What is it about?

Given the increased use of ICT within organizations, it is important to consider the dark side of individuals’ online activities. This study explores interpersonal consequences of cyberbullying and its findings reveal that digitally-mediated forms of victimization have the potential to turn a target into an aggressor. Regulators of digital media are therefore advised to re-examine the architectures of the media platforms that pose higher risks for cyberbullying and establish measures to lower such risks, such as by penalizing the offenders. For example, offenders typically take advantage when cyber communication is done anonymously, and therefore digital media platforms should be designed in a manner that improves individuals’ sense of accountability and visibility in the digital space.

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Why is it important?

This study highlights the importance of leader-follower interactions in reducing interpersonal aggression. Leadership can prevent aggressive behaviors by cultivating ethical digital cultures and taking a zero tolerance approach for bullying and cyberbullying behavior. The findings reveal the effects of a leader’s differential treatment of the followers (i.e. LMX differentiation) on workplace behavior. As the effect of cyberbullying on interpersonal aggression was found to be stronger in the presence of high LMX differentiation, it is important that managers engage in a reflective practice to evaluate whether they are treating employees equally or differently.

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This page is a summary of: A contemporary view of interpersonal aggression and cyberbullying through ICT: multilevel insights from LMX differentiation, Internet Research, May 2022, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/intr-11-2020-0659.
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