bullying in workplaces

There are sporadic examples of workplace discrimination and bullying in any field

Shannon Doe, the victim in the proposed case study, is a typical example of workplace bullying, which frequently leads in discontent, poor work quality, and both emotional and psychological imbalance. Bullying is defined as the use of greater strength or influence within a specific sector to intimidate and typically force someone to do what one wants, usually against the victim's will (Goldsmid, S., & Howie, P. 2014).

Bullying comes in many forms, and it appears to be practiced in a variety of settings

Nevertheless, the most common kind of bullying is physical harassment. Pushing, hitting, shoving, and tripping are some of the methods, and victims can be physically bullied (Pilch, I., & Turska, E. 2015).

According to Pilch, I., & Turska, E. (2015), physical bullying is one of the most common, especially in school institutions, and is regarded as the most traumatizing. Verbal bullying is the second type of bullying, and this approach involves hurtful comments, name-calling, and teasing from a relatively more superior person. The third and equally predominant is social environments social bullying.

Social bullying, according to Goldsmid, S., & Howie, P. (2014), generally involves using relationships to hurt the victim.

Various social environments or platforms can be used in demeaning the victim. The final type of bullying, in this case, is cyber bullying (Kowalski, M. et.al. 2014). Kowalski, M. et.al. (2014) provides that with the increased Internet penetration globally and the growth of social media platforms, there are rising cases of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying would involve the use of smartphones and computers on an online platform.

Bullying is common in uncontrolled social and professional environments like workplaces

It is prevalent among colleagues, bosses, and workers. Typically, the superior in hierarchy tends to bully his/her juniors. In workplaces, there are appreciably more cases of psychological instability compared to schools. Shannon is a typical case of mental discomfort associated with workplace bullying. Sexual harassments are not any better (Meyer, J. 2015).

According to Meyer, J. (2015), sexual harassment is perhaps the most psychologically destabilizing, especially among women.

Luckily, there measures that have since been put in place to manage the increasing cases of bullying. Pilch, I., & Turska, E. (2015) provide that as much as no federal law can specifically apply to the act of intimidation, cases that are based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion are legally obligated to address. But for justice to be served, there need to be a reliable platform for notifying, reporting, and investigation.

Informing, reporting, and investigating incidents

As appreciates, justice for the victim is essential in the process of healing. As such, channels for notifying, proper reporting and record keeping, as well as the investigation, need to be perfected.

Reporting bullying cases

In cases where a person feels disadvantages in work environments, several channels can be used in ensuring that the rest of the population is made aware of the challenges and to access help. In most cases, admission of discomfort to close colleagues or a confidant assists in the process of healing and addressing the problem by extension (Jamieson, J.et.al 2015). According to Jamieson, J. et.al 2015, a counselor can also be made aware by the voluntary admission of discomfort by the victim in question. In cases where the victim feels completely psychologically disadvantages, he/she has a counselor as a best next option. In the case of persistent bullying and emotional discomfort, Goldsmid, S., & Howie, P. (2014) advocate for a complete change of environment. However, there has to be a better understanding of prevention and definition of outcome in such measures.

Outcomes for future prevention/correction

The outcome, in this case, would significantly depend on the approach employed in addressing the problems. Several steps can be implemented in addressing the challenges of increased bullying both in workplaces and school institutions. Some of the steps include:

Better and clearer definition of bullying

Removing Labels and particularly addressing misadvised behaviors.

Organizations can set clear and Enforceable Rules and Expectations.

Firms can consider rewarding positive behavior.

Having open communication between employees and employees.

Encouraging professional guidance in addressing workplace bullying.

Look for warning signs and addressing the cases as soon as they appear.

When Bullying Occurs and the consequences are evident, the first should clear the Scene.

Firms should be proactive in monitoring hot spot and finally.

The organization in question should know the state laws and district policies regarding bullying and discrimination.

Exemplary practice about addressing incidents as described in the case study

One distinctive practice that can be commended in the case study is to be found on Day 4 of the series of events. On Thursday, Shannon calls the Nursing Unit Manager (NUM) and advises "I am not coming in today. I feel like I am being bullied." Pilch, I., & Turska, E. (2015) provide that incident reporting and confession of discomfort is the first and the most important steps in addressing cases of bullying. Shannon wittingly finds it prudent to report the incidents of harassment to NUM who, in these cases, is the senior most person within the structure. This enhances the process that can, in the long run, offer excellent solutions to individuals within the organization who face similar challenges.

