Beyond behaviours: Understanding interpersonal mistreatment at work

Guest speaker Dr Tara Reich discusses research that challenges the prevailing 'behavioural' focus of interpersonal mistreatment research in the latest WBRC online seminar.

Please register here to attend this online event.

This webinar is open to Leeds University Business School staff and students. 


 A significant literature about mistreatment—which includes gossiping, undermining, and excluding co-workers—has developed in the organisational behaviour field. Beyond describing and explaining the sources of mistreatment, the literature has revealed the significant costs it brings for those who are mistreated and for the organisations where they work. A shortcoming of this research, however, is the tendency to play down the relational and social context of mistreatment events, focusing instead on mistreatment behaviours perpetrated by (or against) “someone at work.” In this session, I will review a programme of work in which I have challenged the prevailing “behavioural” focus of interpersonal mistreatment research with the aim of developing a better understanding of how the relationships among the target, instigator, and observer(s) of mistreatment influence outcomes for all involved. I will also discuss some ongoing research in which I seek to understand how targets and observers can each change the course of a mistreatment event. 

About the speaker:

Dr Tara Reich joined King’s Business School in January 2020 as a Reader in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management. She received her BA (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario and her MA in Social Psychology and her PhD in Organizational Behaviour from the University of Manitoba (Canada). Prior to joining King’s College London, Dr Reich worked at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2011-2018) and the University of Surrey (2018-2019). Dr Reich's research interests are broadly in the area of employee well-being, with a specific focus on the psychology of workplace mistreatment. Her research investigates how observers are influenced by witnessing mistreatment in the workplace as well as the consequences of observers’ reactions for targets and perpetrators, and has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Organizational Behaviour, and Work & Stress.

This webinar is part of the WBRC research seminar series, where scholars are invited to share their research in organisational behaviour.