Coworker Response 'Crucial' in Workplace Bullying Resolution

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Coworker Response 'Crucial' in Workplace Bullying Resolution
Coworker Response 'Crucial' in Workplace Bullying Resolution

(HealthDay News) -- Targets of workplace bullying can offer chaos, report, or quest narratives about their experiences, and coworker response plays a role in narrative development, according to a study published online Sept. 25 in Management Communication Quarterly.

Stacy Tye-Williams, Ph.D., from Iowa State University in Ames, and Kathleen J. Krone, Ph.D., from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, examined the narratives that targets of workplace bullying gave about their difficult work experiences. In addition, the authors assessed the way in which coworkers were presented in these accounts.

The researchers found that there were three different narrative types: chaos, report, and quest. Coworker response was framed as being in a way that normalized bullying and hindered story development, or in a way that validated the target experience and supported narrative development.

"This study points to the important role coworkers can play in helping targets better narrate, cope with, and make sense of their difficult work experiences," the authors write. "Ultimately, coworkers play a crucial role in creating spaces where individuals who have been harmed by emotionally traumatic events in the workplace can tell their stories and begin to heal."

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