Towards Reducing the Harm: Workplace Bullying as Workplace Corruption—A Critical Review

Abstract

Workplace bullying and workplace corruption are both disturbing workplace phenomena. However, despite considerable research into both, there remains insufficient understanding of either, including scant recognition that, at times, they may intersect. A critical review of what have been hitherto quite separate literatures is undertaken for the purpose of developing a research agenda that recognises the potential areas of overlap. Rather than isolating and distinguishing the two constructs, or attempting to link or explain their complex causes, secondary analysis of the respective literatures is critically undertaken to showcase the possible overlaps that can exist. What is presented is evidence from the literature that, sometimes, acts of workplace bullying are also acts of corruption, and have rarely been recognised as such previously. Recognising this overlap is intended to encourage the emergence of a new, and much needed, research agenda. Increased understanding of both these harmful workplace phenomena can then emerge to make our workplaces safer—for employees, employers, and the organisations that employ them.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    It is beyond the scope of this analysis to explore what those more informed responses might be; that has been dealt with elsewhere (Vickers 2013).

  2. 2.

    It is not my purpose to present a comparative analysis of corruption legislation around the world; just to persuade readers that, sometimes, acts of bullying can also comprise acts of corruption.

  3. 3.

    Those oblivious to wrongdoing can exist in organisations, but are unlikely to remain unknowing, especially if bullying and/or corrupt behaviours continue over extended periods of time. For this analysis, I will restrict my remarks here to those that do know, and stand by and do nothing.

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Vickers, M.H. Towards Reducing the Harm: Workplace Bullying as Workplace Corruption—A Critical Review. Employ Respons Rights J 26, 95–113 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10672-013-9231-0

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Keywords

  • Workplace bullying
  • Corruption
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Secondary data analysis