Voices in the social construction of bullying at work: exploring multiple realities in further and higher education
by Duncan Lewis
International Journal of Management and Decision Making (IJMDM), Vol. 4, No. 1, 2003

Abstract: Further and higher education in the United Kingdom (UK) have undergone radical change programs largely as a result of government policy and the opening up of these sectors to increased levels of competition. The speed with which these enforced changes have taken place have led to claims of bullying and ''macho-management'' inside institutions by a range of different commentators including the news media and trade unions. In exploring the link between the accounts of bullying portrayed by the media and trade unions, this paper reports how a study of university and college lecturers reveals a marginal role for these moral agents of bullying in the social construction process. In exploring the relationship between information on bullying and respondents experiences of bullying, this paper illustrates that it is work colleagues who are the strongest constituent in the social construction process. It appears that work colleagues play a critical role with the identification of being bullied, as well as with the possible causes of bullying and are central to the generation of both meanings and labels for workplace bullying.

Online publication date: Fri, 18-Jul-2003

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