The Level Of Exposure To Cyber Bullying For Employees In Workplace

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine the level of cyber bullying exposure according to the demographic characteristics of employees in their workplace. Survey method was used for this research. The surveys consist of a scale and a part where demographic questions are included. The Workplace Cyber Bullying Grievance Scale was used for the data collection. The population for this research is 176 enterprises which are still active in the Manisa Industrial Park (MIP) in 2017-2018. The sample size for this research consists of 457 employees selected from this population. IBM SPSS 20.0 statistical program was used for analysing the data. To test the hypotheses established within the scope of the research; Independent Sample T Test and One Way ANOVA test was used. According to the results of this research; the most interesting result is there is a statistically significant difference between the age and marital status of the employees and the exposure to cyber bullying in their workplace.

Keywords: Cyber bullyingtraditional bullyingvictim of cyber bullying

Introduction

The rapid progress in technology has changed the way of life of mankind. The technological developments that are taking place will reshape the world, at the same time; we continue to change our behaviour in society. The possibility of simultaneous communication and communication technology has become an important part of our life. Online social media and social networking have emerged as a cultural reality with evolving technology. Online experiences have gradually become integrated into every aspect of life. Today, computers, internet, mobile phones and other technological tools have become a necessity in the business places. The innovations and possibilities of the modern age make the lives of the individuals easier (Peker, 2013). Increased communication has transformed our world into a tiny one (Usta, 2013). Due to the development of social networks, the amount of information is growing by exploding. But with it, the quality of information is gradually falling (Saravanaraj, Sheeba, & Devaneyan, 2016). In recent years, a new form of aggression or bullying has emerged in which aggression has been labelled as "cyberbullying" via modern technological devices, and especially via mobile phones or the Internet. The investigations are still at an early stage. It has emerged in parallel with the increase in people's use of electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones (Slonje & Smith, 2008). Information and communication technologies facilitate our interactions, our efforts, our discoveries, while at the same time facilitating harmful behaviours such as cyber bullying (Cassidy, Faucher, & Jackson, 2014). Therefore, cyber bullying can occur in any environment where mobile communication and internet access is available (Kocaturk, 2014).

With the technological developments that have been made possible, it has become possible to communicate anywhere in the world without regard to time and space, and this opportunity has brought along some problems. Rapid change and development in technology are also affecting people's value judgments, communication, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, friendship, and behaviour. Although the word cyber bullying has not existed before, it has become an important topic today (Asanan, Hussain, & Laidey, 2017). In a study conducted on experts, the source of the cyber bullying was; the development of new technologies and the fact that these technologies have all kinds of communication possibilities, that these communication technologies exist effectively in every area of people's life, that they can hide names and act like others, that the rules are not clear enough and that there is not enough consciousness about efficient and correct use of technologies it is shown (Usta, 2013).

While the continuous and rapid development of technology facilitates human life and affects the life of individuals positively, it has been seen that the individuals who use it outside the purpose of the technology are exposed to negative results. One of these negative results is cyber bullying (Baskoy, 2013). Recent studies about cyber bullying have shown that the severity of this situation is increasing steadily. It is therefore an incentive for researchers to examine the underlying causes of cyber bullying and the relationship with traditional bullying (Dalmaz, 2014). Cyber bullying concept, especially Turkey, is a subject that has not been yet made on sufficient academic studies for European countries. It is a subject that has been explored and discussed by scholars and other specialists, especially psychologists, in the U.S. and Canada. Cyber bullying is not just a specific region of the world, but a globally recognized and increasingly important issue (Serin, 2012). The purpose of this study is; workers examine the levels of cyber bullying according to their demographic characteristics at workplaces.

Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

In recent years it has been seen that there is a wave of research on cyber bullying (Whittaker & Kowalski, 2015). The cyberbullying has now become a part of life, even though it was almost unheard of ten years ago (Cassidy, Faucher, & Jackson, 2014). Cyber bullying is a type of modern bullying that takes place using electronic communication instruments (Sticca & Perren, 2013). According to Asanan, Hussain & Laidey (2017), cyber bullying is a concept that another individual is harmed by means of digital means intentionally, continuously and repeatedly.

