We have developed the following database of research theses on bullying from all academic institutions in the UK and Ireland. The aim of this database is to assist those who are interested in the field of bullying and want to see what research has already been done. We have attempted to ensure that we have included all relevant theses here; but if there is an omission please let us know by emailing geraldine.kiernan@dcu.ie

The database is here for information purposes. Those who want access to the texts of the theses need to contact the author, the relevant institution, or both.

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  • Public/ private sector employee perceptions and experiences of workplace cyberbullying 
    2017
    Kelly, Eoin
    Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
    While cyberbullying in education is a widely studied topic, research into workplace cyberbullying is less well represented in the literature.  There are a number of approaches taken in the literature to defining the topic which results in a lack of an agreed definition on which to base future research.  Using a qualitative approach involving in-depth face to face interviews with fifteen participants this study aimed to produce a definition of workplace cyberbullying grounded in the literature and supported by real world experience.  Additionally, a comparison of the perceptions and the prevalence of workplace cyberbullying between the public and private sectors was undertaken.  The definition of workplace cyberbullying produced was: Any act, intended to cause harm or perceived as harmful in the workplace that is delivered through digital means.  The results of this study indicate that there is little difference between the two sectors regarding the perceptions of what constitutes cyberbullying in the workplace, with email misuse being the single most reported avenue for workplace cyberbullying.  The implications of the study are that email misuse is a common cause of workplace cyberbullying in the workplace and given the high number of participants in the current study reporting experiencing workplace cyberbullying further research is recommended to quantify the extent of the issue.
  • The impact of self-generated images in online pornography
    2017
    Monaghan, Andy
    Middlesex University
    This investigation seeks to evaluate the impact on individuals, and society, of Self-Generated Images (SGI’s) in online pornography. It presents an inquiry into the extent, and modes, of SGI use among a large sample of adult internet users. This form the initial platform for a theoretical analysis of the rapidly emerging topic, alongside an empirical investigation into how SGI’s are used, and criminally abused. A mixed research method strategy was consequently adopted, employing a quantitative anonymous online survey (Stage 1), qualitative face-to-face interviews with serving Metropolitan Police Service officers in the SOECA unit (Stage 2), and qualitative Skype interviews with active SGI users (Stage 3). The thesis is divided into three main sections. Firstly, in chapters one-to-four, the context for this study into SGI’s is explained, including the specific UK statute laws regarding licit and illicit pornographic images. Commonly used pornographic terminologies are defined. Furthermore, existent research on the topic of SGI’s/online pornography is scrutinized, and several theoretical issues are given a discourse in relation to SGI’s. An analysis of the free speech/online pornography debate is included, together with an examination of the criminal abuse of SGI’s. The second part, chapter five, provides a rationale for the adoption of a mixed research methods strategy in pursuing the aims of this study. Many methodological issues regarding the three stages of the primary fieldwork are addressed; these include: ontology, epistemology, research paradigms and axiology, ethical underpinnings, practical considerations, and the strengths and limitations of methods chosen. In the third section, chapters six-to-eight, the study’s key findings include a taxonomy of the six main types of SGI. Passive SGI viewing is very pervasive, particularly among the key demographic groups of younger adults, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) and males, and may be becoming the norm. Free PornTube websites are predominately used; but also, increasingly, social network sites (SNS’s) and messaging/image sharing apps. Most adults use SGI’s safely for sexual stimulation; however, some use them for educational and humorous purposes. For a minority of active creators of SGI’s, disastrous personal consequences can result because of subsequent criminal abuse, including cyber-bullying/trolling, sextortion, etc. Gay and bisexual men have highly accelerated rates of SGI use on hooking-up sites, often leading to hazardous risk taking. Children face grave dangers from making and sharing sexualised SGI’s as online child sexual abuse (CSA), grooming and sextortion, etc. may transpire. In the UK’s schools, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), and Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), are in a parlous state regarding the issues and dangers of SGI’s. Finally, this inquiry provides some original insights into the areas of applying and generating theories, using mixed research methods, and the empirical findings uncovered.
  • A study of school anti-bullying policy in Taiwan
    2017
    Chung, Ming-Lun
    University of Sheffield
    This thesis explores the scale of bullying in Taiwanese schools and the impact of school anti-bullying policies. Critical realism is used in this policy-related research to argue against current empirical bullying research mainstream and how it may be possible to conduct scientific policy research in Taiwan. The thesis is divided into two parts, covering the literature review and methodology (four chapters in part one) and analysis of the case study in Taiwan (three chapters in part two). This research endeavours to link critical realism with empirical research to deepen our understanding of the school anti-bullying policy structure in Taiwan. The thesis begins with the exploration of the conceptualisation and development of bullying research in Chapter 2 whose main purpose is to capture the definition of bullying and the prevalence of school bullying in different countries and then illustrate the main research areas and the international trend of bullying research. Following Chapter 2, bullying-related theories and approaches to bullying research are highlighted in Chapter 3 and policy process theories and school anti-bullying policies are touched on in Chapter 4 in term of policy agenda setting, policy formulation and policy implementation consideration. A crucial role is played by Chapter 5 which focuses on the philosophical discussion of critical social research (ontology, epistemology and methodology) with reference to the appropriate use of practical methods and related ethical issues. This chapter sets out to explain how critical realism could function in this research to bridge the gap between the literature review and the case study research. In part two, three chapters discuss the formation of school anti-bullying policy in Taiwan. Chapter 6, which is an historical inquiry, illuminates the trajectory of school regulation policies with regard to the democratic transformation of a political system since 1945 in Taiwan. After the historical discussion, light is shed on empirical inquiry into school anti-bullying policy in Chapter 7, which analyses different debates over school anti-bullying policy and power struggles between four different policy stakeholders. Most importantly, Chapter 8 attempts to theorise the ‘generative mechanism’ behind the policy making process and the inferential logic of knowledge production is also considered at the end of this chapter. In addition, reflection on the generative mechanism and collective agency of community and professional groups in policy making are also involved. The concluding chapter reflects on the use of theories, methodology and the research findings in answer to the research questions and elaborates on the compatibility of critical realism, the critical qualitative case study and school anti-bullying policy research in Taiwan. To be reflexive this chapter finishes by looking at further research directions for policy making and practice between political governance, policy research and school practice.
