Publication details [#63308]

Martin, Matthew M., Alan K. Goodboy, Jennifer M. Knight and Zachary Long. 2017. Creating the Boiler Room Environment. The Job Demand-Control-Support Model as an Explanation for Workplace Bullying. Communication Research 44 (2) : 244–266.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
SAGE Publications


This inquiry sets out to explain workplace bullying as a symptom of high-strain employment. The Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS) model of work design was employed to frame this inquiry and explore workplace bullying antecedents and consequences. Full-time American employees (N = 314) working in different organizations completed a questionnaire about their bullying experiences, working environments, and occupational outcomes. Results disclosed that workplace bullying was correlated with expected negative outcomes at work (i.e., job dissatisfaction, job stress, anxiety). In line with JDCS model predictions, employees who worked at organizations characterized by high psychological demands, low control, and low supervisor social support (i.e., an additive model) reported more workplace bullying (supporting an iso-strain hypothesis). Results of a moderated moderation analysis disclosed a significant three-way interaction between demands, control, and support (supporting a buffering hypothesis); under workplace conditions characterized by low supervisor social support, employee control over how work was completed buffered the negative effect of job demands on workplace bullying. Supervisors, then, should consider how fostering employee autonomy and communicating social support to employees might nullify workplace conditions that favor bullying, particularly when work is especially demanding.