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Public Policy and Administration


Timothy C. Bagwell


Workplace bullying in the healthcare field has contributed to decreasing productivity, decreasing employee morale, increasing workplace lawsuits, overall dissatisfaction in the workplace, and potentially compromising care to patients. Little, however, is known about how public policies related to workplace bullying impact the experiences of healthcare workers. Using Cornell and Limber's conceptualization of bullying, the purpose of this general qualitative study was to better understand the experiences of healthcare leaders and workers related to workplace bullying of a single health care facility. Data were principally collected from 9 participants representing three organizational leaders, three nurses, and three ancillary members staff. These interview data were transcribed, and then subjected to a coding and analysis procedure inspired by Stevick, Colaizzi, & Keen. Findings indicate that many participants have either experienced or witnessed organizational bullying, and that occurrences of bullying are more prevalent among staff. Findings also indicate that leaders consistently understand policies and law and organizational procedures related to bullying, but staff and nurses do not share this experience. Last, staff and nurses perceive that leaders fail to follow through with enforcing organizational policies related to bullying. Positive social change implications stemming from this study include recommendations to organizational leadership and regulatory boards to develop organizational and public policies that more clearly identify the liabilities and risks of non-compliance, as well as promoting an annual training protocol that better supports public and organizational policies related to anti-bullying measures. These recommendations may result in reduced incidents of bullying, and therefore improved care to patients.

Antibullying Definition, Policy, Surveillance, Education, and Training in the Healthca