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UNVEILING AND ADDRESSING WORKPLACE BULLYING AND ITS IMPACT ON EMPLOYEES' MORALE

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UNVEILING AND ADDRESSING WORKPLACE BULLYING AND ITS IMPACT ON EMPLOYEES' MORALE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Bullying includes a broad spectrum of activities, such as taunting, humiliating, and insulting. Additionally, it can be described as humorous remarks, discussions, and rumours that create a hostile and competitive environment (Rodríguez-Cifuentes, Fernández-Salinero, Moriano, & Topa, 2020). According to Ahmer et al., (2019), it is additional forms of abusive behaviour that encompass derogatory remarks, provocation, and continual persecution. These various manifestations of bullying has led to emotional and physical distress among employees, as well as hinder their ability to focus. Furthermore, the term "workplace bullying" describes the ongoing abuse or harassment of a person or group at work (Einarsen et al., 2020). It can take many different forms, such as physical hostility, intimidation, exclusion, and verbal abuse. Similarly, bullying at work creates a toxic environment that can lead to psychological distress and a decrease in job satisfaction, which jeopardizes employees' productivity and morale. According to Elmadağ & Ellinger (2018), morale pertains to the collective psychological state, contentment, and drive of individuals within a group or organization. In the workplace, morale refers to the overall attitudes, emotions, and perspectives that employees have towards their work, colleagues, and the organization. However, employees who experience workplace bullying may develop severe anxiety, have a decline in self-assurance, and feeling less motivated in concentrating on their assigned duties (Akintan, Onewo, & Ayodeji, 2021). While, high morale is generally associated with improved production, job satisfaction, and employee engagement, whereas low morale result in less motivation, job discontent, and increased turnover rates.Extensive research has consistently shown that workplace bullying is a major contributor to employee stress and low morale. Nevertheless, the amicability of the work environment plays a pivotal role in influencing employee morale since it moulds workers' attitudes and levels of dedication. However, examining the issue of workplace bullying in organizations is crucial because it can hinder the recruitment and retention of devoted individuals who are committed to the company's objectives, due to the presence of a toxic work environment. Currently, bullying has become a widespread issue that people face regularly in the domains of education, institutions, and the job (Bulut & Hihi, 2021). The topic of workplace bullying has garnered considerable attention in discussions in diverse sector, as it has the potential to detrimentally affect its functioning. It is against this drop, a survey will be conducted in order to unveil and address workplace bullying and its impact on employees’ morale.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Workplace bullying continues to be a widespread problem in today's business world, posing a threat to the fundamental aspects of a productive work setting. Despite heightened awareness and concerted efforts to address it, occurrences of bullying persist, frequently causing employees to experience feelings of vulnerability, demoralisation, and disengagement (Caponecchia, Branch & Murray, 2020). Furthermore, when people become angry without any clear cause, it can create a harmful or hostile environment where individuals feel threatened, demeaned, or excluded. However, this appears in diverse manifestations, ranging from verbal mistreatment and public degradation to exclusion and deliberate obstruction. Irrespective of the approach used, the effect on employees' morale is significant and extensive. Likewise, an immediate impact of workplace bullying is the gradual deterioration of trust and camaraderie among colleagues. When individuals perceive themselves as being singled out or endangered, it fosters an atmosphere of apprehension and distrust, which hampers cooperation and collective effort (Farley, 2023). This not only hinders the generation of new ideas and the development of new solutions, but also impairs the motivation level and the efficiency of work as employees focus more on protecting themselves rather than achieving shared goals. Additionally, workplace bullying can have significant ramifications for the mental and emotional well-being of employees. The impact on employee morale is clearly seen as they encounter reduced job satisfaction and higher rates of absenteeism. In extreme instances, it may even lead to highly skilled persons departing from the organization entirely, hence intensifying the problem of employee turnover and loss of talented personnel. Thus, it is in the light of this, the study seeks to unveil and address workplace bullying and its impact on employees’ morale.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to unveil and address workplace bullying and its impact on employees’ morale. Specifically, the study will;

Determine the prevalence of workplace bullying.

Determine the underlying factors contributing to workplace bullying among employees in Cameroon.

Determine the psychological impact of workplace bullying on employees’ morale in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions 

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What is the prevalence of workplace bullying?

What are the psychological impact of workplace bullying on employees’ morale in Cameroon?

What are the underlying factors contributing to workplace bullying in Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

H0: There is no significant impact of workplace bullying on employees’ morale in  Cameroon

Ha: There is a significant impact of workplace bullying on employees’ morale in Cameroon

1.6 Significance of the Study

Through the study's findings, organizations will be able to give high priority to establishing a work environment that is both psychologically safe and inclusive. As employees who perceive a sense of support and appreciation are more inclined to encounter elevated job satisfaction, heightened motivation, and improved general mental well-being, resulting in enhanced productivity and reduced turnover rates. In addition,  employees stands to benefit from the study as it will provide an insight into the behaviours or actions that contributes to bullying in the workplace. Furthermore, it will serve as a valuable resource for scholars conducting literature reviews in this area, contributing to the academic discourse and serving as a foundational text for future research endeavors. Ultimately, the study's results make a substantial contribution to the body of academic knowledge concerning workplace bullying and its impact on employees’ morale.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on unveiling and addressing workplace bullying and its impact on employees’ morale. Empirically, this study will determine the prevalence of workplace bullying and the underlying factors contributing to workplace bullying among employees in Cameroon and the psychological impact of workplace bullying on employees’ morale in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees of the public service industry in Cameroon.

1.8 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 bullying: is defined as repeated, persistent, and inappropriate behavior directed at an individual or group in a professional setting, which causes physical, emotional, or psychological harm (Einarsen et al., 2019).

Employees: are people who are employed by a company to carry out particular duties or responsibilities in exchange for pay.

Employee’s Morale: refers to the overall mood, outlook, and emotional well-being of individuals within the workplace.

Hostile work environment: is defined as a situation when an individual is subjected to harassment, intimidation, or discrimination that hinders their capacity to carry out their job responsibilities and produces an atmosphere that is intimidating, offensive, or oppressive.


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



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