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An Exploration of Managers' Discourses of Workplace Bullying
Nursing Forum
  • Susan L. Johnson, University of Washington Tacoma
  • Doris M. Boutain
  • Jenny Hsin-Chun Tsai
  • Randal Beaton
  • Arnold B. de Castro
Publication Date
Document Type
Aim: To identify discourses used by hospital nursing unit managers to characterize workplace bullying, and their roles and responsibilities in workplace bullying management. Background: Nurses around the world have reported being the targets of bullying. These nurses often report that their managers do not effectively help them resolve the issue. There is scant research that examines this topic from the perspective of managers. Methods: This was a descriptive, qualitative study. Interviews were conducted with hospital nursing unit managers who were recruited via purposive and snowball sampling. Data were analyzed using Willig's Foucauldian discourse analysis. Results: Managers characterized bullying as an interpersonal issue involving the target and the perpetrator, as an intrapersonal issue attributable to characteristics of the perpetrator, or as an ambiguous situation. For interpersonal bullying, managers described supporting target's efforts to end bullying; for intrapersonal bullying, they described taking primary responsibility; and for ambiguous situations, they described several actions, including doing nothing. Conclusion: Managers have different responses to different categories of bullying. Efforts need to be made to make sure they are correctly identifying and appropriately responding to incidents of workplace bullying.
pre-print, post-print (with 12 month embargo)
Citation Information
Susan L. Johnson, Doris M. Boutain, Jenny Hsin-Chun Tsai, Randal Beaton, et al.. "An Exploration of Managers' Discourses of Workplace Bullying" Nursing Forum Vol. 50 Iss. 4 (2015) p. 265 - 273
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