Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Joerg Dietz

Second Advisor

Bernd Marcus


Workplace aggression refers to behaviors with the intent to harm others at work (Neuman & Baron, 1998). A key problem in organizations is that these behaviors are often not reported by victims, perpetrators or observers (e.g., Daldt, 1981). The current research is concerned with the role that observers play in reducing workplace aggression. Drawing from the literature on bystander intervention, I propose that observers may remain passive if the cost of intervening is high and/or if they perceive a close harasser-victim relationship. Furthermore, the harm an observer believes a victim has suffered may mediate these effects. Using two vignette studies, I tested these propositions. I found some support for the proposed effect of cost on intervention. However, the results did not support the other propositions. Results also revealed some personality and gender differences in intervention. I discuss these results, their implications for research and practice, and directions for future research.



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