The occurrences and correlates of bullying and harassment in the restaurant sector


Gro Ellen Mathisen, University of Stavanger, Norwegian School of Hotel Management, 4036 Stavanger, Norway. E-mail:


The aim of this study was to explore the occurrence of bullying in the restaurant sector and its potential consequences. The sample consisted of 207 superiors and employees in 70 restaurants. The findings indicated that bullying prevails in the restaurant industry, with apprentices as a risk group. Bullying was negatively related to job satisfaction, commitment, employees’ perceptions of creative behavior, and external evaluations of restaurant creativity level, and positively related to burnout and intention to leave the job. Some support was found for a mediation hypothesis, where bullying was the predictor, job satisfaction, commitment and burnout were mediators, and intention to leave was dependent variable. One implication of this study is that there is a need to challenge the attitude, common in this sector, that aggression and bullying is a natural and even necessary part of the work environment.