Exploration of workplace bullying in the foodservice industry Article

Smith, RA, Kitterlin-Lynch, M, Pierre, Y et al. (2021). Exploration of workplace bullying in the foodservice industry . 20(2), 299-317. 10.1080/15332845.2021.1872271

cited authors

  • Smith, RA; Kitterlin-Lynch, M; Pierre, Y; Moreo, A


  • It is apparent from previous studies that workplace bullying historically and currently exists in the hospitality industry, especially in foodservice settings. A limitation of most previous studies, however, was the inability to explore in depth, the existence, impact, and causes of these bullying behaviors. Thus, an exploratory qualitative research strategy was applied using 23 individual semi-structured interviews. The study collected data from a sample of foodservice employees working in a variety of hourly, supervisory, and management roles. Findings indicate that bullying is a serious, prevalent problem in the foodservice industry and attributes to the stressful nature of the foodservice environment and its symbolic cultural norm. The behaviors witnessed or experienced by the interviewees results in mental and physical discomfort, job loss, and hostility. The findings demonstrate that this may be mitigated by developing, implementing, and mandating relevant training programs, changing policies, and disrupting the cultural norm.

publication date

  • January 1, 2021

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 299

end page

  • 317


  • 20


  • 2