International Education Journal

Articles from the Educational Research Conference 2001


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Understanding workplace bullying: a practical application of Giddens' Structuration Theory

Rose Boucaut
University of South Australia



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Workplace bullying is a significant and complex international issue that presents a challenge for organisations to manage. It is proposed that Giddens' Theory of Structuration (1984) may provide a basis for examining the social processes involved in the approaches adopted by organisations to manage workplace bullying. This paper presents a method for understanding organisational issues related to workplace bullying. The process of developing the individual interview questions is described. Giddens' Theory of Structuration (1984) provides the theoretical background for the questions. In 1991, Turner described Giddens' theory in terms of a framework with 11 key sensitising concepts. This paper defines each of these concepts in turn, discusses them in relation to workplace bullying and presents an interview question to explore each concept. Giddens' framework involves a series of stages, with the possibility of barriers between each of the stages. Within this theory strategies between the stages and tactics within the stages could be developed to address the problem of workplace bullying.

workplace bullying, management, Giddens' Structuration Theory




Boucaut, R. (2001) Understanding workplace bullying: a practical application of Giddens' Structuration Theory. International Education Journal, 2 (4), 65-73.

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