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Call for Papers - “Workplace bullying research 2.0: leverage for interventions” - SGM


EAWOP Small Group Meeting

“Workplace bullying research 2.0: leverage for interventions”

Call for Papers

October 28-29, 2021
(virtual meeting, hosted by University of Bologna [Italy])
January 10, 2022
(physical meeting, EAWOP conference, Glasgow [Scotland])

Cristian Balducci, University of Bologna, Italy
Elfi Baillien, KU Leuven, Belgium
Alfredo Rodriguez-Muñoz, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain


Meeting Theme and Scope
Research established workplace bullying— a situation in which one or more employees are repeatedly and over a longer period of time (i.e., minimum six months; Leymann, 1996) targeted with negative acts of a primarily psychological nature — as a severe social stressor (Einarsen et al., 2020). Studies on its detrimental consequences repeatedly underscored a high need for insights in how to tackle and prevent workplace bullying. To this aim, various Work and Organizational Psychology scholars shedded their light on its antecedents by investigating the role of the employees’ psychosocial working conditions in bullying (Notelaers, De Witte, & Einarsen, 2010; Salin & Hoel, 2020; Zapf, 1999). While such research has significantly contributed to a better understanding of the ‘why’ of workplace bullying, two important gaps are interfering with the evolution towards preventative measures:

1-Methodological issues. While there is an established European and broader international research line that investigates the antecedents of workplace bullying—including its mediators and moderators—most studies so far adhered to cross-sectional individual self-report data (Balducci, Conway, & Van Heugten, 2021). Consequently, the field still lacks compelling evidence on some crucial aspects regarding the phenomenon including (a) the dynamic interplay between the work environment and incidents of bullying, and the role of employee-related factors in this process, (b) insight into the social nature of workplace bullying by looking at factors on the group or organisational level of analysis, (c) more objective input that can further support or nuance the current ‘own perception based’ findings.

2-Few intervention studies and studies on organizational tools for diagnosing/preventing bullying. There is a paucity of studies addressing primary, secondary, or tertiary  interventions, either at the individual or organizational levels. Moreover, the field has not yet evolved to high quality intervention studies using robust designs such as, for example, randomized trials (Hodgins et al., 2014). Similarly, there have been only few attempts in the past to design instruments (e.g., organizational risk assessment tools) to be used by organizations’ managers or employees (e.g. Baillien et al., 2008; Hoel et al., 2006). As a consequence, we lack convincing knowledge about the impact of specific interventions on workplace bullying prevention.

The present EAWOP small group meeting aims to provide leverage for successful interventions that tackle or prevent bullying incidents. We welcome contributions that (a) implement robust research designs—including multiple-wave studies, multilevel studies nesting employees within teams/groups or organizations, diary studies adopting an intra-individual perspective, person-centered studies, and research employing multisource data. We also welcome contributions on (b) robust studies testing the effectiveness of bullying interventions and evidence-based organizational tool development.

Dates and place

The SGM will consist out of two parts:

1. A virtual two-day session on 28th and 29th of October, 2021
2. A physical follow-up on 10th of January, 2022 at the EAWOP Conference 2022 (Glasgow)


Submission of proposals

Researchers interested in attending the SGM are invited to submit their proposal (up to 750 words) with the following structure: Background and hypotheses, Methods, Results, Theoretical and practical implications. Abstracts should be submitted by August 15th, 2021 to (cc to: and Notification of acceptance is communicated by September 25th, 2021.

For further questions: please contact the organizing committee.