Instruments and taxonomy of workplace bullying in health care organizations
Purpose: This study was aimed to evaluate the methodological issues and comprehensiveness of workplace bullying instruments and to suggest a taxonomy of psychological abuse. Methods: Nineteen instruments applied in health care organizations and 469 questionnaire items mainly regarding psychological abuse were collected through a literature review. Three researchers classified the questionnaire items according to a “taxonomy of psychological abuse in the workplace.” Results: Many instruments of workplace bullying were developed in the 2000s using a reflective measurement model, but their psychometric property was not sufficient and the measurement model is questioned. Based on the questionnaire items, the “taxonomy of psychological abuse in the workplace” was modified by adding two new subcategories (unachievable work and unfair treatment) and clarifying some operational definitions. According to the modified taxonomy of 11 (sub)categories, the reviewed instruments assessed 6.5 (sub)categories on average. No instrument measured all (sub)categories. Category 4.2 (disrespect, humiliation, and rejection of the person) was measured in all instruments, followed by Categories 5 (professional discredit and denigration) and 1.2 (social isolation) behaviors. Conclusion: The current instruments are not comprehensive enough. It is suggested that the modified taxonomy is verified and guide more reliable and inclusive instruments in the future. Furthermore, a formative measurement model, which defines a bullying as an inventory of different types of behaviors, should be used.