2015 Volume 53 Issue 2 Pages 139-151
This study investigated the prospective association between supervisor leadership styles and workplace bullying. Altogether 404 civil servants from a local government in Japan completed baseline and follow-up surveys. The leadership variables and exposure to bullying were measured by Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire and Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised, respectively. The prevalence of workplace bullying was 14.8% at baseline and 15.1% at follow-up. Among respondents who did not experience bullying at baseline (n=216), those who worked under the supervisors as higher in passive laissez-faire leadership had a 4.3 times higher risk of new exposure to bullying. On the other hand, respondents whose supervisors with highly considerate of the individual had a 70% lower risk of new exposure to bullying. In the entire sample (n=317), passive laissez-faire leadership was significantly and positively associated, while charisma/inspiration, individual consideration, and contingent reward were negatively associated both after adjusting for demographic and occupational characteristics at baseline, life events during follow-up, and exposure to workplace bullying at baseline. Results indicated that passive laissez-faire and low individual consideration leadership style at baseline were strong predictors of new exposure to bullying and high individual consideration leadership of supervisors/managers could be a preventive factor against bullying.