Researching workplace bullying:the benefits of taking an integrated approach

Ralph Fevre, Amanda Robinson, Trevor Jones, Duncan Lewis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper explores the difficulties encountered by researchers attempting to measure the prevalence of negative workplace behaviours and how these might be overcome. Drawing on the first stage of a major ESRC-funded study of workplace behaviours in Britain, we demonstrate the importance of improved sampling and data collection methods. We show how judicious use of qualitative data derived from cognitive testing of survey questions can improve substantially the reliability and validity of data. In particular, we explain how a battery of questions devised by social psychologists and used as a standard measure in surveys was tested and revised following a series of 60 in-depth interviews. These revisions ranged from fairly minor changes in wording, in order to make questions better understood, to the elimination of questions which our qualitative work persuaded us were not capturing data in the way that other researchers might have assumed they did.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71 - 85
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


    • integrated approach
    • workplace bullying
    • cognitive testing
    • harassment


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