Target personality and workplace victimization: A prospective analysis

Nathan A. Bowling, Terry A. Beehr, Misty M. Bennett, Connie P. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Workplace victimization has recently emerged as an important topic in occupational health psychology. One of the major limitations of this research is that it generally employs cross-sectional designs. The current study, however, used a 13-month two-wave prospective design to examine the relationship between target personality and workplace interpersonal conflict in a sample of 166 non-faculty employees at a Midwestern university in the United States. Results suggested that victims' positive affectivity, negative affectivity, and core self-evaluations were associated with interpersonal conflict. Furthermore, employee personality was related to subsequent interpersonal conflict from supervisors even after initial levels of interpersonal conflict were controlled. Analyses further suggested that target negative affectivity might be an especially strong predictor of interpersonal conflict. Consistent with past theorizing, we found evidence that initial interpersonal conflict with co-workers can result in subsequent interpersonal conflict with supervisors. We conclude with a discussion of the practical and theoretical implications of our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-158
Number of pages19
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Affectivity
  • Bullying
  • Core self-evaluations
  • Longitudinal
  • Personality
  • Workplace victimization


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