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Shaw, Sarah (2017) TEACHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE MANIFESTATION OF HORIZONTAL WORKPLACE BULLYING IN THE K-12 SETTING. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Horizontal workplace bullying is defined as hostile, aggressive, and harmful behavior between co-workers who are positioned on the same level of the organization’s hierarchical ladder (e.g., teacher-to-teacher) via attitudes, actions, words, and/or behaviors (Hutchinson, Vickers, Jackson, & Wilkes, 2006; Thobaben, 2007). The National Educational Association reported that 31.7% of school faculty and staff stated that they have been bullied by a colleague (Bradshaw & Figiel, 2012). This study examined teachers’ perceptions of the manifestation of horizontal workplace bullying in the K-12 setting through a constructivist framework.

Study participants included six teachers who were currently teaching in the K-12 setting. Five of these teachers self-identified as victims of horizontal workplace bullying. One of the teachers self-identified as a witness of horizontal workplace bullying. The teachers completed a 30-45 minute, in-person interview. Interviews included 20 open-ended questions detailing the descriptions of perceptions, reactions, coping, and effects of horizontal workplace bullying in the K-12 setting. Line-by-line qualitative coding for known constructs in the workplace bullying literature (e.g., behavior, coping, reactions, effects) guided the analysis.

A review of the findings uncovered common perceptions of the manifestation of horizontal workplace bullying, common behaviors, reactions, emotions, coping strategies, and effects of horizontal workplace bullying on teachers. The findings revealed that teacher victims perceive professional jealousy and voluntarily working beyond the contract as antecedents for becoming a target of horizontal workplace bullying. Other findings suggest that teachers cope with horizontal workplace bullying by relying on a support network and by increasing alcohol consumption. The effects of horizontal workplace bullying are psychological, physical, and social in nature, yet teachers often choose to do nothing to combat this heinous behavior.

Although there is much literature about workplace bullying, research on horizontal workplace bullying in the K-12 setting is lacking. This study adds to the limited body of literature and includes implications and recommendations for practice and future research. School administrators must continue to research, develop policies, and define the technical problems and adaptive challenges that face teachers and administrators in order to successfully navigate this challenging and detrimental phenomenon (Heifetz & Laurie, 1997).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Shaw, Sarahsjs164@pitt.edusjs1640000-0003-2463-5273
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKerr, Mary Margaretmmkerr@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberDeMore, Constanceconstance.demore@gmail.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKerr, Mary
DeMore Savine,
Date: 22 May 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 May 2017
Approval Date: 28 August 2017
Submission Date: 22 July 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 104
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: workplace bullying teacher bullying mobbing hostile workplace
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2017 22:06
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2019 12:19


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