  • Multivariate approaches to school climate factors and school outcomes
    2016
    Carrasco Ogaz, Diego Alonso
    University of Sussex
    School climate is a crucial concept used to explain school differences. Nevertheless, this concept is elusive in the literature, conveying different meanings. To address the relation between school climate and school outcomes, its historical roots are reviewed and a multivariate approach to it is proposed, in contrast to a unidimensional conception. In four papers, this strategy is used to study associations among various school climate factors (SCFs) and school outcomes, including teacher turnover, teacher job satisfaction, students' math achievement, and students' social attitudes. In paper 1, schools serving more socioeconomically disadvantaged students are found to present higher rates of teacher turnover. A complementary study shows that SCFs (supportive school leadership, positive school relationships, and academic monitoring) present differing effects on teacher turnover. In paper 2, the relationships between SCFs (teacher student relations and school discipline) and teachers' job satisfaction and withdrawal cognitions (intentions to quit) are estimated. These SCFs appear to play a protective role with respect to teachers' withdrawal cognitions, and these effects are indirect via their relationship to teachers' job satisfaction. In paper 3, the relationship between the experience of bullying and students' achievement is addressed. The relationship is found to be indirect, with key roles played by perceptions of school belonging and students' classroom engagement. Finally, in paper 4 the relationship between civic knowledge and the endorsement of democratic values is estimated. This link is found to be partially mediated by ideological beliefs (authoritarianism), and the role of open classroom discussion (a SCF) as a moderator of these effects is demonstrated. This work demonstrates that in order to specify theory-driven models of different school outcomes, school climate should be conceptualized as diverse social-contextual effects operating in a complex multivariate setting with mediated and moderated pathways to outcomes.
  • Speaking of angels: intellectual disability, identity and further education in malta
    2016
    Casha, Sonja
    University of Birmingham
    The number of students with intellectual disabilities who continue studying past compulsory education in Malta is abysmal. This has spurred the choice of my research which aims to identify the factors that affect this phenomenon. This study uses first-hand accounts by individuals with intellectual disabilities on their experience of further education (FE) in Malta and attempts to highlight the associated benefits and barriers experienced. The results of this study have shown that although factors affecting FE inclusion in Malta are varied, the participants of the study focused primarily on the negative barriers arising from past school experience. The level of bullying and isolation experienced in mainstream school environments is considered a predominant factor in the choice of not pursuing FE. Another emerging factor is the lack of choice for students with intellectual disabilities to stand by their own wishes including the choice of whether or not to enter FE. This is considered to be due to an entrenched paternalistic attitude inherent in Maltese society which may originate from the island’s Catholic roots. These socio-cultural attitudes relegate people with intellectual disabilities to passive receivers of charity. It is perhaps these same attitudes that limit the accessibility also within FE in Malta as reported by the study participants. These factors are seen as playing a significant part in the reasons for such low participation of students with intellectual disabilities in FE locally. These barriers limit the opportunities for this student cohort to enjoy the benefits of FE which were identified primarily to be social integration, employment and independence.
  • How can young people, aged 14-16 years with mental health problems, be better supported in mainstream education?
    2016
    Hart, Tania Elizabeth
    University of Leicester
    Although research suggests that learning and well-being are synergistic there is a lack of research focusing on the school experiences of children with intrinsic mental health problems. The aim of this research was to explore how these children perceived they could be better supported at school. The additional perspectives of their parents and teachers gave further insight into their worlds. The research objective was to examine how schools and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) could strengthen their assistance. A qualitative design was used, underpinned by a social constructionist theoretical framework. Fourteen children were recruited via CAMHS. Children, parents and teachers participated in semi-structured interviews. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings indicated, to thrive emotionally and academically, these children needed to feel they belonged at school. This was pre-requisite to accepting enhanced individualised support. A sense of belonging was only apparent when the child was free from victimisation (bullying, discrimination and stigmatisation) and had good peer and teacher relationships. Belonging was promoted by increasing the child’s emotional security, which was enhanced by promoting teacher mental health knowledge, nurturing teacher and peer relationships and sensitively ensuring disclosure and confidentiality. When the children accepted assistance, they valued support that empowered them to cope resiliently at school. For example, practical one-to-one teacher help and CAMHS assistance in deciding what personal information should be shared with the school, along with emotional help with school problems. In conclusion, schools must promote a safe caring ethos, whereby emotionally literate teachers balance child wellbeing with attainment goals. Schools and CAMHS should tackle school distress and promote child resilience together. Presently, a lack of resource and time can prevent this, so more directives and mechanisms are needed. At the heart of this planning should be the child’s voice, as presently support is predominantly adult driven.
  • An investigation of bullying of, and with, primary school girls: a pupil research project
    2016
    Hearn, Helen
    The University of Nottingham
    Bullying is a social phenomenon that impacts girls and boys inside and outside of school at both primary and secondary school age and is recognised as a social problem both by academic researchers and in the ‘real world’ by the media and by anti-bullying charities. Although bullying is a widely used concept there is no universal definition. Research on bullying has been conducted over the past four decades looking at various aspects from prevalence and severity to coping strategies and effectiveness of interventions. Studies have also considered specific types of bullying and sex differences but these studies do not consider the full variety of types of bullying boys and girls use or which ones are the most upsetting to experience. Most of the studies on girls’ bullying have been conducted in secondary schools; less attention has been given to tweenage girls. This research redressed this imbalance. It began from the position that it is important for adults to listen to tweenage girls’ views as they may have different understandings of bullying compared to adults and this may have policy implications. It assumed that girls were experts on bullying that happened to girls their age in their school. Weekly research lunch club sessions were used with 32 tweenage girl research advisers/assistants from three primary schools. Together we listened to tweenage girls’ views of bullying broadly through developing and administering questionnaires, conducting group interviews and designing anti-bullying resources to be used in their schools. In addition, I conducted one-off focus groups with 11 teenage girls as a comparison to consider age differences in girls’ views. I argue that this research revealed that both girls’ bullying and using pupil research to engage with tweenage girls’ views on this topic was messy and complex. While relational aggression between girls was reported to be most prevalent and severe, focusing on this alone does not reflect the full extent of the behaviours used in girls’ bullying. Both the tweenage and teenage girls’ views on bullying, coping strategies and anti-bullying interventions were similar and were only subtly different in the detail. The research decisions were influenced in an ongoing process by the wants and expectations of the girls, the schools and the researcher and changed through the prolonged interactions during the research. I also argue that ethical practice was an ongoing process and using pupil research created further ethical dilemmas. Although pupil research with tweenage girls on girls’ bullying was challenging and messy, this research gives an example of how it is a viable, successful way to engage with pupils on this sensitive topic. The use of girls’ free time at lunchtimes showed how pupil research positioned as an extra-curricular activity enabled marginalised voices to be heard and was beneficial for the girls, the schools and the researcher involved. This research suggests ways in which school based anti-bullying policies and practices might be more nuanced to take account of the variety of experiences, understandings and preferences for intervention that exist if they engaged in pupil research. There has been little discussion of the issues of the messiness of research and the ongoing nature of ethical practice in either the pupil research literature or methods texts generally for researchers to refer to. I suggest that it would be useful for others to share their messy experiences of pupil research and the ongoing ethical issues they encounter to enable future researchers to be somewhat prepared and confident in responding to the challenges they may face in their own research.
  • A mixed methods investigation of a typology of reactive and proactive aggression
    2016
    Hopkins, L.
