Publication Details

Kelly, DJ, Reviewing Workplace Bullying: Strengthening approaches to complex phenomena, Journal of Occupational Health and Safety – Australia and New Zealand, 21(6), December 2005, 551-564. Copyright CCH Australia 2005.


Workplace bullying is a growing problem which is costly for organisations and individual targets. The costs for organisations include loss of productivity and increased insurance costs, as rising stress claims generate rises in premiums. Measuring the costs to individuals or the ethical capital of an organisation is much more difficult but just as important. This paper seeks to understand the research practices in bullying in order to identify potential needs for research and practice. After examining the nature and extent of workplace bullying, approaches to bullying are surveyed, revealing how different disciplines and professions investigate workplace bullying. The importance of context is considered. It is then argued that, while there is extensive empirical and analytical research in each field of study, new research perspectives (especially in areas such as ethics), closer integration of the different approaches and obtaining a wider audience may reduce the incidence and impact of bullying