Shutting-Up or Speaking-Up: Navigating the Invisible Line between Voice and Silence in Workplace Bullying

Patricia Easteal and Allison Ballard (2017) Shutting-Up or Speaking-Up: Navigating the Invisible Line between Voice and Silence in Workplace Bullying. Alternative Law Journal 42(1), 47-54

14 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by Patricia L. Easteal

Patricia L. Easteal

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Allison J. Ballard

University of Canberra - School of Law

Date Written: May 30, 2017

Abstract

In this article, we identify and discuss individual and organisational factors which contribute to bully victims’ or targets’ decisions about whether or not to voice complaints about workplace bullying in Australian workplaces. This article examines the costs of voice and silence in workplace bullying matters for both targets and organisations. ‘Voice’ is understood as existing on a continuum, which ranges from informally voicing concerns about bullying behaviour to making a formal complaint or report within the workplace or to an external agency. The ‘silence’ of workplace bullying is also considered to exist on a continuum and may include things such as not raising the bully issue at all, exiting the workplace rather than addressing the issue, and ‘being silenced’ by external influences after having made a complaint. We suggest some organisational changes to facilitate the reporting and better handling of bullying complaints.

Keywords: bullying, silence, voice, workplace violence

JEL Classification: K10, K40, J70

Suggested Citation

Easteal, Patricia L. and Ballard, Allison J., Shutting-Up or Speaking-Up: Navigating the Invisible Line between Voice and Silence in Workplace Bullying (May 30, 2017). Patricia Easteal and Allison Ballard (2017) Shutting-Up or Speaking-Up: Navigating the Invisible Line between Voice and Silence in Workplace Bullying. Alternative Law Journal 42(1), 47-54. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2977044

Patricia L. Easteal (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

Allison J. Ballard

University of Canberra - School of Law ( email )

Australia

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