    Coventry University
    The overarching aim of the thesis was to identify and explore a behavioural typology of the use of reactive and proactive aggression in a sample of 9-14 year-old English children and adolescents. To date, few studies have employed a person centred approach to investigate behavioural patterns of the use of both reactive and proactive aggression. Of these only two have investigated the behaviour of community, rather than specialised or clinical participant samples (Crapanzano, Frick and Terranova 2010; Mayberry and Espelage 2007). However, these two studies employed methods which raise questions regarding the reliability and/or generalisability of the results obtained. For example, neither study asked participants whether they had actually engaged in the behaviours of interest; rather they asked children to report on how likely they felt they were to react in the same way as described in a list of aggressive scenarios presented to them. As such the studies did not actually record engagement in aggressive behaviour, rather the participants' perceived likelihood that they would behave in a certain way. Furthermore, neither study was conducted in the UK, leading to questions of generalisability between participant samples. Both research and school policy in England and Wales has focused on exploring the use of proactive forms of aggression (including bullying) in schools, and reactive aggression has to date been neglected. However, it is essential that we identify the prevalence and patterns of the use of both reactive and proactive forms of aggression as both are prevalent in schools and place children and adolescents at risk of harm. Employing a mixed methodological approach, a two-phased data collection procedure was followed to identify and explore a behavioural typology of the use of reactive and proactive aggression and differences in associated demographic, behavioural and socio-cognitive risk factors between the behavioural groups identified. In Phase 1, focus groups were conducted with 57 (20 males, 37 females) children and adolescents aged 9 – 18 years, in order to understand how they define terminology utilised across the research literature to describe acts of negative interpersonal behaviour. Across three data collection sites participants reported consistent definitions of the terms provided to them and differentiated between the terms aggression, violence and bullying. Social representations of the reasons they believed people engaged and avoided engaging in interpersonal aggression also emerged from their talk. These related to the role of taking the perspective, or empathising with others and the perception of a level of justification for certain types of behaviour, enacted under certain conditions. In Phase 2 a survey design was used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data from 658 children and adolescents aged 9-14 years (302 males, 356 females). The aim of Phase 2 was to identify a behavioural typology of the use of reactive and proactive aggression based on self-report data collected using a modified version of the Reactive-Proactive Aggression Questionnaire (RPAQ; Raine et al 2006). Once the behavioural subtypes were identified, associations between subtype and, involvement in bullying relationships, demographic (age and gender) and social-cognitive characteristics (empathy, perceived acceptance of behaviour and social representations of why people become involved in negative interpersonal interactions) were examined. Cluster analysis of the RPAQ data identified three distinct behavioural groups characterised by lower than the sample median use of both types of behaviour (Low Aggression: characterising 57.1% of the sample), Moderate-high reactive and Low-moderate proactive aggression (characterising 34.4% of the sample), and finally a group indicating frequent use of both reactive and proactive aggression (High Aggression: characterising 8.5% of the sample). The only age and gender related differences within the clusters were found in the low frequency aggression cluster. Specifically, there were a greater proportion of females compared to males in this cluster. The only age related difference found was a greater percentage of primary school children compared to 13-14 year olds in the Low aggression cluster. Group membership was found to be associated with self-reported bullying as measured by the Peer Victimization and Bullying Scale (Mynard and Joseph 2000). The High frequency aggression cluster contained a significantly higher percentage of those indicating being a bully or a bully-victim compared to the other two clusters. Whereas the Low frequency cluster contained a significantly higher percentage of those indicating not being involved in bullying compared to the other two clusters. However, reporting being a victim of bullying was not associated with any one of the three clusters. Of the socio-cognitive variables, a significant incremental increase was found in the perceived acceptance of both reactive and proactive aggression as the reported frequency of the use of both types of behaviour increased across the three behavioural groups (as measured by a modified version of the RPAQ; Raine et al 2006). Conversely, an incremental decrease was observed between the frequency of the use of aggression and reported affective empathy (as measured by the Basic Empathy Scale; Jolliffe and Farrington 2006), with a significant difference being found between the Low and High frequency aggression groups. No significant differences between the groups in self-reported cognitive empathy were found. Finally, participants were asked two open-ended questions relating to their perception of why people are 'picked on', or 'pick on' others. Thematic Analysis identified a number of social representations held across the participant sample, with a further content analysis identifying that there were no significant differences in the extent to which these representations were endorsed by the three behavioural groups. The findings of the current research have important implications for our understanding of the developmental pathways for the use of reactive and proactive aggression. They identify that both types of behaviour co-occur, suggesting that the risk factors for the development of these two types of behaviour may not be so distinct and/or the risk factors associated with each are likely to co-occur. Consequently, school behaviour policies need to include strategies for addressing both forms of aggression. Interventions to reduce/prevent this behaviour need to be designed to address the risk factors which are promoting the specific motivations of both reactive and proactive behaviour.
  • The role of interpersonal sensitivity in the association between childhood bullying and paranoid ideation, in a virtual environment, in those at ultra-high risk for psychosis: an investigation of mediation effects using path analysis
    2016
    McDonnell, Geoffrey Ailbe
    University of London, King's College
    Background. Chronic exposure to stressors in childhood has been linked with heightened risk of developing symptoms of psychosis in both clinical and non-clinical populations. The association has been explicated with reference to developmental alterations in biological and psychological systems. One such stressor, being bullied in childhood, has been the focus of recent investigations. The current study endeavoured to systematically review the available evidence from studies purporting to investigate the association between childhood bullying and psychosis symptomatology. Method. A search of PubMed, Medline, PsycInfo, Embase, Scopus and Web of Science electronic databases, alongside manual searching and cross-referencing, was carried out. The quality of available evidence for and against the association was assessed using quality assessment tools found in the literature. Results. Meeting the study’s inclusion criteria were 30 studies (eighteen cross-sectional, twelve cohort). Longitudinal studies, by design, provided higher quality evidence - particularly those which examined specifically the association between the variables of interest. However, preselected key confounding variables were not always taken into account, highlighting that the association is not unequivocal and that further research is warranted. Cross-sectional studies provide lower quality of evidence (of greater variability) where severe limitations regarding the validity and generalisability of findings must be taken into account. Conclusions. Evidence suggests that the association between experience of bullying in childhood and onset of psychotic or psychotic-like symptoms of clinical and non-clinical severity is tenable. However, future research needs to re-examine the association while minimising methodological limitations including confounding variables and definitional issues. Establishment of an association warrants investigation of the mechanisms which potentially underlie it; the pre-existing, small research base on mediators and moderators of the relationships requires further attention.
