Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Frances Goldman


AbstractWorkplace bullying is not illegal in the United States and is not classified with other forms of harassment, making it hard for organizations to adopt appropriate prevention and solution methods. Human resource employees have been identified as key contributors in preventing workplace bullying in organizations by using ethics-based strategies. The purpose of this case study was to explore the perceptions of human resource employees or employees with human resource duties regarding their responsibility to use duty-based ethical approaches to prevent workplace bullying and the practicality of its implementation. Duty-based ethics formed the theoretical approach for this study. Duty-based ethics, founded in Kantian ethics, involve the basic rights of an individual. In this qualitative study, data were collected by interviewing six human resource employees and employees with these duties from human service nonprofits located on the East Coast. Data were analyzed using inductive and pattern coding, which allowed themes to emerge. Findings indicated participants supported the basic right of employees to work in an environment that used duty-based strategies to prevent workplace bullying and believed they had a role in working with these strategies. The findings from this study could assist employees in their application of duty-based ethics in their organizations. This research may also create positive social change by helping employees with human resource responsibilities identify their roles in preventing workplace bullying and developing ethics-based strategies that can be applied to their organizations. By preventing bullying, costs to the organization and victims can be minimized.