The literature sets back with various studies conducted upon so far. West, Foster, Levin, Edmison, & Robibero (2014), in their study, they made use of the experience of Canadian human resources experts to investigate the current workplace policies and practices of cyberbullying and the extent to which they reflect current norms. Some of the findings of this research; a general disapproval of the definition of cyber bullying is that Canadian law does not provide a clear approach to cyberbullying in businesses, and the vast majority of survey participants are exposed to cyberbullying. Laftman, Ostberg, & Modin (2017), in their study of school leadership and cyberbullying, it was aimed to assess whether the school-leader's school-related conditions in terms of teacher ratings were related to the occurrence of victims of cyberbullying among students. In the study, the researchers' hypothesis that strong school leadership was exposed to less bulimic bullying behavior was accepted. Asanan, Hussain, & Laidey (2017), in their work, young people have examined their ability to respond to cyber bullying, their moral judgments and their awareness of the forms. In Malaysia, three private universities surveyed young people between the ages of 18-25. Despite the participants' awareness of cyberbullying activities as a result of the survey, 50.8% of the respondents were left with an audience of cyberbullying, and the remaining 49.2% were found to have responded to cyberbullying. Gardner, O’Driscoll, Thomas, Roche, Bentley, Catley, Teo, & Trenberth (2016), point out that workplace bullying and bullying determinants at work in New Zealand tend to gather around workplace bullying proposals, organizational solutions such as policies, procedures, education and “cultural respect” it has been determined that bullying on the spot continues to cause problems for many companies. Dordolo (2014) stated that the power imbalance that has arisen from traditional bullying in the work he has done is different and even more pronounced in cyber bullying. In particular, he emphasized that identity detection, the potential for constant threats and potentially wider masses are qualities of online technology that contribute to this power difference, and that these factors affect power imbalance. As a result, the cyber bullying has come to a judgment that it is worse than the traditional bullying. Kowalski & Limber (2007) examined the prevalence of electronic bullying among middle school students. In their study in the United States, they conducted a questionnaire consisting of 23 questions to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Participants have studied the experience of electronic bullying as both bully and bully victims. As a result of the study, it was stated that the proportion of people exposed to bullying in the last month was 11.1% and that of cyber bullying behaviors was 6.8%. Findings are that 78% of the students are not involved in cyber bullying. Eroglu (2011), examined whether cyber bullying and victimization differ according to age, income and sex, and whether risky internet behavior, internal and external conditional self-worth domains are the effect on cyber bullying. As a result of the research, the cyber bullying and victimization did not differ according to the income and age of the family, but they differed according to gender. Kayman (2017) is; studies on the relationship between cyber bullying, emotional intelligence and anti-production behaviors in businesses. In his research, he first developed a scale to learn the content of workplace cyber bullying victim and found that the work done by academicians had a positive effect on the display of workplace cyber bullying victim's anti-production behaviors, and also that the high emotional intelligence level was related to workplace cyber bullying victimization and anti- the moderator has the effect that it has arrived.

In Li's work (2007); the effects of variables such as culture, gender on cyber bullying behaviors were examined. Two groups of students from Canada and China were selected. As a result of the study, it was determined that the students selected from China had tendencies to become victims of cyber, while the students selected from Canada were more inclined to bullying with cyber than the other group.

