Third Party Intervention into Workplace Bullying
: an exploratory study.

  • James Williams

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Research into interventions in workplace bullying appears to be largely under researched despite widespread acceptance that action is required. Many studies exist that have explored what needs to occur to deal with workplace bullying. It is apparent however that there is a general struggle over what people should actually do, making the absence of intervention studies somewhat puzzling. This thesis studies a microcosm of what interventions may take place through a national helpline run by Acas, a UK based Government funded organisation with a remit to help resolve workplace relations conflicts.

    Adopting a framework of social construction, this thesis, using interviews and focus groups, has sought to answer the question, "What role does the Acas helpline fulfil when intervening in cases of alleged workplace bullying?"

    This thesis finds a relatively uniform response from participants which shows a lack of clarity of understanding as to what bullying at work means. Participants also demonstrate the impossible task of providing a singular route to intervention because of the multifaceted nature of the phenomenon. Similarly, the capacity for interventions to provide solutions that satisfy the callers' expectations falls someway short of what was hoped for. This is not a failing of Acas as an organisation. Rather, it illustrates the complexity of providing interventions for complex subjective situations, such as workplace bullying, using a telephone helpline.
    Date of AwardDec 2008
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMichael Sheehan (Supervisor) & Duncan Lewis (Supervisor)

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