Workplace bullying and its effect on employee well-being in Ghana’s oil and gas industry

Kumako, Stephen Kodjo (2019) Workplace bullying and its effect on employee well-being in Ghana’s oil and gas industry. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

[img] PDF (Thesis - as examined) - Repository staff only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (3MB)


The World Health Organisation (2017) asserts that changes in the world of work have resulted in new risks to employee health and safety. The focus of occupational health and safety professionals has evolved beyond physical risks, and now includes psychosocial risks such as workplace bullying. Workplace bullying is an extreme social stressor that has the potential to affect victims, witnesses, co-workers, significant others, the organisation itself and society. Whilst much is known about this phenomenon in other parts of the world, very little research effort has examined workplace bullying in Sub-Saharan African countries such as Ghana. Accordingly, this thesis aimed at understanding the lived experiences of employees in the nascent oil and gas industry in Ghana. Furthermore, this research sought to apply the Job Demands-Resources model to workplace bullying and test an adapted theoretical model based on Einarsen et al.’s (2011) comprehensive model of workplace bullying.

To this end, a mixed methods design was adopted using employees from the upstream, midstream and downstream operations within Ghana’s oil and gas industry. The qualitative study used data from in-depth semi-structured interviews with fifteen employees across the oil and gas sector in Ghana. In the three quantitative studies, three hundred and twenty-six employees responded to both online and paper-based questionnaires.

Results of this research indicate that work-related bullying behaviours are more common than person-related bullying in the oil and gas sector in Ghana. Additionally, aspects of Ghanaian culture, unequal distribution of power, supervisors’ perceived job insecurity as well as perceived racial discrimination were identified as causes of workplace bullying. This study also found that employees reported psychological distress, mistakes and errors, poor work attitudes, and turnover intentions as a result of bullying at work. Furthermore, recreational activities and social support as well as religious coping were identified as resources available to employees and used to deal with workplace bullying.

Job demands (work pace and workload) and resources (job control and supervisor social support) were associated with workplace bullying. Results again showed that the interaction of some specific job demands, and resources was related to workplace bullying. Moreover, psychological capital and religiosity respectively moderated the relationship between workplace bullying and psychological well-being. Finally, psychological well-being mediated the relationship between workplace bullying and engagement, burnout and job satisfaction respectively.

Workplace bullying is pervasive in Ghana’s oil and gas industry and occupational health and safety professionals should seek to reduce specific job demands and increase specific job resources. Organisations in Ghana can aid the development of psychological capital through training to enhance employee well-being whilst understanding coping mechanisms such as religiosity. Additionally, organisations should implement anti-bullying policies and procedures fairly and ensure a psychologically safe work environment.

Findings from this thesis are integrated and further discussed in the final chapter. The limitations of the various studies are critically analysed with recommendations for future studies. Additionally, the implications of the findings for theory and practice, especially in Ghanaian organisations, are highlighted.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Leka, Stavroula
Jain, Aditya
Keywords: Workplace bullying, Psychosocial risks, Psychological well-being, Ghana, Oil and gas
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WA Public health
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 56299
Depositing User: Kumako, Stephen
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2019 12:34
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 04:30

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View