Prof. Ståle Valvatne Einarsen
Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen.
Workplace bullying and harassment: From an organizational taboo to the development of robust ethical infrastructures in organizations.
While bullying and harassment started out as a taboo in organizational life and in the field of work and organizational psychology, it is currently one of the more studied phenomena and concepts in the field, with empirical findings showing its great importance for the field. Workplace bullying and harassment can and should be studied in its own right as it is one the most severe stressors potentially facing workers and managers in contemporary organizations. So, what is the current state of knowledge regarding its causes and outcomes, its prevention and management. Based on the current knowledge, how can we build bully-proof organizations? But more than this; bullying and harassment constitutes a paradigm and a new set of lenses when studying work, psychology, organizations and leadership in general. Hence, which new general insights have and may come from this line of research? How have and can this this line of research inform the field of work and organizational psychology in general. Some of the findings may be surprising and rather novel and may even question some basic premises in psychology; “Vulnerable workers react more strongly than others when facing interpersonal problems and stressors at work!”. What is revealed instead is a reversed buffer-effect. And there is more…
Ståle Valvatne Einarsen is Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Bergen, where he acted as Head of the Bergen Bullying Research Group for 20 years. Yet, his groundbreaking research on workplace bullying, harassment and destructive leadership started already in the early 1990ies and has continued to date. Ståle has published some 200 articles, book chapters and books on issues relating to workplace bullying, destructive leadership, emotions at work creativity and psychosocial working environment, investigating these issues on all levels, from genetics and biological aspects, via individual, group and organizational levels to societal level factors. Ståle has received a range of awards for his work, having published articles who are among the most cited articles in journals such as Work and Stress, The Leadership Quarterly, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, and others. In 2020 he was awarded a fellowship in the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology for his lifetime achievement in the field. In 2019 he was awarded the 2019 Innovation Prize by the Norwegian Psychology Association for his work and his efforts to develop new methods for handling workplace bullying in organizations. Over the least 30 years he has acted as a consultant to public and private organizations throughout Scandinavia and beyond, including the Norwegian Government. Hence, Ståle has a wide practical and applied experience in the field, having an overarching applied focus in his work.