Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Neil H. Katz

Second Advisor

Judith McKay

Third Advisor

Urszula Strawinska-Zanko


abusive work environments bill, abusive workplace environment act, alternative dispute resolution, healthy workplace bill, labor relations, mobbing, organizational culture, public policy, workplace bullying


The study provided an interpretive policy analysis of the Healthy Workplace Bill, which was designed to hold employers financially liable for the reported severe cases of workplace bullying suffered by their employees. In order to facilitate this interpretive policy analysis, the study used a mixed methods research design. The quantitative data were collected through a survey administered to currently employed employees and supervisors from California and Florida who were tasked with identifying which behaviors constituted workplace bullying, workplace incivilities, and personality clashes. The qualitative data came from the original Bill, California’s Abusive Work Environments Bill, and Florida’s Abusive Workplace Environment Act. Other sources for analysis included articles, journals, and books that identify and define workplace bullying differently, an interview with an expert in the field, and a free response section in the survey.

The qualitative data subsets were analyzed using thematic analysis content analysis, referential content analysis and interpretive phenomenological methodology. The quantitative data were analyzed using descriptives and Chi-Square for Independence. The results from the qualitative and quantitative analyses were triangulated using a convergence model to identify the different points of conflict that influenced the different interpretations of workplace bullying and the resulting implications on policy formation and implementation. The analysis suggests that a lack of consistency in agreed upon terms and definitions hinders the chances of the bill to be enacted and inhibits mitigating the incidence of workplace bullying.