  • A narrative study of adults who were bullied by a sibling in childhood
    2016
    Rahemtulla, Zara
    University of Essex
    Background: It is argued that sibling relationships are often overlooked in favour of parent child relationships. Sibling interactions have the potential to be emotionally intimate and complex, and experiences can influence later psychological development. Research exploring the significance of sibling relationships is developing, with the majority of studies focussing on the protective nature of this relationship. There has been limited curiosity into the expression of adults’ stories of being bullied by a sibling in childhood. By exploring people’s stories, this study aims to consider what it means to be bullied by a sibling – that is, it will explore the broad question of “how do adults describe and make sense of their childhood sibling bullying experiences?” Method: A qualitative research paradigm was chosen for this study. The method of narrative inquiry was employed, using the Narrative Orientated Inquiry approach. Interviews were completed with seven adults who perceived themselves to have been bullied by a sibling in childhood. Results: Adults’ experiences were understood within the context of content and form. The content of people’s stories were considered alongside the way in which they told their story, facilitating an understanding of what and how they integrated their experiences into the construction of their narrative identities. Adults described their perceptions of sibling bullying and the barriers to defining experience, as well as the impact on their later, sibling relationships. The results also indicated that emotional expression associated with the event varied for every narrator, as they moved towards integration of experience. Discussion: The findings are discussed within existing theoretical models of sibling bullying and subject and identity positioning theory. The clinical implications are framed within psychoanalytic theory and in relation to the perceived acceptability of sibling bullying.
  • To 'snitch' or not to 'snitch': Using PAR to explore bullying in a Private Day and Boarding School.
    2016
    O’Brien, Niamh.
    Anglia Ruskin University
    This study used a Participatory Action Research (PAR) framework to explore bullying in a private day and boarding school. Six students from the school were recruited and trained in research; we worked together to answer this question: What do young people in this private day and boarding school view as the core issue of bullying in the school and how do they want to address this? This thesis presents three cycles of PAR through inquiry, action and reflection: Cycle one, initiated by myself, investigated the bullying definition at the school and how this was understood by the school community. Online questionnaires and a focus group were used to collect data. Cycle two was initiated by the research team following analysis of cycle one data. The ‘core bullying issue’ was identified as that of the ‘snitch’ and how participants conceptualised ‘serious’ and ‘not serious’ bullying. Paper questionnaires and student-led interviews were used to collect data. Cycle three focussed on the tangible ‘action’ from the project: the development of a draft anti-bullying strategy for the school. This thesis has two separate contributions. Firstly there is a subject contribution about ‘snitching’; students had to navigate a complex web in their decision to ‘snitch’ or not to ‘snitch’. Deciding whether the bullying was ‘serious’ enough to ‘snitch’ impacted on their initial decision. Furthermore students needed to decide if ‘snitching’ was the right thing to do. Secondly there is a methodological contribution; I further developed an existing framework for evaluating the participation of children in research (Dual-axis Model of Participation, Moules and O’Brien, 2012), through adding the dimensions of ‘ideas’ and ‘knowledge’.
  • How young people make sense of developing and getting help for obsessive compulsive disorder
    2016
    Keyes, Carly Victoria
    University of Hertfordshire
    There has been an abundance of studies that have adopted positivist approaches, employing quantitative methods, to research OCD 'symptoms' and their underlying neurobiology and neurochemistry. There appears to be a lack of research investigating how OCD is experienced by those living with the diagnosis, and in particular the experiences of young people diagnosed with OCD. Ten young people, aged 14-17 years old, with a diagnosis of OCD were recruited from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). The young people were interviewed and a Thematic Analysis (TA) was used to analyse data. Four themes were developed through the analysis. The first theme 'Traumatic and stressful life events' found that 9 out of the 10 participants experienced at least one of the following three life events just prior to the development of their OCD: 'Hostility in the family', 'Illness and death', 'Bullying and friendlessness'. Four subthemes, 'Lack of understanding of the behaviour', 'Being secretive', 'I thought I was going crazy', and 'Feeling different', provided a richer understanding to the theme 'Responses to signs of OCD'. The four subthemes 'Feeling "right"', 'I was taking on all the responsibility', 'It's ruined everything', 'Everyday life is now in my bedroom' explored the third theme 'The battle of living with OCD'. The last theme 'Ambivalent relationship to help' described the conflict that most participants had over exposure therapy and accommodation of their OCD. Lastly, most participants felt the long waiting time for help was frustrating. The theme is fully explored by the following three subthemes: 'Conflicts of exposure therapy', 'Conflicts about accommodation of the OCD', and 'Frustrations of long waiting lists'. The themes that emerged may provide important information for clinicians and the implications of the research findings are discussed. The strengths and limitations of the study are noted and there are suggestions for future research.
  • Workplace bullying: Aggressive behaviour and the impact on job satisfaction and productivity of employees in Ireland
    2016
    Krzyznaowska, Katarzyna
    National College of Ireland
    The project aims at finding how workplace bullying affects employee productivity and performance at Ireland organizations. For that reason, quantitative research methods were employed and survey was distributed to companies, nurnsing homes, universities and posted in social media. It also finds out the impact of bullying on employee job satisfaction and productivity. The most appropriate method for the study is quantitative research design in which variables have been measured. The quantitative research design is helpful in attaining information in a numeric way, by applying this method, the variables and their relationships are being attained The analysis depicted that due to workplace bullying, the target experiences low productivity, high mental and physical stress which ultimately leads to less job satisfaction. If organizational culture and environment do not restrict such behavior, which causes bullying incidents within the company, then company may face long-term financial losses. Thus, it has been proven that negative working environment lead towards decreasing employee productivity. The correlation analysis further depicted that aggressive behavior has an impact on employee job satisfaction. The findings of the project concluded that, workplace bullying directly affect employee productivity and performance.
  • Perceptions of the mainstream school experience for students with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum conditions: an exploratory study in a u.k local authority
    2015
    Lythgoe, Christina
    University of Bristol
    Baird et al (2006) suggest that Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) affect approximately 1 % of UK students. Nearly three-quarters of students with ASC attend mainstream school provision (DfE, 2012). The research explores perceptions of provision for ASC in mainstream schools. The research involved a 20% sample (36) of the total population of students who attended primary and secondary mainstream schools in the LA and who had a diagnosis of ASC. Students were placed at school action plus on the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (DfES, 2001 ) or had a statement of special educational needs. This sample was drawn from both primary and secondary schools. This exploratory research is innovative in that attempts were made to secure both a geographical spread in the sample and a wide range of student needs. Semi-structured interviews allowed students, their parents and mainstream school staff to share perceptions of school. A mixed methods approach is adopted and both qualitative and quantitative data was collected and is discussed. Research findings indicated that students typically wanted a little more help in school. Those that wished for less help were often motivated by wishing to be seen as more independent. Students were often able to identify challenging areas of school life and frequently rated these areas as "very difficult" suggesting they caused anxiety. Typically, curriculum areas were rated as causing much more difficulty by students than social factors. Written recording was noted as a challenging feature of school. Parents appeared less concerned about curriculum difficulties compared to their children. The research identifies how some students do not always welcome help from peers and adults in school, preferring to be asked about whether they want help. Some students identified sensory issues, specifically noise, as causing difficulties. Noise made by other people was specified as challenging. The provision of a quiet area and the use of key visuals were identified as supportive by both students and staff. All staff using interventions to address emotions, for example, opportunities for students to discuss worries, reported that these were effective interventions. A high proportion of staff felt that ASC strategies are beneficial to students without ASC. Several parents valued Teacher Assistant support. They believed a good understanding of the individual was vital to including their child in school as was differentiation of response. They felt that lack of flexibility, poor communication with school or the approach adopted by certain staff could be a barrier. Parents were concerned about bullying, teasing and social issues, to a much greater degree than were their children. Some parents felt that research involving students with ASC at school should also consider the home environments. Staff and parents mentioned a good inclusive school ethos and flexible support as helpful. This research is original in considering the complexities of insider research as experienced by an Educational Psychologist researching school staff and parental views. The findings are discussed using conceptual frameworks of inclusion, child voice, Theory of Mind and a reconsideration of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (1943). This research argues that safety needs are magnified as key motivators for those with ASC.
