Uncovering Workplace Bullying

Source: Duncan Lewis, Michael Sheehan, Catherine Davies, Journal of Workplace Rights, Volume 13, Number 3, 2008
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From the abstract:
Awareness of workplace bullying as an organisational phenomenon is one thing, but understanding the complexity and multifaceted nature of such a slippery concept is another. The gathering of information on workplace bullying can take many forms, including, for example, staff surveys, conversations, and casual anecdotes. How useful are these sorts of evidence in understanding and uncovering the phenomenon of workplace bullying? This article provides a case study that explores two routes to detecting the existence and prevalence of bullying at work. The use of a standardised instrument for measuring bullying at work coupled with an open-ended qualitative approach produces some interesting findings. By far the most useful evidence comes from the rich qualitative accounts of organisational participants. These everyday explanations of what bullying means to ordinary members of the workforce can be usefully classified using an existing typology of occupational violence. This classification might prove useful to those charged with eradicating the insidious behaviours that underpin bullying in organisations.

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