C. Nel
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 45 | a1603 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v45i0.1603 | © 2019 Elizabeth Catherina Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 2018 | Published: 04 April 2019

About the author(s)

Elizabeth C. Nel, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Workplace bullying has detrimental effects on employee well-being. Emotional intelligence may moderate the relationship between workplace bullying and flourishing.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of the relationship between workplace bullying and flourishing and to investigate the moderating role of emotional intelligence in the workplace bullying–flourishing relationship.

Motivation for the study: There is a paucity of studies exploring the moderating role of personal resources such as emotional intelligence in the relationship between workplace bullying and flourishing.

Research approach/design and method: The study used a cross-sectional design, quantitative approach and a convenience sampling method. Employees from a higher education institution (N = 1102) participated in this research. Descriptive, correlation and moderation analysis was used to analyse the data.

Main findings: The results showed that there was a significant negative relationship between workplace bullying and flourishing. Emotional intelligence significantly moderated the relationship between workplace bullying and flourishing.

Practical/managerial implications: Organisations should develop and/or strengthen the level of emotional intelligence in employees in order to reduce the negative effect of workplace bullying on well-being.

Contribution/value-add: The findings of this research contribute to the limited body of research investigating personal resources such as emotional intelligence as a moderator in the bullying-well-being relationship.


Keywords

Industrial and organisational psychology; workplace bullying; well-being; flourishing; emotional intelligence; higher education.

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