Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Girardi

Second Supervisor

Jennifer Schulman


Current research indicates that workplace bullying exists among a variety of industries in the United States. Further, the reported frequency of workplace bullying appears to be above average in some industries including higher education. Workplace bullying can cause long term harmful effects for the bullied target. Additionally, workplace bullying can create a negative work environment leading to decreased productivity and employee turnover. The purpose of this study was to learn from higher education faculty, administrators, and human resource personnel about their experiences with workplace bullying. This study examined the problem of workplace bullying through different roles and perspectives to better understand how and why it occurs. This study used organizational culture theory as a guide to investigate the role of the institutional processes in interpersonal behavior. This study employed qualitative phenomenological methodology using interviews to gather data. It found that workplace bullying was experienced as both verbal and emotional abuse. The bullying behavior was often conducted by a superior or someone who held power over the target. Due to the power imbalance, most bullied targets felt there was little recourse to combat the behavior. All participants suggested that training on workplace bullying behavior, creating policy with consequences and ultimately legislation against the behavior would help mitigate the problem.

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