Workplace Bullying and the Role Restorative Practices Can Play in Preventing and Addressing the Problem
Industrial Law Journal, Vol. 32, p. 2331, October 2011
36 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2011 Last revised: 4 Dec 2011
Date Written: August 24, 2011
This article builds on my previous work on K-12 bullying and bullying in college and universities. Much like school bullying, workplace bullying, including violence and harassment, disrupts individuals and the companies for which they work. Currently, companies, policymakers and academics around the world struggle with the best approach for addressing this inappropriate behavior. In a recent article, Professor David Yamada invited academics and practitioners to consider how therapeutic jurisprudence may impact the problem of workplace bullying. Accepting Professor Yamada’s invitation to join in this dialogue, I urge companies and policymakers that seek guidance on this issue to look to forward-thinking schools and juvenile justice systems that incorporate restorative principles and practices. These institutions report positive results and less problem behavior after using restorative practices. Companies likewise can benefit from using restorative practices when addressing bullying.
This article documents the prevalence of workplace bullying and the human and capital costs of such behavior. The article then briefly describes the concept of restorative practices and analyzes the benefits and opportunities the approach would have in the context of workplace bullying. The final section of the article explores potential roadblocks to implementing restorative practices in the workplace and concludes by offering concrete ideas on future steps companies and policymakers should take to implement restorative practices.
Keywords: therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, workplace bullying
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation