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A CRITICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF WORKPLACE MISTREATMENT ON EMPLOYEES' PERFORMANCE IN CAMEROON ( A CASE STUDY OF DANGOTE CEMENT CAMEROON)

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A CRITICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF WORKPLACE MISTREATMENT ON EMPLOYEES' PERFORMANCE IN  CAMEROON ( A CASE STUDY OF DANGOTE CEMENT CAMEROON)

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Mistreatment represents a grave manifestation of discrimination characterized by unwelcome and non-reciprocal actions or practices that are objectionable and lead to humiliation, offense, and distress (Einarsen and Raknes, 2019). They further argue that in addition to deliberate mistreatment, an individual's conduct may inadvertently offend others. Bullying, which falls under the umbrella of mistreatment, is deemed entirely unacceptable. Behaviors considered abusive and constituting mistreatment encompass various domains including psychological, sociological, racial, religious, sexual, electronic, and even actions by law enforcement. Furthermore, manifestations of mistreatment comprise bullying, cyberstalking, physical abuse, stalking, mobbing, hazing, and police misconduct (Hoel & Cooper, 2020). While mistreatment in the workplace has been a longstanding issue, it only gained significant public attention since the mid-1980s. Typically, workplace mistreatment is addressed within the framework of equal opportunities policies and strategies aimed at combating discrimination, such as diversity management. Beyond that, media reports often highlight instances where individuals are subjected to mistreatment in the workplace due to factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. The range of behaviors constituting workplace mistreatment is extensive and, in its extreme form, may constitute criminal behavior. Adams (2019) characterizes workplace mistreatment as persistent negative attacks on personal and professional performance, often unpredictable, irrational, and unfair, which can lead to chronic stress and anxiety, resulting in both physical and emotional distress for the victims. In the same manner, Einarsen (2018) echoes a similar perspective, asserting that mistreatment occurs when individuals perceive themselves as consistently targeted by negative actions from one or more persons over time, often in situations where the target struggles to defend themselves. While some instances of workplace mistreatment may be resolved through organizational interventions or initiatives from concerned parties, in other cases, one party may opt to leave without resolution. However, the protracted nature of mistreatment is a notable characteristic of the issue. In a study involving 5,300 British employees, Hoel and Cooper (2020) found that two-thirds of those who reported being mistreated stated that the mistreatment had persisted for over a year. This prolonged exposure is crucial for understanding the severe impact mistreatment can have on targets and the challenges in finding solutions to address the problem (Hoel & Cooper, 2020). Therefore, a survey will be conducted to critically investigate the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' performance in Cameroon (A case study of Dangote cement Cameroon)

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In a progressively cutthroat global market, workplace mistreatment not only hampers performance and innovative practices, but it also tends to focus on the organization's most capable employees, who are typically seen as the most intimidating by harassers (McCord & Richardson, 2023). This type of behaviour at work often has a negative impact on the creativity and productivity of the organization's most important employees. Mistreatment in the workplace such as harassment, bullying and incivility might potentially lead to the expulsion of competent personnel from the organization in extreme circumstances. However, research indicates that the organizational climate and workplace environment play a crucial role in determining the likelihood of mistreatment and the impact it has on the employees (Felstiner and Sarat, 2021). Nevertheless, there is a dearth of study on the specific policy, process, awareness, and prevention techniques. Similarly, another factor that contributes to the likelihood of mistreatment in form of harassment is the gender dynamics inside the workplace. For instance, a scarcity of women in a tightly-knit professional setting or engaging in a profession that is not commonly pursued by women could heighten the likelihood of experiencing harassment. Lester (2019) asserts that the optimal strategy for preventing workplace mistreatment, bullying, harassment and shaping public opinion is for employers to implement a well-defined policy that explicitly prohibits harassment and effectively communicates this to employees. The author further suggests that numerous women opt to file a complaint and seek resolution within the workplace to prevent criticism, isolation from colleagues, and mistreatment by management. On the other hand, Rayner and Cooper (2023) indicate that the majority of employees prefer a practical resolution that would halt the mistreatment and prevent any future interaction with the harasser, rather than involving the police. Thus, this study seeks to critically investigate the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' performance in  Cameroon ( A case study of Dangote cement Cameroon).

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to critically investigate the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' performance in Cameroon (A case study of Dangote cement Cameroon). Specifically, the study will;

Find out  the extent of mistreatment among employees in Dangote cement Cameroon.

Find out the underlying causes of workplace mistreatment among employees in Dangote cement Cameroon 

Find out the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' performance in Dangote cement Cameroon 

Find out the relationship between workplace mistreatment and employees’ performance in Dangote cement Cameroon 

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

To what extent is mistreatment prevalent among employees at Dangote Cement Cameroon?

What are the underlying causes of workplace mistreatment among employees in Dangote cement Cameroon?

What is the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' performance in Dangote cement Cameroon?

Is there a relationship between workplace mistreatment and employees’ performance in Dangote cement Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

H0: There is no significant relationship between workplace mistreatment and employees’ performance in Dangote cement Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between workplace mistreatment and employees’ performance in Dangote cement Cameroon 

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study has the potential to impact discussions, future laws, and tangible results related to workplace harassment by examining several sources of information such as workplace inquiries, employee performance, policies, and legal reviews. Additionally, this study will significantly enhance the ability of staff members to challenge and address workplace mistreatment practices and policies, leading to improved staff performance and a reduction in instances of workplace harassment, bullying or incivility. Furthermore, as policy-makers are consistently obligated to evaluate the efficacy of regulations, this study will aid organizations in formulating their own workplace mistreatment rules. The study will also act as a precursor to more research on workplace mistreatment and its influence on employees’ performance.Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' performance in  Cameroon ( A case study of Dangote cement Cameroon).

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is to critically investigate the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' performance in  Cameroon (A case study of Dangote cement Cameroon). Empirically, this study will find out  the extent of mistreatment among employees, the underlying causes of workplace mistreatment among employees, the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' performance in Cameroon and find out the relationship between workplace mistreatment and employees’ performance in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees of Dangote cement Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Workplace mistreatment: any form of unjust or oppressive conduct targeted at an employee. This includes behaviours such as verbal mistreatment, coercion, bias, or deliberate obstruction, which frequently result in an unfriendly or poisonous work atmosphere (Pinkos, 2018).

Employee performance: refers to the degree of efficacy, efficiency, and fulfilment of duties and obligations by an individual within an organization (Robbins et al., 2021).

Harassment: is the act of repeatedly and intentionally mistreating or abusing someone, resulting in their discomfort, humiliation, and offence (Einarsen & Raknes, 2018). 

Incivility: disrespectful behavior that violates social norms of respect, courtesy, and consideration for others

Bullying: involves repeated aggressive behavior intended to harm, intimidate, or exert control over another person, especially when there is an imbalance of power.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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