Addressing bullying behaviour through leadership style

Author: Lesley Gill

Abstract: This paper investigates bullying behaviour in relation to managers’ leadership style. Drawing on a large government organisation as a case study, the perceptions held by managers, supervisors, and workers of their experiences are reported, and the results of semi-structured interviews are registered. The paper focuses predominantly on strategies actually implemented to reduce bullying in the workplace and proposes a multiple simultaneous approaches effective in addressing bullying behaviour. These strategies include openly identifying and acknowledging the bullying problem, providing education, introducing staff representation at management level, and recruiting managers who exhibit transformational leadership qualities. The implementation of zero-tolerance policies is recommended to augment the current contingencies that work to discourage and eliminate bullying behaviour in the workplace.