The dynamics of victimisation

Research Briefing

Keywords: Victim, victimisation, bullying, aggressive behaviour, dyadic spiral, relationship

There are two primary ways organisations, managers and researchers tend to think about victimisation.

The first is by looking at the antecedents of the perpetrator in order to predict what attributes contribute to someone becoming an aggressor.

The second perspective is to look at the victim to see what attributes predict that someone will become victimised.

When looking at the research around victimisation, a significant proportion of studies tend to focus on the victim’s characteristics. A number of studies in recent years have noted that there is an overemphasis on victim characteristic traits within the victimisation literature and have focused on looking at what it is that predicts someone will become an aggressor.

This polarised emphasis on either the traits of the victim or the traits of the aggressor is particularly prevalent in workplace aggression studies.

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