Workplace bullying : a study of targets' experiences of bullying and of supports in the workplace

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Cahill, Eileen
Issue Date
BA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of this study is to examine the experiences of nine people who were subjected to and in some cases are still experiencing bullying in their places of work, and how their experiences impact on their lives. The study also exalnined their perceptions of support systems available to theln in the workplace as they attempted to bring what they were experiencing to light. A qualitative approach was used with one-to-one semi-structured interviews, which were recorded, and subsequently transcribed in full and subjected to a thelnatic analysis. Results show that bullying at work can cause severe psychological affects. It also impacts negatively on targets' physical health, and sense of wellbeing. These affects are compounded by management and trade union / staff association inertia in tackling the probleln, and by a lack of awareness of any Employee Assistance Programme which might Initigate the severity of its impact. Allowing the bullying to go unheeded long after it had been first brought to notice, caused the greatest distress to many of those people interviewed for this study. Recruitment to managerial positions without proper procedures and adequate training, allowed inept people hold positions of power which they abused. It appears that any inroads into the problem of workplace bullying must first start at management level.