Prevention through job design: Identifying high-risk job characteristics associated with workplace bullying.

Work environment hypothesis, a predominant theoretical framework in workplace bullying literature, postulates that job characteristics may trigger workplace bullying. Yet, these characteristics are often assessed by employees based on their experience of the job. This study aims to assess how job characteristics, independently assessed via Occupational Information Network (O*NET), are related to perceived job characteristics reported by employees, which, in turn, are associated with self-reported workplace bullying. Multilevel mediation analyses from 3,829 employees in 209 occupations confirmed that employees, whose work schedules are more irregular and whose work involves a higher level of conflictual contact (as assessed by O*NET), report experiencing higher job demands, which are associated with higher exposure to bullying. Moreover, employees working in jobs structured to allow for more discretion in decision-making (as assessed by O*NET) report experiencing more job autonomy and are less likely to experience bullying. The results offer some clues as to how the way in which a job is structured is related to how that job is perceived, which in turn is associated with exposure to bullying. Our findings also suggest that a job design perspective to redesign certain job characteristics may offer an additional viable approach to prevent workplace bullying. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)