All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Erin L Borry

Advisory Committee Members

Nevbahar Ertas

Peter A Jones

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2019

Degree Name by School

Master of Public Administration (MPA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Bullying is an issue that can affect children, adolescents, and adults (Gould, 2014; Schmidt, 2017). When bullying occurs in the workplace, it causes difficulty not only for victims, but for witnesses, families, and the organizations (Leymann, 1992). Workplace bullying has been defined as the “repeated mistreatment; abusive conduct that is: threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, work sabotage, or verbal abuse” (Namie, 2014). An estimated 60.3 million US workers are affected by workplace bullying, and 20 percent are victims (Namie, 2017). Workplace bullying research in the United States has focused more on the private sector, and to the author’s knowledge, there is currently no research focusing solely on workplace bullying in local governments in the United States (Manners & Cates, 2016; Vega & Comer, 2005). The aim of this study is to determine if and how often workplace bullying happens in local governments. Furthermore, it considers the types of bullying behaviors and the frequency at which those behaviors occur. Employees’ perceptions of workplace bullying policies and perceived outcomes were also examined. To explore these concepts, a survey was distributed to two local governments, resulting in 18 respondents. These respondents were asked about their position, experiences with workplace bullying, and their perceived effects of workplace bullying. The results indicate that workplace bullying does occur in local governments, but generalizability of these findings is limited. These findings demonstrate that more research on workplace bullying in local governments should be conducted.

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