A Historical Study on Workplace Bullying

A Historical Study on Workplace Bullying

Author: 
Richard M. Bame
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
Workplace bullying has affected almost half (47%) of American working adults corresponding to approximately 71.5 million workers who either experienced bullying directly or witnessed it. This resulted in an alarming turnover of 21 to 28 million workers. This qualitative historical study explored, identified, and documented through historical records and documents, the patterns and trends of workplace bullying in organizations, characteristics and types of bullies, and types of mistreatment workplace bullies direct toward intended targets over the past 30 years. The data analysis yielded eight major themes of bullying styles and traits. These consisted of the four bully styles reinforced from the literature review of the snake, gatekeeper, screamer, and nitpicker. Additionally, the three new bully styles of the tyrant, joker, and discriminator, and one outlier bully style of the reverse bully. Themes of leadership skills associated with reducing or eliminating workplace bullying were also identified and analyzed. These themes coincided with the successful leadership traits and attributes of ethical leadership, social responsibility, and encouraging the heart, which led to the development of the GUARDIAN model. The GUARDIAN model presented recommendations to leaders of organization that would limit or prevent workplace bullying, which would provide significant financial savings for organizations because of less human resource issues.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to my wonderful wife Maria R. Bame (Kay), who gave me the support and strength to see this journey to the end. Without your support, belief in me, and love honey, I never would have been able to dedicate myself to this accomplishment. To the memory of my mother, Barbara Bame who always said I would be a professional student and taught me to be compassionate even when someone may not deserve it, not a day goes by that I don’t miss you Mom. To my father, Richard G. Bame, who taught me about the core values of honor, courage, and commitment even before I defined these concepts in the United States Navy, dad you define perfectionism. To my children, Deanna and Ricky, who remind me I am never too old to learn new things, all I ever want for you both is to be better than me. And to my brother Bob who helped give me a never quit mentality and face every challenge head-on, even the bullies, we are an unbeatable team my brother.
Acknowledgements: 
This dissertation came with plenty of good old hard work and an ocean of sweat. I was truly blessed in having an extensive support network headed by my chair, mentor, and dear friend, Dr. Kimberly D. Lowrey, who encouraged, nudged, and occasionally smacked me when I needed a spark. Dr. Lowrey provided invaluable guidance and insight, which kept me focused on the task through the many pitfalls of life. Thanks also to my committee members, Dr. Fortune Taylor and Dr. Anastasia Metros who stayed with me during my journey giving so generously of their time and feedback to bring out the best in me and the dissertation. A special thanks to Dr. Gita Ponnuchamy, who provided outstanding editing skills and friendship that enhanced the dissertation. A big thank you to the librarians at the Jacksonville Public Library, and the clerks at the Duval County Courthouse for repeatedly helping me and always with a smile. Thank you to all my professors at the University of Phoenix and my friends and associates at the Florida Department of Transportation, which provided insight to the many paradigms that enabled me to accomplish my research.