The Cyber Bullying and Traditional Bullying

The concept of cyber bullying is handled with the concept of bullying (Ozdemir, 2015). Bullying is the harmful behavior of a person or group in a physical and psychological sense, in a certain process, of a less powerful person or group (Ciftci, 2015). The technological developments experienced in recent years have shown themselves in all areas of life and accelerated the processes. However, this situation brought with it negativity. It is also one of the negative consequences of cyber bullying (Baskoy, 2013). Cyberbullying term, although it has become almost unheard of a decade ago is now a part of the mother tongue (Cassidy, Faucher, & Jackson, 2014). Cyber bullying concept was first used by Canadian educator Bill Belsey in 2004 (Eroglu, 2011). Cyber bullying is defined as an aggressive, deliberate behavior carried out by a group or by a person, using electronic forms of communication, over and over time against victims who cannot defend themselves (Smith et.al, 2008). According to another definition, cyber bullying is a form of modern bullying using electronic communication forms (Sticca & Perren, 2013). Cassidy, Faucher & Jackson (2014) describes the cyber bullying as follows; the use of language or imagery involving disturbing, vulgar, or derogatory interpretations to hurt, threaten, disturb, humiliate, exclude, discriminate, humiliate or disclose personal information, or harm an individual. According to Shariff (2008), cyber bullying; threats and humiliation of other individuals through digital means such as web sites, instant messaging, blogs, mobile phones, electronic mail. Monks, Mahdavi, & Rixa (2016) describe cyber bullying as intimidation, harassment, and ill-treatment against another person or group of people, including repeatedly channeling aggression and using technological tools to create power imbalance between perpetrator and aggressor. Caravita, Colombo, Stefanelli, & Zigliani (2016) is defined as any harmful behavior through cyber bullying, electronic or digital media. It has been suggested that the specific properties of cyber aggression are caused by the high stresses of exposure to cyberbullying, especially because the attacker's possible hidden name and the fact that it is impossible for the victims to avoid attacks by electronic devices. Zych, Ruiz, & López (2016) describe cyber bullying as internet harassment or bullying committed by electronic devices that deliberately conduct online insults and threats through electronic devices. Bullying at work is challenging organizations that want to create working environments that increase the prosperity of employees because of their business objectives, their goals, and their serious adverse effects on witnesses (Zhang & Leidner, 2014). Privitera and Campbell (2009) found that exposure to cyber bullying at work; disturbing the individual's balance, affecting the business in the negative, disturbing, humiliating, scaring behavior. They research in Scandinavian countries has raised the prevalence of bullying prevalence at work from 3.5% to 16%. The most important thing that has been known about cyber bullying is the fact that many people who experience cyber bullying have found their experiences very stressful (Ozbay, 2013). Among the features that cyber bullying has; there are behaviors such as hiding their identity, power imbalance, insufficient control of the virtual space, access to a large number of people in a short period of time, and storage of cyber bullying material (Eroglu, 2014). Shariff (2005) mentioned three characteristics of cyber bullying. These; the identity of the individual who makes the bully is not known, the silence of many individuals in the bully and sexual harassment. Nowadays, cyber bullying is becoming increasingly common, and studies have shown this result. The fact that the cyber bullying situation has become an increasingly serious problem has prompted researchers to work on the basis of the cyber bullying problem and the possible connection with traditional bullying (Ciftci, 2015).

Making cyberbullying or cyberbullying in different ways via mobile phones, on the internet or through web sites is as easy as bullying in traditional settings (Calısgan, 2013). Traditional bullying is defined as acts of physical or verbal aggression that are repeated to disgrace the victim Randa, Nobles & Reyns, 2015). Exposure to traditional bullying and grievance, loneliness, peer rejection, low self-esteem, lack of mental well-being, psychological and physiological disturbances seem to be linked (Hinduja & Patchin, 2010). Cyber bullying is less common in the literature than traditional bullying. The reason for this is the emergence of new concepts and the beginning of taking over our place in our life with the development of technology. The effect of cyber bullying is uncertain compared to the traditional bully with causing trouble (Smith et.al, 2008). The main difference that distinguishes the bull from the physical bullying is; the use of information and communication technologies as means of virtual communication via the internet or mobile devices is also not face-to-face (Manap, 2012). Cyber bullying can lead to more serious consequences than traditional bullying, as more people can observe than traditional bullying (Tanrıkulu, 2013). The consequences in terms of traditional bullying and cyberbullying victims are similar. People who are exposed to cyber bullying; suicidal thoughts, eating disorders and chronic illnesses are some of the symptoms of depression, low confidence, poor academic life (Ciftci, 2015). In general, findings reveal that traditional and cyberbullying is largely similar behavior from other events (Thomas, Connor, & Scott, 2015).

