By any other name
American perspectives on workplace bullyingLoraleigh Keashly and Karen Jagatic
The intent of this chapter is to share research findings, as well as key conceptual and methodological challenges, from the North American literature on hostile behaviours at work that we believe are relevant to workplace bullying. One of the challenges we face in undertaking this task is that research on hostile workplace behaviours can be found in a variety of literatures (organisational/management, public health, substance abuse, sociological, medical, nursing, legal, and educational, to name a few), and under a variety of names, such as 'workplace aggression' (Neuman and Baron, 1997), 'workplace incivility' (Andersson and Pearson, 1999), 'emotional abuse' (Keashly, 1998), 'generalised workplace abuse' (Richman et al.
, 1999) and 'workplace harassment' (Brodsky, 1976). Our survey is limited to research in which the behaviours and the relationships under investigation:
|1 include non-physical forms of hostility and aggression (i.e. this review is not about physical violence at work, but about aggression in various forms); |
|2 do not include the sexual harassment literature as that is comprehensively discussed elsewhere (e.g. Fitzgerald and Shullman, 1993); |
|3 focus on actions that occur between organisational insiders, such as co-workers, supervisors and subordinates; |
|4 cause harm, broadly defined (i.e. physical, psychological, individual, organisational). |
Even within these parameters, we are aware that our survey is not exhaustive of all relevant literature on the American side of the pond; rather, it is exemplary of it.
A secondary intent of this chapter is to facilitate awareness of and communication among the various literatures that speak to hostile workplace interactions. A serious difficulty is that a number of literatures focused on hostile workplace behaviours appear to have developed in