Interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace: implications for target's identities, emotions and behaviour

Oyet, Mercy C. (2018) Interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace: implications for target's identities, emotions and behaviour. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The program of research presented herein investigates some fundamental aspects of the relationship between targets’ experiences of interpersonal mistreatment, and targets’ identities. Extending ideas from Identity Theory, I propose and test a perceptual control system model of the interpersonal mistreatment-identity-outcome relationship in which I argue (i) that different acts of interpersonal mistreatment activate the different bases of targets’ identities: the person, social, and role identities, and (ii) that interpersonal mistreatment results in the non-verification – a form of identity threat – of these activated identities. Furthermore, I situate targets’ negative emotional responses both as an outcome of the perceived non-verification of targets’ identities, and a mediator of the relationship between identity non-verification and targets’ subsequent behavioral responses. I examine three behavioral responses: avoidance, retaliation, and reconciliation. Additionally, I explore how a property of targets’ identities - identity centrality - influences targets’ negative affective reactions, paying a closer look at the discrete emotions evoked by such experiences. Two different kinds of experimental techniques – a vignette study and an experiential sampling method (ESM) – were used to test the various hypothesized relationships. Findings from the present research reveal that interpersonal mistreatment activates and threatens each of the three identity bases that form targets’ self-concepts and as such, poses a variety of implications for targets’ identities, emotions and behaviors.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 13161
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 245-280).
Keywords: Interpersonal mistreatment, Identity, Identity non-verification, Emotions, Behavioral responses
Department(s): Business Administration, Faculty of
Date: May 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bullying in the workplace; Victims of bullying--Psychology.

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