Examining Factors that Explain the Cyberbullying of University Faculty During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Date

2024-03-07

Authors

Ramos Salazar, Leslie
Weiss, Adam
Yarbrough, Jillian
Sell, Katelynn

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic faculty were forced to transition their classes from face-to-face to virtual modalities. As a result, faculty spend an increased amount of time communicating using technologies in order to perform their academic jobs. Because of this transition faculty became more vulnerable to become cybervictimized in the academic workplace. This study obtained the perceptions of 179 faculty victims in higher education using Qualtrics. Findings revealed that faculty failed to adequately address cyberbullying incidents across relationship types (i.e., peer, administrative). Females were also more likely to be cyberbullied in comparison to males. Personality traits also played a role in being more likely to become victimized. Implications are also offered to prevent future cyberbullying victimization rates in higher education.

Description

Workplace cyberbullying is an understudied phenomenon amongst university faculty. Past literature has examined cyberbullying among adolescent and university students (Hou, 2023; Sheikh et al., 2023). During the COVID-19 pandemic, the modality of courses shifted from face-to-face to hybrid or online-only, and as a result, faculty spent much of their time using communication technologies to perform their jobs (Tiwari & Mondal, 2022), which made them more vulnerable to become cybervictimized by administrators, peers, students. In this study, we examine the prevalence of cyberbullying across relationship types (i.e., colleagues/peers, administrators, staff, students, and external stakeholders), the gender differences among faculty, and the relationship between the Big 5 Personality Traits and workplace cyberbullying. We conducted a cross-sectional survey using Qualtrics among 179 faculty members. Results indicate that university faculty victims are failing to adequately address cyberbullying. Further, females were more likely to be cyberbullied than males. When examining the personality traits, agreeableness and neuroticism related to workplace cyberbullying. Implications are also provided to guide stakeholders in higher education institutions. Data collection methodology is survey methods using Qualtrics.

Keywords

2024 Faculty and Student Research Poster Session and Research Fair, West Texas A&M University, College of Business, Poster, Cyberbullying, Higher education, University faculty

Citation