Employee Profile

Kari Wik Ågotnes

Associate Professor - Campus Bergen

Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour


Ågotnes, Kari Wik; Nielsen, Morten Birkeland, Skogstad, Anders, Gjerstad, Johannes & Einarsen, Ståle Valvatne (2024)

The role of leadership practices in the relationship between role stressors and exposure to bullying behaviours–a longitudinal moderated mediation design

Work & Stress, 38(1), s. 44- 72. Doi: 10.1080/02678373.2023.2226635 - Full text in research archive

Role conflicts and role ambiguity have been identified as important risk factors for exposure to workplace bullying, particularly when combined with inadequate leadership practices. Even though role ambiguity theoretically can be considered a causal precursor to role conflicts, previous research has mainly examined these role stressors as concurrent predictors of workplace bullying. The present study provides a more nuanced analysis by investigating role conflicts as a mediator in the relationship between role ambiguity and exposure to bullying behaviours. Adding to the understanding of the bullying process we also considered the possible moderating roles of laissez-faire and transformational leadership in the role stressor–bullying relationship. Employing a national probability sample of 1,164 Norwegian workers, with three measurements across a 12-month period, the results showed an indirect effect of employees’ role ambiguity on subsequent exposure to bullying behaviours through employees’ experience of role conflicts. Moreover, laissez-faire leadership exacerbated, while transformational leadership attenuated, the indirect relationship between role ambiguity and exposure to bullying behaviours through role conflicts. In summary, the present data shows that when the management of organisations neglects its inherent responsibility to adequately address employees’ experiences of role ambiguity and role conflicts, the risk of exposure to workplace bullying is likely to increase.

Olsen, Olav Kjellevold; Ågotnes, Kari Wik, Hetland, Jørn, Espevik, Roar & Ravnagner, Conrad Alexander (2023)

Virtual team-cooperation from home-office: a quantitative diary study of the impact of daily transformational- and passive-avoidant leadership – and the moderating role of task interdependence

Frontiers in Psychology, 14 Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1188753 - Full text in research archive

During the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the workforce moved from office setting to home-office and virtual teamwork. Whereas the relationship between leadership and team cooperation in physical settings is well documented – less is known about how daily virtual team cooperation is influenced by daily constructive as well as destructive leadership, and how intervening mechanisms influence this relationship. In the present study, we test the direct effect of daily transformational- and passive avoidant leadership, respectively, on the daily quality of virtual team cooperation – and the moderating effect of task interdependence. Using virtual team cooperation as outcome, we hypothesized that (a) transformational leadership relates positively to virtual team cooperation, (b) passive-avoidant leadership relates negatively, and (c) moderated by task interdependence. Our hypotheses were tested in a 5-day quantitative diary study with 58 convenience sampled employees working from home in virtual teams. The results show that virtual team cooperation is a partially malleable process – with 28% variation in daily virtual team cooperation resulting from within team variation from day to day. Surprisingly, the results of multilevel modeling lend support only to the first hypothesis (a). Taken together, our findings suggest that in virtual settings, inspirational and development-oriented transformational leadership plays a key role in daily team cooperation, while passive-avoidance has little impact – independently of task interdependence. Hence, in virtual team settings, the study shows that “good is stronger than bad” – when comparing the negative effects of destructive leadership to the positive effect of constructive and inspirational leadership. We discuss the implications of these findings for further research and practice.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik; Skogstad, Anders, Hetland, Jørn, Olsen, Olav Kjellevold, Espevik, Roar, Bakker, Arnold B. & Einarsen, Ståle (2020)

Daily work pressure and exposure to bullying-related negative acts: The role of daily transformational and laissez-faire leadership

European Management Journal, s. 1- 11. Doi: 10.1016/j.emj.2020.09.011 - Full text in research archive

The present study integrates the work environment hypothesis and the effort-reward imbalance model to argue that work-related antecedents of workplace bullying are moderated by the day-to-day leadership practices of one’s immediate leader. Specifically, we propose that individuals’ daily experiences of work pressure are positively related to their daily experiences of bullying-related negative acts. Moreover, we claim that this relationship is weaker on days when those individuals report high (vs. low) levels of transformational leadership behaviour, and stronger on days when they report high (vs. low) levels of laissez-faire leadership behaviour. To test these three hypotheses, we asked 61 naval cadets on a tall ship sailing from Northern Europe to North America to fill out a diary questionnaire for 36 days yielding 1509 observations. The results of multilevel analyses supported our hypothesis of a positive relationship of cadets’ daily reports of work pressure with their daily reports of bullying-related negative acts. In addition, laissez-faire leadership behaviour (but not transformational leadership behaviour) moderated the work pressure–bullying-related negative acts relationship. Our findings support the assumption that laissez-faire leadership is an important component in the development of conflict escalation and workplace bullying, while transformational leadership is not. We discuss theoretical as well as practical implications of these findings.