  • The measurement and impact of workplace cyberbullying
    2015
    Farley, Samuel
    University of Sheffield
    This thesis investigates workplace cyberbullying, defined as a situation where over time, an individual is repeatedly subjected to perceived negative acts conducted through technology (for example, phone, email, web sites, social media) which are related to their work context. In this situation the target of workplace cyberbullying has difficulty defending him or herself against these actions. The thesis has two broad aims: (1) to develop a workplace cyberbullying measurement scale; and (2) to investigate the impact of workplace cyberbullying on employees. Workplace cyberbullying is conceptualised in this thesis by drawing on the traditional workplace bullying and cyberbullying literature. A rationale is presented for investigating it as a distinct form of workplace bullying and four separate studies address the development of the workplace cyberbullying measure (WCM). The first study generated measurement items by asking employees to describe cyberbullying behaviours. The behaviours were sorted into categories using content analysis and converted into measurement items. In the second study, the relative severity of each item was assessed so that the measure could be weighted according to severity. In the third study, the 34 item WCM was completed by a sample of 424 employees. A two factor structure (comprising work-related cyberbullying and person-related cyberbullying) was compared to a unidimensional factor structure and the measure was refined into a 17 item instrument. During the fourth study the nomological network of the WCM was constructed and further reliability and validity evidence was obtained. The fifth and final study then used the WCM to investigate the impact of workplace cyberbullying within a theoretical framework. The theoretical and practical contributions of the studies are discussed along with directions for future research.
  • An ethnographic study of the ways in which faith is manifested in two primary schools
    2015
    Awad, S.
    Liverpool John Moores University
    Fostering religious commitment in schools and considering children’s cultural diversity arguably enhances pupils’ tolerance and integration, which may have the potential to reduce racism and discrimination. Faith schools are religiously and culturally diverse institutions and typically appreciated for their core values, good behaviour and academic standards. However, their impact on school culture and ethos is under explored. Although, the role of faith has gained attention both in policy and practice, relatively little is known about its impact in the context of primary education. As such, this research explores the complex influence of faith on school culture and ethos. In addition, critical analysis is undertaken to investigate the impact of faith on pupils’ behaviour and understanding in school. The main research aims are to: explore the multiple ways in which faith is manifested in two schools, determine the influence of faith on school culture and ethos, and establish the impact of faith on pupils’ behaviours and understanding in school. This research takes an ethnographic approach to explore how faith is manifested in two primary schools in the North West of England. The ethnography enabled a deeper immersion in to the school culture as data were generated through observations, interviews, focus groups and documentary analysis in two schools: A denomination school, Church of England, and a community school with an Islamic ethos. The research was conducted in the North West of England which has many diverse faith-based schools. Critical Race and Feminist Theories were used as lenses of analysis to examine faith in school. Critical Race Theory is a framework employed to examine the role of race and power in education. This research provides rich ethnographic description and analysis of faith as understood, practiced and experienced in the two schools. The findings reveal two major themes, first, a mismatch between school policy/values and its practice. Second, a lack of integration of staff and children into the school. Despite schools’ efforts to embrace diversity and encourage integration, schools policies were found to be empty rhetoric with regards to fostering religious commitment and cultural diversity. Exploring the issue of recognising cultural diversity within schools, findings indicated that both schools did not acknowledge or teach other cultural traditions, therefore, impacting on issues of integration. Poor behaviour, bullying and racism amongst children were major issues at both schools. Data analysis suggests the source of misbehaviour was due to the lack of emphasis placed on teaching about different religions, insufficient knowledge of cultural traditions and lack of visits to places of worship. This research concludes that there is a need for schools to develop awareness of religions and cultural diversity; thereby, encouraging integration, community cohesion and respect for similarities and differences.
  • A qualitative exploration of how people with learning disabilities understand and respond to bullying
    2015
    Byrne, Frederick T.
    University of Surrey
    Despite reports that people with learning disabilities (PWLD) are more vulnerable to being bullied than the non-LD population, there is a paucity of research into bullying of PWLD. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 adults with LD, using bullying vignettes, to explore how PWLD understand bullying; their knowledge of coping strategies for dealing with bullying; and what PWLD understand the consequences of bullying to be. Interview data was analysed using thematic analysis and categorised into four super-ordinate themes; Bullying is a bad thing; Reasons for the bullying; Coping strategies; and Consequences of own bullying experiences. The findings are discussed in relation to attribution theory (Heider, 1958) and socio-moral reasoning theory (Gibbs, 1979; 2003). Recommendations for clinicians working with PWLD involved in bullying are made; including considering the application of the concept of the “provocative-victim” (Sheard, Clegg, Standen, & Cromby, 2001); exploring how individual’s understanding of bullying experiences in terms of attributions made and socio-moral reasoning; exploring coping strategies and addressing aggressive or avoidance-based strategies, and consequences of bullying such as social and psychological problems. Recommendations are made for future research with larger, more representative samples.
  • Understanding adolescent shame and pride in a school context: the impact of perceived academic competence and a growth mindset
    2015
    Cook, Ellen
    University of Southampton
    Shame has important implications in educational contexts for educators, children and young people. The first paper presented here is a review of the current literature on shame and explores the implications of this self-conscious achievement emotion within educational contexts. The systematic literature review demonstrated that shame experiences can have both a dysfunctional and functional role, are independent of acculturation status and are influenced by parental attitudes. Crucially, shame management can reduce bullying within schools. The review concludes by drawing attention to implications of these findings for educators and educational psychologists. The second paper, reports empirical research carried out in the field of self-conscious achievement emotions. This study investigated whether holding a growth (intelligence) mindset could reduce shame experiences and/or promote pride experiences, within a secondary school context. The study also focused on the role of perceived academic competence (i.e. the perception that one has sufficient skills and knowledge) on young people’s feelings of shame and pride. Secondary school students (N = 121, Mage= 14.3 years) completed the Scale of Personal Conceptions of Intelligence to measure their mindset, and then completed a 10-day online diary, to rate their daily shame and/or pride experiences. Participants also rated their daily perceptions of academic competence. Results revealed a negative relation between growth mindset and daily shame intensity, and a positive relation between growth mindset and daily pride intensity. Both associations were mediated by perceived academic competence. That is, a growth mindset predicted increased perceived academic competence, which, in turn, predicted reduced shame and increased pride. The findings have far-reaching implications for educators. This research also makes a novel connection between growth mindset, perceived academic competence and self-conscious emotions, within a school setting.
