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Saturday, 9 January 2016

PhD research findings: Workplace cyberbullying

Workplace cyberbullying: is it happening in Australia?
(image courtesy of ASPA National Weblog at

The answer to this question is, yes. 
(See my doctoral research for further information

My research found that Australian employees are now observing, and experiencing, workplace cyberbullying all over the country.

To determine if Australian employees (in this case, in the public sector) were experiencing or observing workplace cyberbulling, I decided to conduct three studies that extended across 463 participants. These three studies were confidential and included 24 face-to-face interviews, with the remaining participants gathered through online surveys. Public sector participants included CEOs, executives, managers, supervisors, and team members of government employees working in local, State, Territory and Commonwealth public services.

As a consequence of the interviews and first online (qualitative) study, I found participants generally talked about online bullying and how it can now happen to anyone at work, irrespective of their position or seniority in the organisation, age, gender, race etc. 

Statistics from my third study found 72 per cent reported experiencing or observing task-related  and person-related cyberbullying over the past six months with 74 per cent ranking their workplace as highly stressful, while over half viewed their organisation’s anti-bullying strategies as ineffective, with a third experiencing decreased job satisfaction.

Crucially, nearly half of participants reported a negative impact on their work performance and productivity.

Dr Lawrence has a BA SSc and a PhD in organisational social psychology and works with individuals and organisations as a consultant, speaker and trainer. She uses her social science expertise to enhance interactions between organisations and the people who lead and work in them by fostering new insights for diagnosing organisational problems, and build new capabilities and culture.

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