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Within the past several decades, wide-ranging transformations have occurred in the work environment in many Western countries. The said changes were also mirrored in the risks that employees were exposed to at work and in the conceptualisations of what were seen as a 'good working environment.' More and more prominence was placed on the psychosocial work environment and on violence prevention.


For example, interpersonal hostility may have deleterious effects on both the job satisfaction and well-being of victims (Mikkelsen and Einarsen, 2001; Tepper 2000; Ashforth 1997; Einarsen and Raknes 1997). What is more, interpersonal hostility may also lead to high costs for organisations, in the form of increased absenteeism and higher turnover of personnel, decreased commitment and productivity, and negative publicity (Hoel, Einarsen and Cooper 2003; Tepper 2000). For society as a whole, this may lead to lower productivity, early retirements and increased health costs. As a consequence, many nations have adopted or are planning to adopt laws promoting dignity at work or banning different forms of work harassment.
Workplace violence and bullying has been identified as a vital concern by trade unions in Britain and in many countries for several years now. As it is, many reports have vividly demonstrated the pain, psychological distress, physical illness and career damage suffered by victims of bullying, however, academic research began only recently. ...
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