  • The formation, implementation and reception of gender and sexualities education in english primary schools
    2015
    Hall, Joseph James
    University of Hull
    This thesis examines the formation of gender and sexualities education and its implementation and reception in two state-funded English primary schools. The first part identifies how childhood discourses circulating in Section 28 debates influenced the trajectory of UK government legislation and guidance for gender and sexuality education. I demonstrate how anti-homophobia and anti-bullying emerged as a desexualised policy paradigm following parliamentary debates in which the Western cultural myth of ‘childhood (sexual) innocence’ was preserved. The second part explores how Stonewall (a leading Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual third sector organisation) and two pioneering English primary schools use these initiatives to create and implement gender and sexualities education. I show how social actors within these schools interpret national government policy in different and with contrasting outcomes. The final part examines how pupils (5-11 years old) respond to gender and sexualities education in the context of everyday school life. In doing so, I expose a socio-spatial underpinning to children’s simultaneous performances of acceptance and recuperation of heteronormativity where a performative self that cites recognisable liberal pluralistic equalities discourse in ‘formal’ school space can be distinguished from a performative subject that is simultaneously compelled to perform normative (hetero)gender/sexuality in ‘informal’ school space in order to achieve viable subjecthood. As such, this study provides the first comprehensive overview of gender and sexualities education in the UK, from its inception to its reception, and highlights the possibilities - as well as the limitations – of neoliberal equalities programmes based around anti-homophobia and anti-bullying.
  • A study of trainee teachers and their awareness and perceptions of sexual diversity in primary schools
    2015
    López Pereyra, Manuel
    The University of York
    Research on sexual diversity in primary schools has shown that primary school children are aware of and exposed to harassment, bullying and discrimination in schools. This study was undertaken to explore the extent to which trainee teachers are aware of and perceive sexual diversity discourses in primary schools. I focus on concern about the ways primary schools address the nature of gender stereotyping, homophobic bullying and same-sex families. Within these themes, I explore trainee teachers’ perceptions of addressing sexual diversity issues in the primary school classroom. A total of eleven trainee teachers and three educational non-governmental officers were interviewed and 198 trainee teachers responded to the questionnaire from twenty-one different universities across the United Kingdom. A feminist and queer approach was used in the research design; the analysis and interpretation of the data collected was done through interpretative phenomenological and thematic analysis. Trainee teachers’ positive perception of sexual diversity is reflected in the questionnaire data, 76.3 % of trainees think it is necessary to teach primary school children about gay and lesbian families. Nonetheless, the questionnaire data suggest there is a lack of training on addressing sexual diversity issues in the schools. The interview data showed that trainee teachers perceive themselves as role models with the responsibility of being inclusive to all students. Also, trainees acknowledge the lack of confidence to address and deal with sexual diversity issues in the school classroom. Overall, this study enhances our understanding of gender and sexualities in primary schools and extends our knowledge of trainee teacher experiences in primary schools. Drawing on these findings, future research is needed into what trainee teachers programmes should promote as teaching practices that involve diversity and inclusive pedagogies.
  • When is a bully not a bully?: a critical grounded theory approach to understanding the lived experience and organisational implications of being accused of being a workplace bully
    2015
    McGregor, Frances-Louise
    University of Huddersfield
    This research addresses the question “When is a bully not a bully?” through grounded theory using a purposive sample of volunteer participants who had been accused of workplace bullying. The aim of the study was to critically evaluate the lived experience and organisational implications of being accused of being a workplace bully, from the perspective of the (alleged) bully. The research did not set out to consider if an (alleged) bully had been guilty or innocent of the allegation put to them; it was considered that if this was deemed a criteria by the potential participant it may reduce engagement with the study. This study will contribute to the body of knowledge around the phenomenon of bullying and offers an insight into both research and further development of good organisational practice. Whilst the research on other parties involved in the issue and management of workplace bullying have developed, Einarsen (2014), Jenkins, Zapf, Winefield and Sarris (2012), Notelaers (2014) and Samnani and Singh (2012) express concern that research which explores and examines the perpetrator’s experience is scarce and needed as a priority in acknowledging the gap in current research and to develop a fuller understanding of the phenomena of workplace bullying. In a qualitative study with eight participants from a particularly difficult to access group, the researcher offers an early contribution to the current gap in literature, research and understanding of the perspective of the alleged workplace bully. Participants engaged in individual, confidential, unstructured interviews with the researcher and spoke candidly about their perceptions and the impact the accusation had on them. This was then analysed, evaluated and developed through a classical grounded theory approach to develop the theoretical model guilty until proven innocent. In discussing the participants’ concerns in this model, the research widened understanding and academic knowledge and narrowed the gap of information of the (alleged) bully’s perspective. In dealing with allegations, (alleged) workplace bullies identify with concerns of feeling bullied back, emotional reactions, self-coping mechanisms and managerial responsibility and action, from which the grounded theory guilty until proven innocent emerged. The main findings of the research emerged from the participant’s interviews; key highlights included being isolated by their organisations and subject to negative acts which would, in themselves be considered bullying behaviours. Participants then described how they would separate themselves from the organisation, despite feeling a sense of disconnected loyalty towards it. The structure of HR functions and the anti-bullying related policy had a significant influence on the negative treatment participant’s experienced, with a continual theme around the presumption the participant was guilty from the outset, by virtue of an allegation being raised. This perception was reinforced in the different way (alleged) bullies were supported and treated by their organisations from the claimants. The participants had been negatively affected by identifiable victim effect (Hamilton & Sherman, 1996), dispute-related claims (Einarsen, 1999; Keashly & Nowell, 2003) and the claimant being managed under a separate formal management procedure. The study also suggested that allegations of bullying could in themselves be a form of bullying and that there may be an element of discrimination in this on the grounds of protected characteristics. The main recommendations consider the structure of HR functions and the need for a visible and accessible personnel element necessary to begin to balance the support available for all parties, including the alleged, the alleger, bystanders, witnesses, line managers, HR and investigation managers. Further research, which tests the grounded theory of guilty until proven innocent with larger samples will extend and develop this study and test some of the resolutions and solutions offered.
