An exploration of nurses' experiences of workplace bullying

Stephanis Norris (2003). An exploration of nurses' experiences of workplace bullying Honours Thesis, School of Business, The University of Queensland.

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Author Stephanis Norris
Thesis Title An exploration of nurses' experiences of workplace bullying
School, Centre or Institute School of Business
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr. Anne Pisarski
Dr Madeleine Brabant
Total pages 84
Language eng
Subjects 1503 Business and Management
150305 Human Resources Management
Formatted abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to empirically test the Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf and Cooper (2003) bullying theoretical framework and extend it by adding assertive communication response. In order to achieve this, two qualitative studies were conducted. The first study aimed at determining Australian nurses' experience bullying in the workplace. Focus groups were used to collect this data. The second study aimed at contributing new knowledge to workplace bullying research. In this study, in depth interviews were used to empirically test the suitability of Einarsen et al (2003) bullying theoretical framework, in the context of the nursing industry. In addition to this, the second study sought to extend the Einarsen et al (2003) bullying theoretical framework by adding the assertive communication response. This involved gaining an idea of the participant's use of communicative responses to bullying behaviours, and how effective they reported these responses to be. The organisation used for the study was a large metropolitan hospital. Participants involved in both studies were nurses and were chosen by convenience sample. A total of 23 nurse participants were involved in the study. The first study consisted of two focus groups with seven participants per group and nine participants in the second study participated in semi-structured interviews. Participants in both studies were employed full time, had been working in the nursing industry for over eighteen months with over two years experience working in the organisation. Focus group and interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was performed. Results for the studies are reported separately. The findings related to the nurse's experience and descriptions of bullying behaviour supported current literature on the Australian nurses experience of bullying in the workplace. Findings associated with the use of assertive communication, found that nurses used three different types of communicative responses to bullying behaviour. These were assertive, passive and no response. The use of assertive communication in response to bullying restored balance to the bully-victim relationship and resulted in a more positive effect on the individual and the organisation than other types of communication responses. This finding is central to the suggestion that assertiveness training allows the victim to learn skills that enable them to work towards positive working relationships. The main contribution of this study is that it empirically tested and expanded upon the Einarsen et al (2003) bullying theoretical framework finding partial support for the model.

Keyword Workplace bullying

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