Another equally important step in addressing bullying in the process is the documentation of the problem through incident reporting. Incident reporting in any crime-related cases helps in the delivery of justice to victims (Huggins, M. 2016). The proposition by Nursing Unit Manager of requesting for documentation through incident reporting is crucial in the process of justice. Huggins, M. (2016) further provides that recording such incidences facilitates learning and guidance for other similar institutions or persons facing the same cases of bullying and discrimination.

Horizontal violence/bullying

Horizontal violence and bullying are commonly appreciated as pervasive throughout nursing (Park, M. et.al. 2015). Meyer, J. (2015) recognizes that most graduates are always at risk of facing violence and bullying in workplaces, and most of these challenges are extreme in the transition from student, new graduates to a practitioner, often lack the confidence and social connectivity that may ward off interpersonal conflict. As such, Park, M. et.al (2015) provides that continued interpersonal violence directed at new graduates often leads to negative physical and psychological consequences.

Case Study Analysis

The Shannon Doe case study provides a clear insight into the intimidation and bullying that characterizes the first days of a nurse trainee in healthcare facilities. According to Huggins, M. (2016), the experience often results in dismal performance and the development of workplace phobia that significantly hampers performance. To better understand and appreciate Shannon Doe's experience, critical analysis of the place of work experience.

Critical analysis in the case study provided

First, it is important to appreciate that Shannon Doe is a third-year undergraduate nurse on clinical placement at Charles Darwin University Hospital Emergency Department (ED). Through her preceptor, Morgan Lane, Shannon was given a cold reception in the hospital. Instead of being given proper orientation, she was asked to guide herself through the various sections of the hospital, a position that is definitely hard for a first-timer. Secondly, the harsh response to the questions during the handover is an apparent show of attitude towards the student.

"I'm stuck with her." This statement is demeaning, and even if Morgan later indicated that it was just a joke, the message was sent and received. Shannon was no longer comfortable with her preceptor, and going forward, their relationship even got worse. Just later in the day, Shannon has another experience that tends to demean her intellectual ability to understand concepts from her preceptor, "What are you, a walking textbook?"

Day three also saw Shannon being blamed for a patient's relapse. Morgan asks a question that did suggest that the patient's condition was directly linked to the student's mistake, and even worse, she did not give Shannon a chance to respond and probably defend herself. This is a clear case of bullying. The case study provides several cases of intimidation and different types as appreciated below.

In which ways did Morgan bully Shannon?

Verbal bullying, which involves hurtful comments, name-calling, and teasing, is the most conspicuous. In several instances, Shannon is referred to in demeaning terms from her preceptor. Social bullying is also evident from the open mistreatment of the student in front of her colleagues. In the case study provided, it is clear that Shannon has an appropriate response by reporting the case to the Nursing Unit Manager (NUM). As far as workplace ethic is concerned, Shannon could not have done any better. She made the correct choice to report Morgan to the NUM who should respond by assigning her another preceptor.


There are some approaches that institutions can consider in easing the process of recovery from bullying and mitigating the act of bullying. One of the approaches that are recommendable is proper education (Khoshknab, F. et.al 2015). According to Park, M. et.al (2015), proper counseling, teaching, and retraining among workers will enhance understanding among the members. Another equally important move by management could be the introduction of proper rules and regulations within the workplace (Hutchinson, M. et.al 2015). Hutchinson, M. et.al (2015) insists that good rules and disciplinary measures can help mitigate the act of bullying in workplaces.

The importance of reporting should also be made clear and confidential. Bullied members need to have proper systems for reporting and a system that protects them from victimization. Park, M. et.al (2015) advocates for a confidential system for notification and evaluation. Proper channels of investigation and recording are also an appreciably important recommendation at this point (Spector, E. et.al 2015). Hutchinson, M. et.al (2015) acknowledges that there are several instances where the cases delay and justice is not served in prolonged investigation. Proper approaches in the inquiry can help manage the process of fairness and management of the adverse effects of bullying.

