UNDERSTANDING SHAME MANAGEMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF WORKPLACE BULLYING
Shin, H. Y., Australian National University, Australia
Accumulating research has recognised shame as a root of violence. Therefore adaptive shame management in the workplace has become an increasing concern. This research examines to what extent individual differences, work environment and cultural or social differences predict an individual's adaptive shame management when bullying behaviours were detected by a third party which was colleagues in the workplace. 260 high school teachers from Australia and 360 from Korea participated in a self reported survey about their lives at school. Findings disclosed that people with more harmony oriented values and more horizontal collectivism inclination would acknowledge their shame without evoking anger. Psychological or emotional environment was also a significant element to determine an individual's shame management. When colleagues treated her fairly and there was robust emotional interchange with her in the bullying context, shame was managed adaptively. Cultural differences in shame management were also found; which means that the more rigid and hierarchical a society was, the more it prevented individuals from managing shame adaptively. This research suggests that the organization 1) should provide employees a safe space to acknowledge shame without feeling threatened, 2) it should encourage employees to be sensible, and if appropriate, firmly intervene as a third party in the bullying process. To conclude, the degree to which an individual manages shame adaptively in the workplace signals the health status of the organization as a whole.