  • The digital public sphere: developing a culture of democracy in contemporary nigeria
    2015
    Oladepo, Oluwatomi Temilola
    University of Warwick
    The rise of digital media in Nigerian public life is evident in a variety of contexts – from how mainstream journalists gather news and information, to how young people express their dissatisfaction with the government on matters of concern, such as the case of the 276 kidnapped Chibok Girls (April 2014). This thesis is an investigation into the growing use of digital media in Nigeria, and identifies significant developments in Nigerian democracy through a growing ‘digital public sphere’. New communication skills of dialogue and deliberation are being cultivated through an improvised and often creative use of digital media, and ‘netizens’ [citizens active on the Internet] are purposively generating social, political and cultural consciousness. To explore this embryonic digital public sphere in Nigeria, field research was conducted in the form of historical, political and interview based research with active digital media users. The interviewees featured journalists, citizen journalists, bloggers, public officials, social activists, religious leaders, and cultural producers, and revolved around current uses of digital media technologies, online dialogue and key issues, and digital media as a tool for democracy in Nigeria’s future development. Largely on the basis of the interview data, this thesis argues that despite a discernible ‘culture’ of democracy cultivated through pervasive use of digital media, a digital public sphere can only be realised in a democratic-enabling political environment. This would necessitate public officials engaging in public dialogue; protections from harassment, insults and cyber-bullying; and the digital media infrastructure being developed, accessible and affordable. Furthermore, this thesis identifies how an effective digital public sphere will only function where the agencies of mass media are willing to take more active roles in collaborating with citizens online in order to cultivate transparency in public affairs, and also disseminate vital information, and work for widespread digital access.
  • Social cognitions that normalise sexual harassment of women at work: the role of moral disengagement
    2015
    Page, Thomas Edward
    University of Kent at Canterbury
    Sexual harassment against women represents aggressive behaviour that is often enacted instrumentally, in response to a threatened sense of masculinity and male identity (cf. Maass & Cadinu, 2006). To date, however, empirical and theoretical attention to the social-cognitive processes that regulate workplace harassment is scant. Drawing on Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986), the current thesis utilises the theoretical concept of moral disengagement in order to address this important gap in the literature. According to Bandura (1990, 1999), moral standards and self-sanctions (i.e., negative emotions of guilt or shame) can be selectively deactivated through various psychosocial mechanisms. The use of these moral disengagement strategies enables a person to violate their moral principles, and perpetrate injurious behaviour without incurring self-censure. This thesis investigates the general hypothesis that moral disengagement facilitates and perpetuates workplace sexual harassment. A new conceptual framework is presented, elucidating the self-regulatory role of moral disengagement mechanisms in sexual harassment perpetration at work. Eight empirical studies are reported in this thesis. Studies 1 to 3 present the development and preliminary validation of the Moral Disengagement in Sexual Harassment Scale (MDiSH); a self-report measure of moral disengagement in the context of hostile work environment harassment. These studies document the excellent psychometric properties of this new scale. The MDiSH exhibited positive correlations with sexual harassment myth acceptance, male gender identification, and hostile sexism. In Study 3, participants were exposed to a fictitious case of hostile work environment harassment. The MDiSH attenuated moral judgment, negative emotions (guilt, shame, and anger), sympathy, and endorsement of prosocial behavioural intentions (support for restitution) associated with the harassment case. Conversely, the MDiSH increased positive affect (happiness) about the harassment, endorsement of avoidant behavioural intentions, and attribution of blame to the female complainant. Using the amalgamated samples of Studies 1 and 2, the MDiSH was winnowed down to create a short form of the scale (MDiSH-S). The analyses reported in Chapter 3 attest to the strong psychometric properties of this measure. Study 4 explores the influence of social identification on the relationship between moral disengagement and judgments of hostile work environment harassment. U.S. participants were presented with a harassment case in which the perpetrators were described as being either in-group or out-group members. Moral disengagement (as measured using the MDiSH) neutralised judgments of the harassing behaviour. However, participants were not more inclined to justify and positively re-appraise harassment that was committed by in-group perpetrators. Study 5 reveals that moral disengagement leads people to make more favourable judgments about the perpetrators of hostile work environment harassment. The neutralising effects of moral disengagement on judgments of the harassing conduct were partially mediated by a positive evaluation of the harassers (but not social identification with them). The final three studies (Studies 6, 7, and 8) investigate the role of moral disengagement in accounting for men’s self-reported proclivity to commit quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment. These studies examine the causal pathway between moral disengagement and harassment proclivity, and the psychological mechanisms (emotions and moral judgment) that underlie this relationship. Taken together, the results suggest that moral disengagement mechanisms are important social cognitions that people use to deny, downplay, and justify workplace sexual harassment. The findings of this thesis also provide preliminary support for the notion that moral disengagement is a self-regulatory process in sexual harassment perpetration at work (cf. Page & Pina, 2015). The thesis concludes with a discussion of theoretical implications of the findings, methodological limitations, practical implications, and suggestions of future research avenues.
  • Understanding the developmental decline in helpful bystander responses to bullying: the role of group processes and social-moral reasoning
    2015
    Palmer, Sally B.
    University of Kent at Canterbury
    Within this thesis the challenge of reducing bullying among children and adolescents in schools is reviewed (Chapter 2). The focus of this research was to examine the developmental decline in prosocial bystander responses to bullying (when a “bystander” is an individual who witnesses the bullying incident). To do so, a “developmental intergroup approach” (cf. Killen, Mulvey & Hitti, 2013; Rutland, Killen & Abrams, 2010) was applied to the context of bystander intentions. This approach suggests that intergroup factors such as group membership and identification, group norms, intergroup status and social-moral reasoning influence attitudes and behaviours during childhood and adolescence (e.g., Abrams, Rutland & Cameron, 2003; Rutland & Killen, 2011; Chapter 3). The present research examines whether this approach could shed light on why, with age, children become less likely to report helpful bystander intentions when faced with bullying and aggression among peers (e.g., Rigby & Johnson, 2006). Three studies were conducted, following an experimental questionnaire-based design (e.g., Abrams, Palmer, Rutland, Cameron & Van de Vyver, 2013; Nesdale & Lawson, 2011; Chapter 4). Study 1 (Chapter 5) showed support for examining group membership and group identification, group norms and social-moral reasoning) when understanding the developmental decline in helpful bystander responses. Two hundred and sixty 8-10 year olds and 13-15 year olds read about an incident of intergroup verbal aggression. Adolescent bystander intentions were influenced by norms and perceived severity of the incident. A significant moderated mediation analysis showed that the level of group identification among participants partially mediated the relationship between age and helpful bystander intentions, but only when the aggressor was an outgroup member and the victim was an ingroup member. Moral (e.g., “It’s not right to call them names”) and psychological (e.g., “It’s none of my business) reasoning differed by age and intention to help the victim or not. In Study 2 (Chapter 6) the role of intergroup bystander status and type of bystander response was manipulated. Two types of bystander norm (attitudinal and behavioural) were measured along with an exploratory examination of perceived leadership. Participants (N=221) read about an incident of verbal aggression where a bystander (who belonged to a high- or low-status group), either helped or walked away from an incident of verbal aggression. Helping bystanders were viewed more positively than those who walked away, but no effect of status on bystander evaluations was observed. However, moral reasoning was prioritised for high-status compared to low-status bystanders, regardless of their bystander behaviour. Additionally, bystander response (but not status) moderated the relationship between the behavioural norm and perceived leadership qualities. To further examine the role of norms a norm for helping versus not getting involved was manipulated in Study 3 (Chapter 7). Participants (N=230) read about deviant ingroup and outgroup bystanders who observed an incident of intergroup verbal aggression. Group membership was either school group or ethnicity (ingroup British and outgroup Travellers). Not only were participants sensitive to the group membership of the bystander, but they evaluated those who transgressed a helping norm more negatively than those who transgressed a norm not to get involved. Importantly this study also showed, for the first time, that children and adolescents are aware of group-based repercussions (e.g., social exclusion) if they do not behave in line with group norms. The studies presented within this thesis show strong support for considering group processes when examining the developmental decline in bystander responses to bullying and aggression and developing age-appropriate anti-bullying interventions. Further implications for theory, practitioners, policy and future research are discussed (see Chapter 8).
