Burned by bullying in the American workplace: Prevalence, perception, degree and impact

Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik, Sarah Tracy, Janet Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

431 Scopus citations


This study assesses the prevalence of workplace bullying in a sample of US workers, using a standardized measure of workplace bullying (Negative Acts Questionnaire, NAQ), and compares the current study's prevalence rates with those from other bullying and aggression studies. The article opens by defining bullying as a persistent, enduring form of abuse at work and contrasting it with other negative workplace actions and interactions. Through a review of the current literature, we propose and test hypotheses regarding bullying prevalence and dynamics relative to a sample of US workers. After discussing research methods, we report on the rates of bullying in a US sample, compare these to similar studies, and analyse the negative acts that might lead to perceptions of being bullied. Based upon past conceptualizations, as well as research that suggests bullying is a phenomenon that occurs in gradations, we introduce and provide statistical evidence for the construct and impact of bullying degree. Finally, the study explores the impact of bullying on persons who witnessed but did not directly experience bullying in their jobs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-862
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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