Cyber Victimization, Types and Tools of Cyber Bullying

Cyber victimization, which is online exposure to violence and threats, is only a recent research area that has been discovered recently (Hinduja & Patchin, 2008). Despite many definitions of cyber bullying, the definitions made about cyber victimization are limited in quantity. People who were exposed to cyber bullying behavior were considered victims (Ozel, 2013). Cyber victimization means that victimization is done through computers and mobile phones. It is a new type of victimization that is in the increasing interest of researchers (Wang, Iannotti, Luk, & Nansel, 2010). Cyber bullying victims can experience various social influences. They are the ones that increase the risk of harming their personal identities, low self-esteem and low self-esteem (Dalmac, 2014). Cyber victims are the most vulnerable and most desperate group with low levels of self-confidence and high levels of anxiety, often rejected by their peers, unsafe, low in social skills and inadequate to defend themselves for their physical weakness (Temel, 2015). People who are exposed to cyber bullying; they stated that bullfight affects them emotionally. Sad, helpless and depressed feelings are among the most common problems experienced by victims (Kocaturk, 2014). Mishna, Kassabri, Gadalla & Daciuk (2012) found that more than 30% of students were victims of cyber bullying and 25% of them were exposed to both cyber bullying and cyber bullying in the previous three months. Kowalski & Limber (2007) found out that female students were more victims of cyber-attacks than boys. However, Beran & Li (2005) determined that there was no difference according to the gender of the victim. Asanan, Hussain & Laidey (2017) stated that those exposed to cyber bullying (29 %) is more than those make cyber bullying (11 %) in their study.

Cyber bullying is termed by various researchers as online bullying, digital bullying, electronic bullying, online bullying, cyber bullying and internet bullying (Eroglu, 2011). With the increasing use of electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones by the younger generation, cyber bullying has become a more common form of bullying in recent years. Cyber bullying can be done in many ways. Individuals who carry out cyber-bullying behavior is benefiting from the many communication tools. Cyberbullying vehicles are classified according to various categories by researchers. These are Written Message Bullying, Photo/Video Clip Bullying, Phone Bullying, Electronic Mail Bullying, Chat Room Bullying, Bullying through Social Sharing Sites, Bullying via instant messaging and Bullying through Web Sites (Serin, 2012).

When the literature was reviewed, it was seen that the cyberbully changed according to different demographic characteristics. Therefore, hypotheses established in this direction are as follows:

H 1 : There is no statistically significant difference between gender and the employees exposed to the cyber bullying.

H 2 : There is no statistically significant difference between age and the employees exposed to the cyber bullying.

H 3 : There is no statistically significant difference between the education and the employees exposed to the cyber bullying.

H 4 : There is no statistically significant difference between the marital status and the employees exposed to the cyber bullying.

Research Method

Sample and Data Collection

In this paper, the survey technique was used for data collection. The questionnaire form was established using the Google Documents Website. The questionnaire form was sent to the employees working in Manisa Industrial Park between January 17 and February 20, 2018 via mail, mobile phone and social media. Within the scope of this research, employees were asked to respond to the questionnaire from the different departments of the firms.

The population of this research constitutes the employees of 176 firms operating in Manisa Industrial Park in 2017-2018. 457 employees selected from this population for the sample size. The number of employees in Manisa Industrial Park (MIP) is 46,700. The sample size determined in the 95% confidence interval is 383. The snowball sampling method from non-random sampling methods was used in this research. In this way, randomly selected 114 firms and 457 employees working in those firms were reached.

Data collected from questionnaires were entered into the computer and analysed with IBM SPSS 20.0, a kind of statistical packet program.

