Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

From order to chaos: A narrative analysis of workplace bullying

Stacy Tye-Williams, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The overarching purpose of the present study was to examine how targets of workplace bullying narrate their difficult work experiences. In addition to investigating how targets communicate about bullying I also explored the distinctiveness of the term workplace bullying to label this experience. Finally, the usefulness of advice available to targets was examined. The first research question I addressed in this study was how do targets of workplace bullying socially construct bullying as different from and/or similar to harassment? The second research question I posed was how do targets of workplace bullying narrate their experiences? The third research question was how do targets frame themselves, the bully, and coworkers in their narrative? The fourth research question for the present study was what does the telling of workplace bullying narratives do for targets? The fifth and final research question was how do targets perceive the usefulness of the advice they are given? In order to answer these questions I conducted in-depth interviews with 48 targets of workplace bullying which yielded 1,270 pages of single-spaced interview transcripts. ^ Findings from the present study revealed that targets utilized four different narrative types which were chaos narratives, quest narratives, report narratives, and counter narratives. The reason targets told their narratives and how they framed themselves, the bully, and coworkers coincided with the type of narrative they told. Findings also revealed that targets felt workplace bullying differs from harassment namely because they linked harassment closely with sexual advances. Finally, target responses pointed to a paradox of advice where useful advice exists but due to the many constraints of bullying they felt unable to use it. This study sheds important light on how targets of workplace bullying narrate their experience to others. The findings of this study also revealed important theoretical and practical implications and areas of future research which would make great strides toward developing an even greater understanding of this complex phenomenon.^

Subject Area

Speech Communication|Sociology, Organizational

Recommended Citation

Tye-Williams, Stacy, "From order to chaos: A narrative analysis of workplace bullying" (2012). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3514225.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3514225

Share

COinS