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Evert Van de Vliert and Ståle Einarsen

This chapter examines why escalated organizational conflicts are so unevenly distributed across the earth. Climato-economic theorizing (Van de Vliert, 2009, 2013a, 2013b) proposes that workforces adapt conflict escalation to the livability of their societal habitat, especially to the daily household pressures of meeting climatic demands of cold winters or hot summers by using monetary resources. Escalated conflict is expected to be most prevalent in poor areas with demanding thermal climates (threatening habitats), intermediately prevalent in poor and rich areas with undemanding temperate climates (comforting habitats), and least prevalent in rich areas with demanding thermal climates (challenging habitats). This hypothesis is supported for interpersonal bullying across 44 countries, and for intergroup bullying across 175 countries. In addition, it is demonstrated that the cross-national relationship between the national baselines of interpersonal and intergroup bullying is also influenced by threatening, comforting, and challenging climato-economic conditions. A final section discusses the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the results of this research.