Exploration of Upwards Bullying: An Interview Study.
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Workplace bullying is a phenomenon that is attracting increasing interest from researchers and Human Resource Managers throughout the western world. To date, however, most of the research into workplace bullying has focused on managers and colleagues as the perpetrators of bullying in the workplace. Nevertheless, we argue that in the current organizational environment of rapid and discontinuous change, managers are increasingly vulnerable to workplace bullying from their staff, a phenomenon referred to as 'upwards bullying'. In the present study, eighteen managers from a range of public and private organizations were interviewed about their experience of workplace bullying. The data was coded using NVivo and results arranged thematically. While the results indicate that upwards bullying shares some similarities with other forms of workplace bullying, it was specifically characterised by perpetrators using formal grievance systems to bully their managers.
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