Another recommendation that is of equal relevance the student fraternity also needs to appreciate their position in the workplace as a trainee and try to avoid the groups of persons who are evidently bullies through swapping of preceptors (Heponiemi, T. et.al 2014). Heponiemi, T. et.al (2014) provides guidelines and approaches to student conduct in workplaces, especially in their position as trainees. Mentoring for Morgan and Shannon together, for instance, would help both parties improve their approach to daily routines.

Finally, the enhancement of good worker relationships through bonding can also improve employee experience in hospitals (Bentley, A. et.al 2014). Bentley, A. et.al (2014) indicate that there are several approaches to which an institution can consider in the process of improving worker relationships in the work environment. Spector, E. et.al (2015) provides that some of the best approaches include the use of recreational activities. Such interactions can ease workplace pressure and at the same time enhance the bond between the parties.


Bullying has no value to both sides; as such, it should be discouraged in any environment. In workplaces, and particularly hospitals in this case, bullying reduces productivity and deprives the student of an ample environment for learning. Shannon Doe, in the case study, is clearly a victim of intimidation, and later in the week, it is evident that she did not learn as much as she could have wished. Morgan Lane is seen as a bully, and her attitude towards the student results in verbal bullying as well as instances of social bullying that often lead to psychological and emotional torture to the victim - Shannon in this case.

There are several considerable approaches that institutions can consider to reduce bullying, as appreciated in the recommendations. It is prudent for workers to recognize the value of colleagues, and for the management to put adequate measures that can manage cases of bullying under their watch. Overall, Shannon made the correct move to report Morgan to the Nursing Unit Manager; a move that should be emulated by persons who feel mistreated by their superiors in such an environment. Pilch, I., & Turska, E. (2015) appreciate that reporting is one of the important steps to healing; as such, the management in any work environment should ensure proper channels for reporting. Finally, the junior staff, especially students, needs to be guided and counseled in cases where workplace bullying takes a toll on their psychological and emotional stability.


Bentley, A., Catley, B., Forsyth, D., & Tappin, D. (2014). Understanding workplace violence: the value of a systems perspective. Applied Ergonomics, 45(4), 839-848

Goldsmid, S., & Howie, P. (2014). Bullying by definition: an examination of definitional components of bullying. Emotional and behavioural difficulties, 19(2), 210-225.

Huggins, M. (2016). Stigma Is the Origin of Bullying. Journal of Catholic Education, 19(3), 166.

Heponiemi, T., Kouvonen, A., Virtanen, M., Vänskä, J., & Elovainio, M. (2014). The prospective effects of workplace violence on physicians’ job satisfaction and turnover intentions: the buffering effect of job control. BMC health services research, 14(1), 19.

Hutchinson, M., & Jackson, D. (2015). The construction and legitimation of workplace bullying in the public sector: insight into power dynamics and organisational failures in health and social care. The nursing inquiry, 22(1), 13-26.

Jamieson, J., Mitchell, R., Le Fevre, J., & Perry, A. (2015). Bullying and harassment of trainees: An unspoken emergency?. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 27(5), 464-467.

Khoshknab, F., Oskouie, F., Najafi, F., Ghazanfari, N., Tamizi, Z., & Ahmadvand, H. (2015). Psychological violence in the health care settings in Iran: a cross-sectional study. Nursing and midwifery studies, 4(1).

Kowalski, M., Giumetti, W., Schroeder, N., & Lattanner, R. (2014). Bullying in the digital age: A critical review and meta-analysis of cyberbullying research among youth.

Meyer, J. (2015). Gender, bullying, and harassment: Strategies to end sexism and homophobia in schools. Teachers College Press.

Park, M., Cho, S. H., & Hong, H. J. (2015). Prevalence and perpetrators of workplace violence by nursing unit and the relationship between violence and the perceived work environment. Journal of nursing scholarship, 47(1), 87-95.

Pilch, I., & Turska, E. (2015). Relationships between Machiavellianism, organisational culture, and workplace bullying: Emotional abuse from the target's and the perpetrator's perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(1), 83-93.

Spector, E., Yang, Q., and Zhou, E. (2015). A longitudinal investigation of the role of violence prevention climate in exposure to workplace physical violence and verbal abuse. Work & Stress, 29(4), 325-340.

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