Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Susan K. Fan


Employees who demean and degrade coworkers cost organizations billions of dollars every year. Workplace bullying is a business problem that affects up to 15% of employees, and little empirical research is available to establish the extent of bullying in academia. Bullies flourish in decentralized structures, and universities can be particularly susceptible to bullying behavior because of their decentralized structures of teaching and research that promote the growth of microclimates in segregated silos, from laboratories to small departments. The purpose of this multiple-case, census sample study was to explore the cost-reduction strategies that university human resource (HR) leaders use to manage the consequences of workplace bullying across the 7 universities in Ireland. The conceptual framework focused on power, culture, and leadership, which are central to the discourse on workplace bullying. Data analysis involved using the interpreted interview data that all participants verified for accuracy through the member checking process. Seven themes emerged as the most important to reduce the cost of workplace bullying. Participants identified policy, informal versus formal procedures, and cost as the most important themes pertaining to workplace bullying in their organization. The findings of this study will be a source of valuable information to HR leaders in all Irish universities. In addition, the findings have implications for theory and practice that may help Irish university HR leaders promote positive social change by enabling them to manage the financial and human cost of workplace bullying in Irish universities.