Managing Workplace Bullying Complaints: Conceptual Influences and the Effects of Contextual Factors

Neill Thompson, Bevan Catley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Workplace bullying complaints are commonly utilized as the primary intervention approach for organizations where employees seek to stop inappropriate behaviour or gain redress. No single agreed-upon approach has been forwarded as a best practice for organizations to adopt. Instead, complaints can be viewed as disciplinary matters, health and safety concerns or public disclosures that can be raised through whistleblowing. These different conceptualizations adopt differing terminology and assumptions, which in turn has implications for how bullying is tackled. A critical concern in this area is the high prevalence of bullying reported in academic literature and staff surveys. In contrast, the number of complaints is often much lower indicating significant under-reporting. A range of organizational and individual factors are discussed that may enable and inhibit the efficacy of a complaint process. The means by which the complaint process may act as a negative influence as a form of undermining through raising vexatious complaints, with the intent of undermining the accused perpetrator, are also discussed. A review of these factors will ultimately contribute towards a consideration of what constitutes a successful complaint process and what practices and strategies organizations can adopt to ensure the effective handling of workplace bullying complaints. Finally, future directions for research are also proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassment
Subtitle of host publicationDignity and Inclusion at Work
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-10-5338-2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2018

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassment
PublisherSpringer, Singaport
ISSN (Print)2524-6062
ISSN (Electronic)2524-6070


Dive into the research topics of 'Managing Workplace Bullying Complaints: Conceptual Influences and the Effects of Contextual Factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this