Speaking Up or Staying Silent in Bullying Situations: The Significance of Management Control

19 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2018

See all articles by Juliet MacMahon

Juliet MacMahon

University of Limerick

Michelle O'Sullivan

University of Limerick

Caroline Murphy

King's College London - Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN)

Lorraine Ryan

University of Limerick

Sarah MacCurtain

University of Limerick

Date Written: November 2018

Abstract

A frequent prescription for providing voice for employees with respect to bullying is a policy supported by a procedural complaint mechanism. Yet research points to a pervasiveness of employee silence in workplaces in situations of workplace bullying. We examine the efficacy of workplace bullying procedures as a voice mechanism for employees in countering bullying and explore the role of management in shaping employee propensity to speak out against bullying utilising procedures. In doing so, we advance knowledge on workplace bullying by using an industrial relations perspective and placing employer control as a conceptual lens. Based on a large survey of nurses in Ireland, the findings demonstrate that managerial actions have significant influence on employees' propensity to utilise bullying procedures. The findings also provide some empirical support for the premise that management seek to use bullying behaviours to constrain employees' contestation of management decision making.

Suggested Citation

MacMahon, Juliet and O'Sullivan, Michelle and Murphy, Caroline and Ryan, Lorraine and MacCurtain, Sarah, Speaking Up or Staying Silent in Bullying Situations: The Significance of Management Control (November 2018). Industrial Relations Journal, Vol. 49, Issue 5-6, pp. 473-491, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3306797 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/irj.12230

Juliet MacMahon (Contact Author)

University of Limerick

Castletroy, Co
Limerick
Ireland

Michelle O'Sullivan

University of Limerick

Castletroy, Co
Limerick
Ireland

Caroline Murphy

King's College London - Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN)

United Kingdom

Lorraine Ryan

University of Limerick

Castletroy, Co
Limerick
Ireland

Sarah MacCurtain

University of Limerick ( email )

Castletroy, Co
Limerick
Ireland

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