Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communication and Information

Major Professor

Joan R. Rentsch

Committee Members

Joan R. Rentsch, Emily A. Paskewitz, Quinten Bernhold


Bullies, browbeaters, and bulldozers are a prevalent problem within workplaces (Namie, 2017), resulting in extreme emotional effects for employees, and intense impact on the bottom line of organizations (Olive & Cangemi, 2015). As workplace bullying continues to occur throughout many organizations, expectations for communication and behavior are repeatedly violated. Thus, expectancy violations theory (EVT) provides framework for the following workplace bullying behavior research. The relevant literature regarding EVT was reviewed and its framing of intervention processes of workplace bullying, emotional cognitive response, and perceived organizational value of bullies (high-value bullies) was established. The purpose of the proposed empirical study is to examine a manager's decision to intervene in a workplace bullying relationship based on the level of the target's emotional response to the bullying interaction and based on the perceived cost to the manager of a high-value bully. An EVT framework was applied to generate hypotheses. Expectancy violations theory provides a hardy framework for researching the intricate components of a workplace bullying relationship.

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