Original Research

Interpersonal bullying behaviours in the workplace

Charlotte Pietersen
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 33, No 1 | a256 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v33i1.256 | © 2007 Charlotte Pietersen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2007 | Published: 29 October 2007

About the author(s)

Charlotte Pietersen, University of Limpopo, South Africa

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In this paper employing a phenomenological method to explicate seven informants’ experience of interpersonal bullying behaviors in a South African work context, I demarcated four general themes namely: lack of recognition, discrimination, obstructionism, and isolation. Moreover, I found that perpetrators (male and female managers) predominantly used verbal and indirect negative acts to bully subordinates. Finally, racial tensions contributed to bullying behavior. While a phenomenological approach shows promise to explore local bullying behavior more research is needed to broaden our understanding of the phenomenon, including explicating bullying through the eyes of bystanders and alleged bullies.


Bullying behaviours, Workplace bullying, Interpersonal bullying, Downwards bullying, Phenomenological method


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1. Exploring the bullying behaviours experienced by South African domestic workers
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doi: 10.1080/14330237.2015.1021511