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Bullying in the workplace reviewed

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Bullying in the Workplace by Elaine DouglasTitle: Bullying in the Workplace: An Organisational Toolkit
Author: Elaine Douglas
Publisher: Gower
Year: 2001
Format: A4 Hardback (ISBN: 0566084082, Price: £95.00)
or A4 Ringbinder (ISBN: 0566082756, Price: £150.00 when published), 185 pages.


Buy the hardback version or the ringbinder version from the TrainingZONE - Blackwells book shop.

Available in two formats, Elaine Douglas' publication is the first package of this type I have come across on the subject of bullying in the workplace. Divided into two parts, the work provides a good introduction on why people bully and to the workplace changes which may contribute to a growth in bullying.

Part (1), The manual has five stand-alone chapters. In addition to explaining what bullying is it also offers assistance on developing an anti-bullying policy and a supporting management system. The final two chapters provide guidance for individuals and for managers and HR professionals and offers practical and down-to-earth advice.

Part (II) is the toolkit and offers tools which can be used to support others or to deal with a problem one-self. These tools can be photocopied for use in training or education activities. Each item in the toolkit states clearly how and when it can be used and indicates what can be achieved. Three chapters constitute Part II:

  • Models of Behaviour – models for understanding and changing behaviour
  • Understanding Behaviour – tools for analysing problems
  • Dealing with Behaviour – tools to create more constructive behaviour
  • The first of these chapters provides five models based on psychological theory, these are ABC (antecedent events – behaviour – consequences). Cognitive behaviour model; Transactional Analysis Model; OK Corral Model; PUCA Model. The latter was new to me, the others familiar but the explanations of all five are clear, concise and their relevance to bullying is clearly described.

    The second chapter provides help in analysing whether problems exist and in identifying what they are. This chapter is a necessary pre-curser to choosing tools for use from the third chapter, Dealing With Behaviour. This last chapter offers hands-on tools which will help to change behaviour. They can be used by individuals or by managers working with their staff. A useful matrix to the models and tools is provided at the start of Part II. The tools provided are clear, well-structured and contain a number of familiar tactics such as the Broken Record, Rehearsal, Saying "No" and Relaxation Techniques. It is the very simplicity of the tools which is their strength, they provide a place to start for people, they are well described and for most people usable.

    The author deals well with the vexed question of where management style/requirements overlaps with a perception of bullying. A quote given (Tim Field – Bully in Sight) neatly sums this up:

    "Bullying has nothing to do with management, it is about the gratification of the individual by projecting weakness, failings and short-comings onto others as a way of having to face up to, tackle and overcome faults in oneself".

    Clearly and unemotionally written, well-thought through and with a neat logic, this pack provides an excellent introduction and overview of a subject which is of increasing concern in the workplace. Hardback or looseleaf is a decision based very much on personal choice and the need for ease of photocopying.


    Diane Bailey, 31/8/01.

    Read other reviews of this publication:

    Review one
    Review two

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