Bullying as workgroup manipulation: a model for understanding patterns of victimization and contagion within the workgroup

Marie Hutchinson, Southern Cross University

Document Type Article

Abstract

Aim The aim of the present synthesis was to review the literature on bullying in the nursing workplace and develop an explanatory model for patterns of victimization and contagion within the workgroup.

Background Although research has demonstrated that bullying can cause significant harm there has been little investigation or theorizing into the place of the workgroup as a vehicle for magnifying, transmitting or sustaining bullying.

Evaluation Narrative synthesis of the literature on bullying in the nursing workplace.

Key issues The putative model developed from a narrative synthesis of the available literature proposes four forms of bullying as workgroup manipulation.

Conclusions The model provides insight into mechanisms for the contagion of bullying and victimization within workgroups and an explanatory mechanism for the way bullying can escalate to implicate patient care.

Implications for Nurse Managers Recognizing workgroup manipulation processes and the patterns of victimization and contagion with the workgroup provides a deeper understanding of bullying and illustrates the place of intervention strategies which foster the emotional intelligence climate in nursing teams.