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An Investigation of Organizational and Regulatory Discourses of Workplace Bullying
Workplace Health & Safety
  • Susan L. Johnson, University of Washington Tacoma
  • Doris M. Boutain
  • Jenny H.-C. Tsai
  • Arnold B. Castro
Publication Date
Document Type
Organizations use policies to set standards for employee behaviors. Although many organizations have policies that address workplace bullying, previous studies have found that these policies affect neither workplace bullying for targets who are seeking assistance in ending the behaviors nor managers who must address incidents of bullying. This article presents the findings of a study that used critical discourse analysis to examine the language used in policies written by health care organizations and regulatory agencies to regulate workplace bullying. The findings suggest that the discussion of workplace bullying overlaps with discussions of disruptive behaviors and harassment. This lack of conceptual clarity can create difficulty for managers in identifying, naming, and disciplining incidents of workplace bullying. The documents also primarily discussed workplace bullying as a patient safety concern. This language is in conflict with organizations attending to worker well-being with regard to workplace bullying.
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Citation Information
Susan L. Johnson, Doris M. Boutain, Jenny H.-C. Tsai and Arnold B. Castro. "An Investigation of Organizational and Regulatory Discourses of Workplace Bullying" Workplace Health & Safety Vol. 63 Iss. 10 (2015) p. 452 - 461
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