An Exploratory Phenomenology Study of Educators' Bullying Experiences in the Workplace

Queen's University Belfast; University of Illinois; Common Ground
Dr. Cheryl Burleigh
Dr. Ronda Gregg
Presentation Date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Event or Conference: 
Twenty-sixth International Conference on Learning
Presentation Type: 
Paper Presentation
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Location: 
Queen's University
University Rd
Bullying behaviors in the workplace are marked by repeated events of intimidation that creates a pattern of humiliation and fear in the victim. School staff are not immune to this behavior. Although studies have been conducted on student to student bullying behavior, little research has been done concerning adult to adult bullying in the educational workplace. A qualitative exploratory phenomenological study was completed to determine the relevance of the issue of bullying among adults in schools and to explore the effects that adult bullying has on staff members and the school organization. Organizational cultural theory, emotional intelligence and humiliation theory were used to understand the phenomenon of adult bullying in the educational workplace setting. Two research questions guided the study: What are the personal and professional experiences of educators in the K-12 school systems as targets of bullying behavior in the workplace? What were the personal and professional repercussions of educators in the K-12 school systems who experienced workplace bullying? Implications for the study include potential policy additions, training for administrators and staff members, and how to mitigate the effects that can hinder educational progress because of adult bullying.