GRADUATE STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS AND RESPONSES TO BULLYING FROM ACADEMIC ADVISORS
Workplace bullying is a major global issue which has received a lot of recognition because of its negative effects on victims’ health and work productivity. There have been many attempts to mitigate the effects of workplace bullying, leading researchers to extensively study the phenomenon in various contexts and relationships. Information on workplace bullying in the academic context, precisely relationships between academic advisors and graduate student advisees, is however, lacking. This study aimed at filling in the gap by seeking information about communicative behaviors from advisors that graduate advisees characterized as bullying, and common responses graduate advisees resorted to in the face of adversity. We also sought to understand why advisees may have responded to maltreatment in specific ways. We, therefore, proposed a working model which hypothesized a relationship between advisor negative acts, commitment levels of advisees, and advisee responses. Using Amazon’s Mechanical (MTurk) to recruit our sample, participants filled out a survey which included a few demographic questions, the revised version of the Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ-R) to measure advisor negative acts, the Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect (EVLN) typology to measure advisee responses, and the Investment Model Scale (IMS) to measure advisee commitment levels to the work relationship with advisors. We verified the reliability and validity of the scales adopted for this study and ran some correlation and mediation analyses to answer our research questions and test our hypotheses. From our findings, we learned that most advisees reported personal insults occurring more frequently in their work relationships with advisors. Advisees also reported a high commitment to the work relationships with their advisors, despite maltreatment, and often responded by adopting the voice or neglect strategy. Findings from this exploratory study imply there is more information to be sought on workplace bullying between advisees and advisors in academic contexts.