  • The nhs: a health service or a 'good news factory'?
    2015
    Pope, Rachel Anne
    The University of Manchester
    Evidence exists that the NHS has had, over many years, persistent problems of negative and intimidating behaviour towards staff from other employees in the NHS. The evidence also suggests the responses to this behaviour can be inadequate. Pope and Burnes (2013) model of organisational dysfunction is used to investigate and explain these findings. A qualitative approach was taken to research the organisational responses to negative behaviour, and the reasons and motivations for those responses. Forty three interviews and six focus groups were conducted. The Framework Method of thematic analysis was chosen for the main analysis and fourteen Framework Themes were identified. ‘3 word summaries’ of the culture were analysed. Further analysis was undertaken of words relating to fear, rationalisations/justifications, what people don’t want to do, the culture, and assumptions/beliefs. The model of organisational dysfunction has been extended. The findings show that participants consider the NHS to be a politically driven, “top down”, “command and control”, hierarchical organisation; a vast, enclosed, bureaucratic machine/system under great pressure. They believe there is a culture of elitism, fear, blame, bullying and a lack of accountability; a culture where power, self-interest and status matters. There is constant change. Saving money and achieving targets are seen to be the priority. A lack of care and humanity is described and negative behaviour seems to have become tolerated and normalised. Bullying is mentioned many times, and viewed as “rife” and “endemic”. Good practice/behaviour can be punished, and bad rewarded, as can failure. Corrupt and unethical behaviour is identified as are totalitarian and Kafkaesque characteristics. Participants describe resistance to voicing concerns and any information which puts individuals or organisations into a ‘negative light’. Employees who raise concerns can be victimised. The “top-down bullying culture ... suppresses constructive dissent”. There can be rhetoric, “empty words” and “spin”, rather than reality. A desire for “good news” and the rejection and hiding of “bad news” is described. There seem to be “islands” and “pockets” with a positive culture, however, the generalised evidence suggests the NHS is systemically and institutionally deaf, bullying, defensive and dishonest, exhibiting a resistance to ‘knowing’, denial and “wilful blindness”; a dysfunctional, perverse and troubled organisation. The NHS could also be described as a coercive bureaucracy and under certain definitions, a corrupt entity. The NHS appears to be an organisation with a heart of darkness; a “self perpetuating dysfunctional system”. There may be widespread “learned helplessness”. Overall, the needs of the NHS and the protection of image appear more important than the welfare of staff or patients. It does seem to be a “good news factory”. The NHS appears to have “lost its way” and its focus/purpose as an institution. The dysfunctional organisational behaviours manifest in the NHS need to be addressed urgently as there is a detrimental, sometimes devastating, impact on the wellbeing of both staff and patients. The NHS needs to embrace an identity of being a listening, learning and honest organisation, with a culture of respect.
  • The student bullying of teachers in Irish second level schools: exploring the influence of historical low state intervention in education on the development of contemporary policy responses in Ireland
    2015
    Rea Garrett, Lynda
    National University of Ireland, University College Cork
    The student bullying of teachers (SBT) is a distinct and complex form of bullying with a multiplicity of diverse, changeable and intersecting causes which is experienced by and affects teachers in a variety of ways. SBT is both a national and an international phenomenon which is under-recognised in academic, societal and political spheres, resulting in limited conceptual understanding and awareness of the issue. This study explores teachers’ experiences of SBT behaviours in Irish second level schools as well as teachers’ perceptions regarding training, policies and supports in Ireland to address the issue. Specifically, the study seeks to explore the influence of historical low State intervention in education on contemporary policies and supports to deal with SBT in Ireland. A mixed methods approach involving a survey of 531 second level school teachers and 17 semi-structured interviews with teachers, Year Heads and representatives from teacher trade unions and school management bodies was employed to collect and analyse data. Findings indicate that SBT behaviours are prevalent in many forms in Irish second level schools. The hidden nature of the phenomenon has simultaneously contributed to and is reinforced by limited understanding of the issue as well as teachers’ reluctance to disclose their experiences. Findings reveal that teachers perceive the contemporary policies, training and support structures in Ireland to be inadequate in equipping them to effectively deal with SBT. State intervention in addressing SBT behaviours to date, has been limited, therefore many teachers are forced to respond to the issue based on their own initiatives and assumptions rather than from an informed critically reflective approach, supported by national guidelines and sufficient State investment. This has resulted in a piecemeal, un-coordinated and ad-hoc approach to SBT in Irish schools both in terms of teachers’ management of SBT behaviours and with respect to the supports extended to staff. The potential negative consequences of SBT behaviours on teachers’ wellbeing and professional performance and thus, on the education system itself, underlines the need for a strategic, evidence-based, resourced and integrated approach which includes, as a pivotal component, consultation with teachers, whose contribution to the process is crucial.
  • An interpretative phenomenological study of young people who bully and their counsellors
    2015
    Tapson, Christine
    University of Surrey
    Despite abundant literature about bullying, previous research has predominantly focussed upon the characteristics of those who bully, peer influences in bullying and anti-bullying interventions, with little acknowledgement of how young people who bully and their counsellors experience counselling. This research seeks to address the gap by asking; how well young people who bully feel able to express themselves to their counsellor, and what facilitates or inhibits the therapeutic relationship for both counsellors and young people who bully? These research questions derive both from existing literature and my profession as a counsellor of young people who bully. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), data were gathered using focus groups and semi-structured interviews with a sample consisting of six participants representing four young people and two counsellors. In IPA, the researcher’s use of self is equally implicated in the collection and analysis of data (Smith & Osborn, 2003); consequently, my dual identity as counsellor and researcher has asserted differing perspectives. The three superordinate themes identified in the current study focus upon attachment states (Bowlby, 1977, 1988), the therapeutic relationship, and the influence of emotional management upon counsellors. Trust and risk emerged as pervading concerns for the young people and have been integrated into discussion of the superordinate themes. The research received favourable ethical opinion from the Faculty of Health and Medical Science (FHMS) ethics committee. Findings suggest that young people who bully experience insecurities which manifest as mistrust, inhibiting the relationship with their counsellor. It also appears that a counsellor’s life experiences and occupational identity variously affect the therapeutic relationship. Individual counselling may not be a panacea but I recommend that if undertaken expertly, it has potential. Future research could focus upon confidentiality where equivocal standards are confusing for young people who bully.
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