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Morgan-Jones, R. (2014). An Introduction to Workplace Bullying. Sheila White. London: Karnac, 2013. Organ. Soc. Dyn., 14(2):426-431.
(2014). Organizational and Social Dynamics, 14(2):426-431
An Introduction to Workplace Bullying. Sheila White. London: Karnac, 2013
Review by: Richard Morgan-Jones
This book is an important contribution in applying our work to a new field:
In the workplace and in schools the term “bullying” covers a wide range of behaviours, extending from teasing to violent assault … Overt behaviours include physical threats and verbal abuse such as ridiculing and constant criticism. Covert actions of bullies include lying, spreading malicious rumours, and undermining performance at work by denying individuals' information and access to basic materials to carry out their tasks effectively. (p. 3)
The Preface opens with clear intent: the three aims of the book are “exploring hidden worlds … of bullying”, “new ways of conceptualising bullying”, and bridging “theory and practice” (pp. xiv-xv). The first four chapters each cover the domains of: individuals, interpersonal relationships, groups, and organisational contexts. Each chapter also has a common tripartite structure moving from research reviews, to psychoanalytical theories, to answering practical concerns of those who engage with bullying behaviour that is drawn from the first two sections. Each chapter begins with an overview and key questions that are then addressed in the practical section. The final chapter provides a case study that illustrates theories and prescriptions in action.
This is a book for all engaged in working in organisations and I would particularly underline its value to authors and academics as a model of clarity of style, purpose and accessible organisation of material.
In the research surveys, the author makes great use of quotations from victims, and the reader is invited empathically to enter into their experience of suffering:
Bullying is like being on a knife-edge of fear and dread. When you get up every morning and drive to work and you get that sinking feeling … The dread is almost worse than the experience. (p.
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