, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 213-229
Date: 18 Feb 2009

“The Worse You Behave, The More You Seem, to be Rewarded”: Bullying in Nursing as Organizational Corruption

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Abstract

This paper reports findings from the first, qualitative stage of a national sequential, mixed method study of bullying in the Australian nursing workplace. Twenty-six nurses who had experience of workplace bullying were recruited from two Australian public sector health care organizations. Examining the narrative data from the viewpoint of bullying being a corrupt activity we present an alternative perspective on group acts of bullying. By exploring bullying as corrupt behaviour, this paper challenges the assumption that bullying can be principally considered a series of isolated events stemming from interpersonal conflict, organizational pressures, or poor work design. Corruption in organizations has not previously been linked with or compared to bullying. In revealing the manner in which actors can engage in corrupt conduct that includes bullying, the findings from our study offer important implications for the management of workplace bullying as a serious and corrupt activity.