Evensen, Ingrid Kjølberg; Orlien, Emilie, Motzfeldt, Gyda Flaaten, Ågotnes, Kari Wik & Skogstad, Anders (2019)

Betydningen av individuelle kjennetegn i møte med laissez-faire-ledelse

Scandinavian Psychologist, 6:e5, s. 1- 22. Doi: 10.15714/scandpsychol.6.e5 - Full text in research archive

Ågotnes, Kari Wik; Einarsen, Ståle, Hetland, Jørn & Skogstad, Anders (2018)

The moderating effect of laissez-faire leadership on the relationship between co-worker conflicts and new cases of workplace bullying: A true prospective design

Human Resource Management Journal, 28(4), s. 555- 568. Doi: 10.1111/1748-8583.12200 - Full text in research archive

In line with the work environment hypothesis, interpersonal conflict has been proposed as an important antecedent of workplace bullying. However, longitudinal studies on this relationship have been scarce. The aim of this study was to examine whether co‐worker conflict predicted new cases of self‐reported workplace bullying 2 years later and whether laissez‐faire leadership moderated this relationship. In a sample of 1,772 employees, drawn from the Norwegian working population, the hypotheses that co‐worker conflict increased the risk of subsequently reporting being a victim of workplace bullying and that laissez‐faire leadership strengthened this relationship were supported. This study empirically supports the work environment hypothesis by showing that co‐worker conflict within a true prospective research design is a source of new cases of bullying and that the lack and avoidance of leadership, through the enactment of a laissez‐faire leadership style, likely is a main source for co‐worker conflict to develop into workplace bullying.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik; Vikan, Lise, Hetland, Jørn & Skogstad, Anders (2018)

Passiv-unnvikende ledelse - en høyrisikosport? En studie av sammenhengene mellom passiv-unnvikende ledelse, mestringstro, interaksjonsrettferdighet og passiv-kontraproduktiv medarbeideratferd

Magma forskning og viten, 21(4), s. 76- 88.

Passive former for destruktiv ledelse har i de senere år fått økt oppmerksomhet i ledelsesforskningen, og hensikten med denne studien er å gi et bidrag til denne forskningen gjennom å undersøke om passiv-unnvikende ledelse kan predikere medarbeideres passiv-kontraproduktive atferd, populært kalt unnlatelsessynder, på arbeidsplassen. Studien undersøker også hvorvidt medarbeideres personlige egenskaper, i form av mestringstro, har betydning for hvor sterk denne sammenhengen er. Til sist undersøkes det om medarbeideres opplevelse av lederen som rettferdig eller ikke kan forklare sammenhengen mellom denne lederstilen og medarbeideres kontraproduktive atferd. Deltakerne i undersøkelsen er deltidsstudenter ved Folkeuniversitetet region vest (N = 200). Resultatene viste en signifikant positiv sammenheng mellom passiv-unnvikende ledelse og passiv-kontraproduktiv medarbeideratferd, og medarbeidernes mestringstro knyttet til jobben ble funnet å moderere denne sammenhengen. Studien underbygger således at passivitet fra lederens side henger sammen med tilbaketrekningsatferd fra medarbeidernes side, og at denne sammenhengen styrkes når medarbeideren har liten tro på egne ferdigheter i jobbsammenheng. Vi fant også støtte for at medarbeidernes opplevelse av urettferdig behandling fra leder medierte sammenhengen mellom denne lederstilen og medarbeideres kontraproduktive atferd. Vår studie underbygger således tidligere studier som viser at passiv-unnvikende ledelse er en destruktiv lederstil gjennom sine negative konsekvenser. Organisasjoner er særlig sårbare for passive og unnvikende former for destruktiv atferd, så vel blant ledere som medarbeidere, fordi disse atferdene til forskjell fra aktivt destruktive atferder er vanskelige å fange opp. Derfor bør organisasjoner og ledere være spesielt oppmerksomme på å skape et klima og en kultur som ikke aksepterer slike ‘unnlatelsessynder’. Nøkkelord: passiv-unnvikende ledelse, passiv-kontraproduktiv medarbeideratferd, mestringstro, interaksjonsrettferdighet.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik (2022)

The impact of interpersonal conflict on exposure to workplace bullying. The moderating role of a shared perception of laissez-faire leadership at the department level

[Academic lecture]. ISP Forskningskonferansen.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik (2022)

Work-related risk factors for workplace bullying. The moderating effect of laissez-faire leadership

[Academic lecture]. Bergen International Symposium on Workplace Bullying and Harassment.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik (2022)

Fra rolleuklarhet til mobbing i arbeidslivet: Hvilken rolle spiller ledelse?

[Academic lecture]. 10. Kile-seminar.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik (2019)

Daily work pressure and exposure to bullying-related negative acts: The role of daily transformational and laissez-faire leadership

[Academic lecture]. Forskningskonferansen 2019.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik (2019)

Manglende ledelse som risikofaktor for mobbing i arbeidslivet

[Academic lecture]. Dagsseminar om mobbing i arbeidslivet.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik (2019)

Konflikter og mobbing i arbeidsmiljøet: Når ledere lar det skure og gå

[Academic lecture]. 9. Kile-seminar.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik; Kant, Leo, Bøe, Bjørn Eirik Roaldstveit, Skogstad, Anders, Einarsen, Ståle & Notelaers, Guy (2019)

Individual experiences of group conflict as a predictor of workplace bullying: The moderating role of laissez-faire leadership climate

[Academic lecture]. 19th Eawop Congress.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik (2018)

Group-level task conflicts as a predictor of workplace bullying: The moderating role of laissez-faire leadership

[Academic lecture]. Forskningskonferansen 2018.

Ågotnes, Kari Wik (2017)

The moderating effect of laissez-faire leadership on the stressor-bullying relationship

[Academic lecture]. Forskningskonferansen 2017.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2022 University of Bergen PhD