Answering five key questions about workplace bullying: How communication scholarship provides thought leadership for transforming abuse at work

Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik, Sarah Tracy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Organizational communication research is vital for understanding and addressing workplace bullying, a problem that affects nearly half of working adults and has devastating results on employee well-being and organizational productivity. A communication approach illustrates the toxic complexity of workplace bullying as it is condoned through societal discourses, sustained by receptive workplace cultures, and perpetuated through local interactions. Examining these (macro, meso, and micro) communicative elements addresses the most pressing questions about workplace bullying, including (a) how abuse manifests, (b) how employees respond, (c) why it is so harmful, (d) why resolution is so difficult, and (e) how it might be resolved. This article provides tips for addressing and transforming workplace bullying, which may be of particular interest to consultants and human resource professionals, while also offering a theoretical synthesis and launching pad for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-47
Number of pages45
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • organizational communication
  • psychological abuse
  • workplace bullying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

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