Development and validation of the workplace hazing scale

Mary B. Mawritz, Johnna Capitano, Rebecca L. Greenbaum, Julena M. Bonner, Joongseo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


What is workplace hazing and how does it affect newcomers? Although most people associate hazing behaviors with university life, sports teams, or military organizations, hazing has been reported in a wide variety of workplace settings as a means of socializing newcomers into their new work environments. However, hazing is seldom researched in the organizational context. Consequently, we contribute to research on workgroup socialization by examining workplace hazing as one particular form of socialization. We first draw on management research on socialization, anthropology research on hazing, and anecdotal evidence to define and conceptualize the construct of workplace hazing. Then, we use a multi-study scale development process to create and validate a five-dimensional workplace hazing scale (WHS). The resulting 15-item WHS captures a range of hazing behaviors across organizational settings, and includes the dimensions of segregation, verbal abuse, task-related hazing, physical abuse, and testing. Overall, our research suggests that the WHS is a valid, reliable scale that can be used to assess this complex phenomenon and that workplace hazing has detrimental effects on newcomers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-176
Number of pages38
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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