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TitleMeasuring workplace bullying
Author(s)Cowie, Helen
Naylor, Paul
Rivers, Ian
Smith, Peter K.
Pereira, Beatriz Oliveira
KeywordsAdult bullying
Bullying in the workplace
Issue date2002
PublisherElsevier Science
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Abstract(s)Workplace bullying is increasingly being recognized as a serious problem in society today; it is also a problem that can be difficult to define and evaluate accurately. Research in this area has been hampered by lack of appropriate measurement techniques. Social scientists can play a key part in tackling the phenomenon of workplace bullying by developing and applying a range of research methods to capture its nature and incidence in a range of contexts. We review current methods of research into the phenomenon of bullying in the workplace. We examine definitional issues, including the type, frequency, and duration of bullying acts, and consider the role of values and norms of the workplace culture in influencing perception and measurement of bullying behavior. We distinguish methods that focus on: (a) inside perspectives on the experience of bullying (including questionnaires and surveys, self-report through diary-keeping, personal accounts through interviews, focus groups and critical incident technique, and projective techniques such as bubble dialogue); (b) outside perspectives (including observational methods and peer nominations); (c) multi-method approaches that integrate both inside and outside perspectives (including case studies). We suggest that multi-method approaches may offer a useful way forward for researchers and for practitioners anxious to assess and tackle the problem of bullying in their organizations.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CIEC - Artigos (Papers)

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