Scales for the Analyses

The research consists of two groups of questions as data collection tool. In the study, Workplace Cyber Bullying Scale developed by Kayman (2017) was used to collect data. Workplace Cyber Bullying Scale is a questionnaire consisting of 12 items divided under 3 factors. The scale contains positive and negative expressions that are divided into five-point Likert type scales ( 1: none, 2: rarely, 3: occasionally, 4: frequently, 5: quite ). In Kayman’s (2017) study, the reliability coefficients for off-duty assault (.873), for blocking communication (.746) and for attack on social media (.731) have been found.

Analyses

At the beginning of the analyses, a reliability analysis, descriptive analyses, independent sample T-test and one-way ANOVA tests were used. The values of Skewness and Kurtosis were examined to determine the normal distribution of the data in the survey conducted. As a result of the normal distribution test, these values were found to be in the range of -1.5 and +1.5, and the data were considered to be normal distribution (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2013).

In this study, the reliability coefficients for off-duty assault (.875), for blocking communication (.765) and for attack on social media (.760) have been found. The alpha reliability coefficients of the variables were greater than the generally accepted values reported in the international literature (Bagozzi & Yi, 1988; Nunally, 1978). The personal information form was used to determine the demographic characteristics of the employees.

Findings

First the Descriptive Statistics test was applied to data in order to obtain descriptive information about employees. Descriptive statistics and frequency values of 457 employees participating in the survey from 114 different firms are given in the following Table 1 .

Table 1 -
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45.3 % of the participants were female and 54.7 % were male. 33.9% of participants were between 25-31 years of age, 29.3 % were between 32-38 years of age, 19.9 % of them were between 39-35 years of age, 9.6 % of them were between 18-24 years of age and 7.2 % were over 46 and over years old. The highest participation was found in the age range of 25-31, with the lowest participation being 46 and over years.

Employees were asked about their marital status to understand whether the survey participants differed in their exposure to cyberbullying according to their marital status. According to the results of the research, 62.1 % of the participants were married, 30.0 % were single and 7.9 % were divorced. It appears that the vast majority of participants are married.

When looking at cyber bullying; t-value of freedom was found to be -.655. The p value is .513. 95 % confidence interval and .05 significance level p=.513 > .05 H1 has been accepted. There is no statistically significant difference between female and male at the point of exposure to cyber bullying by gender. Looking at the mean values of the participants, it is 2.4653 for males and 2.4243 for females. Looking at the average, it can be said that male has a little bit higher mean value than that of female.

Table 2 -
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According to Table 3 below, Sig. value is less than .05. Since the Sig. value is .001, the homogeneity of the variances is not achieved. Welch or Brown-Forsythe tests are applied because the homogeneity of the variables is not provided.

Table 3 -
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One-way analysis of variance was conducted to determine whether the workers had a statistically significant difference in age at work at the workplace. In Table 4 , the Sig. value was .031. However, the Brown-Forsythe test, an alternative to the ANOVA test, was performed because the variances were not homogenous. According to test results;

Table 4 -
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For cyberbullying; because the P value is less than .05 (Sig. = .039), the H2 hypothesis is rejected. Therefore, there is a statistically significant difference between age and occupational exposure to cyber bullying. We need to find out what is the difference between the groups. Post Hoc Test was done for this purpose. The following table shows the results of the post hoc test:

Table 5 -
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When you look at Table 6 and the Games-Howell test results; the Sig. value is intended to find values less than .05. According to the results; there is a statistically significant difference between 18-24 and 46 and above age groups. There is no statistically significant difference between the education and the employees exposed to the cyber bullying test for hypothesis H3. Therefore H3 hypothesis is rejected.

Table 6 -
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According to Table 7 below, the Sig. value is greater than .05. Because Sig. value is .886, the homogeneity of variances is ensured.

Table 7 -
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In Table 8 , the Sig. value is .473. According to test results; H3 hypothesis was accepted because Sig value is greater than .05. Therefore; there is no statistically significant difference between the education and the employees’ exposure to cyber bullying. There is no statistically significant difference between the marital status and the employees exposed to the cyber bullying. Therefore; H4 hypothesis is rejected.

