Workplace Bullying Policies: A Review of Best Practices and Research on Effectiveness

Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassment book series (HWBEAH, volume 3)


Since the introduction of the concept of workplace bullying (WPB), there has been a great deal of scientific and popular press literature building awareness of the concept and the need for protection of employees in the workplace. WPB policies provide a crucial part of this employee protection. The presence and content of WPB policies may be prescribed by law, but in many countries, this is not the case. Nevertheless, as policies have been developed, tried and tested through complaints, grievance procedures and court cases, best practices have been studied and introduced.

These developments notwithstanding, the research on the effectiveness of WPB policies lags behind research on best practices. For example, WPB policies have been suggested to act as a preventive strategy through raising awareness, yet the literature examining implementation and awareness penetration of WPB policies is currently very limited. This chapter explores the extant literature on the need for WPB policies, the relationship between law and policies and the best practice content and practices associated with developing WPB policies. It also provides reference information helpful in developing practical and effective policies and reviews current research examining the impact and effectiveness of WPB policies and governance practices. The chapter sets out a research agenda for the future to address gaps in the literature. Finally, it acknowledges that WPB policies are only one of a range of interventions and initiatives required to address this concern and outline other methods of prevention and remediation.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Janus Associates Psychological ServicesCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK
  3. 3.Top Drawer ConsultantsAucklandNew Zealand

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