Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

David Weintraub

Committee Member

William Edmonds

Abstract

The problem that was explored in this qualitative narrative study is the prevalence of bullying in federal government offices. Bullying in the workplace has been on the rise for many years in the U.S. and globally, but research has been limited and under-researched. Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) released survey results from 2007, 2010, 2014, and 2017 confirming the existence of bullying in the workplace. Research on this phenomenon was conducted in the fields of medicine and education, but not in business. Laws and legislation have been neither developed nor enacted to address this phenomenon. Technology in the 21st century introduces another type of bullying with the use of electronic devices. Bullying in the workplace negatively affects employers, employees, and witnesses, either directly or indirectly. Bullying is the misuse of power over others, irrespective of gender or race.

The empowerment theory and catastrophe theory were applied supporting the argument that anyone can be a bully, or the victim of bullying based on the misuse of power and type(s) of personality or personalities involved, and consequences of workplace bullying affect victims, witnesses, and organizations. For this qualitative study, a questionnaire was used on a voluntary and anonymous basis within a diverse workforce of a federal agency. The anonymous survey was sent to 121 federal employees in the western United States. The results were analyzed and concluded that ways of reducing incidences of the phenomenon would be by educating employers and employees on the negative effects on individuals and organizations.

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