Table 8 -
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According to Table 9 below, the Sig. value is less than .05. Because the Sig. value is .003, the homogeneity of the variances is not achieved. Welch or Brown-Forsythe tests are applied because the homogeneity of the variables is not ensured.

Table 9 -
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One-way analysis of variance was conducted to determine whether the employees had a statistically significant difference in their workplace exposure to cyber bullying compared to the marital status variable. In Table 10 , the Sig. value was .003. However, the Brown-Forsythe test, which is an alternative to the ANOVA test, was performed because the variances were not homogenous. According to test results;

Table 10 -
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For cyber bullying; because the Sig. value is less than .05 (Sig.=.006), the H4 hypothesis is rejected. Therefore; there is a statistically significant difference between those who work with the marital status change and those who are exposed to cyber bullying. Since we reject the H4 hypothesis, we need to find the difference between the groups. The post hoc test was done for this purpose.

Table 11 -
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When Table 12 is examined; it is smaller than Sig. value of .05. According to the results; there is a statistically significant difference in marital status between married and single. Moreover; marital status is determined by those who are single, there is a significant difference between married and divorced employees. There is a meaningful difference between the divorced and the single employees.

Table 12 -
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Conclusion and Discussions

With the increasing use of information technology in everyday life and businesses, people can be exposed to cyber bullying in their workplace. In this study, employees were investigated for exposure to cyber bullying in their workplace according to their demographic characteristics.

According to the hypothesis results established within the scope of this research, there is no statistically significant difference between gender and the employees exposed to the cyber bullying. That is, employees exposed to cyberbullying in their work without any difference between male and female. Today, it can be said that female are exposed to cyber bullying due to their working in every fields of business life and doing the same things as men. Studies conducted by Beran & Li (2005) also found that cyber victimization did not differ according to gender.

In addition, there is statistically significant difference between age and the employees exposed to the cyber bullying. According to the results of the Post Hoc Test to find out whether there is a significant difference between the two groups; there is a significant difference between 18-24 age group and 46 and over age group. The reason for this is that the new generation is getting used to information technologies early and become a way of life but for 46 years and older generations to meet new and it can be interpreted as being accustomed to old generation communication models. We can say that; approximately retirement, more experienced employees are subjected to more cyber bullying. In the same way, the 18-24 age groups that is new in business life is also a victim for cyber bullying but according to the age group of 46 years and over it does not seen it as cyber bullying. According to Tastekin (2016); as age increases, the cyber bullying also increases. However, Beran & Li (2005) concluded that there was no relationship between cyber bullying and age.

Moreover there is no statistically significant difference between the education and the employees exposed to the cyber bullying. Regardless of the level of education, it is possible to say that employees are exposed to cyber bullying. There is also statistically significant difference between the marital status and the workers exposed to the cyber bullying. According to test results; marital status is significantly different between married and single. Again, marital status is determined by those who are single; there is a significant difference between married and divorced. The marital status is a result of a meaningful difference between the divorced and the single. But when the results are examined; there is no significant difference between being divorced and being married. Hence, the marital status of single persons is significantly different from other marital status. Because pre-familial life requires less responsibility, people are less affected by cyber bullying.

In the study conducted by Erden (2015), it was researched whether there was a meaningful difference according to the educational status variable in the dimension of “What tools are used to implement the cyber bullying” and there was no significant difference according to the educational status. There are not enough domestic and foreign studies investigating the relationship between cyber bullying and marital status till now.

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18 December 2019

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Future Academy

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54

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Pence, I., Soyleyici, G. T., & Kalkan*, A. (2019). The Level Of Exposure To Cyber Bullying For Employees In Workplace. In M. Özşahin, & T. Hıdırlar (Eds.), New Challenges in Leadership and Technology Management, vol 54. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 19-32). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.01.02.3