Exploring Workplace Bullying in an Emergency Service Organisation in the UK

Oluwakemi Ayodeji Owoyemi, Michael Sheehan

Abstract


The data reported in this paper is drawn from a study of workplace bullying in an Emergency Service
Organisation (ESO) in the United Kingdom. This ESO is dynamic and well ordered and a key characteristic of
this organisation is that it is service driven. The most important role that many ESO members play is to save life
and to ensure that people live in a safe environment. The ESO is also highly structured, hierarchical and power
based, with a very strong discipline code. ESO staff are predominantly white male, with a high expectation that
they work as a group. The management is highly authoritarian and operates in a command and control
relationship between those that occupy a higher rank and those of lower rank. This is an exploratory research,
and the data reported in this paper was drawn from a total of 452 people who responded to a questionnaire study,
thereby achieving 25% response rate. The primary aim of the research reported in this paper is to test for
significant differences in the kinds of bullying behaviours employees are exposed to in ESO. The study explored
the different types of workplace bullying experienced. The methodology of the study incorporated online
questionnaires and a postal survey using a single instrument, the Negative Acts Questionnaire, Revised (NAQ-R).
A factor analysis and Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney Test was carried out on these three types of bullying and some of
the demographic factors such as gender, sexual orientation, age, rank, length of service in the organisation,
ethnicity and disability. The results were designated personal bullying, administrative bullying and social
exclusion. It was discovered that employees experienced different types of bullying and that bullying was part of
the culture of the organisation. The results from this study indicate that gender, sexual orientation, age,
occupational group, length of service in the organisation, ethnicity and disability all play significant roles in the
kinds of bullying behaviours to which employees are exposed.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ijbm.v6n3p63

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

International Journal of Business and Management   ISSN 1833-3850 (Print)   ISSN 1833-8119 (Online)

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