Purpose – This paper aims to investigate employee reports of workplace bullying in which participants argue that poor management of bullying led to a range of health problems, both physical and mental. Design/methodology/approach – A constructivist approach is adopted to develop an understanding of individual experiences of bullying. Qualitative research interviews are used as the method of data collection and focus is on individual participants as the unit of analysis. Data are analyzed using thematic analysis in which both deductive and inductive themes are developed. Findings – Findings suggest that lack of or poor workplace bullying policies impacts are used negatively on employee health. Specifically, analysis of employee reports suggest that the inability to successfully report bullying, or have bullying complaints taken seriously leads to ongoing implications for the individual. Research implications – Future research needs to focus further on examining reasons why some organizations do not develop and implement anti‐bullying policies, as well as further investigate the characteristics of bullying cultures so that effective interventions can be developed and health issues associated with bullying minimized. Originality/value – This paper contributes to workplace health practice by providing insight into the risks that poor bullying management can have on the health of employees. It is proposed that such consequences could lead to an increase in litigations in the event that employees demonstrate that organizations have not provided a duty of care. Finally, the paper argues that organizations that do not attempt to prevent bullying may inadvertently contribute to the long‐term development of organizational cultures that tolerate harassment and abuse.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 27, 2009
Keywords: Bullying; Personal health; Qualitative research