How do perpetrators experience bullying at the workplace?
Article by Charlotte Bloch
Int. J. of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2012 Vol.5, No.2
page 159 - 177
Research on workplace bullying has primarily been carried out on the basis of the experiences and perspective of the victim. The objective of the present paper is to explore perpetrators' experiences. The analysis is based on qualitative interviews with perpetrators and on theories of interaction and emotions. Four analytical themes are identified: moral classification of victims, emotions, actions and moral justification. The analysis shows how perpetrators classify the victims as violators of basic norms of the work community, how these experienced violations trigger moral emotions such as contempt, anger, vengeance and disgust, and how these emotions are converted into negative actions. The analysis also shows how perpetrators use different types of justification-seeking practice. The results are discussed in relation to the current research. The paper concludes by summing up the results and places them within the interactional dynamics between victims, witnesses and perpetrators, which is the breeding ground of bullying.