New study seeks those accused of bullying at work

Thursday, 25 September 2008

New research in the University of Adelaide's School of Psychology will examine what happens to managers who have been accused of workplace bullying by their staff.

PhD student Moira Jenkins, who is also a registered psychologist, is carrying out a study of managers accused of bullying their workers to see how they are affected by such accusations.

"Most organisations now have bullying and harassment policies and complaint processes aimed at dealing with inappropriate behaviours such as bullying and harassment. However, evidence suggests that some employees use these complaint procedures to complain about all sorts of workplace conflict, and behaviours that are not necessarily bullying," said Ms Jenkins.

"There are very few studies that have examined how complaints affect the people who have been accused of being a bully, especially managers who often have to keep managing the team while they are under investigation for workplace bullying."

Ms Jenkins is looking for managers who have had a complaint of workplace bullying made against them in the past year to hear their perspective on the accusations, the way the complaint was addressed, how the complaint affected their ability to carry out their job and the support they received. Study participants will be interviewed and asked to fill out a short survey.

Interviewee confidentiality is guaranteed and nothing will identify individuals or workplaces.

"I hope that the results of this study will help organisations better manage workplace conflicts before they become complaints of bullying," said Ms Jenkins. "Hopefully it will also give some guidance on how to best support managers who have allegations made against them."

People interested in taking part in the study should contact Moira Jenkins by phoning 0412 733 453 or emailing


Contact Details

Dr Moira Jenkins
Visiting Research Fellow, School of Psychology
The University of Adelaide
and Director, Aboto Psychology Services
Mobile: 0412 733 453

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084