The incongruity of workplace bullying victimization and inclusive excellence

Laura Dzurec Cox, Monica Kennison, Patricia Gillen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Bullying occurs frequently—and with significant negative outcomes—in workplace settings. Once established, bullying endures in the workplace, requiring the interaction of a bully perpetrator and an intended target who takes on the role of victim. Not every target becomes a victim, however. The purpose of this study is to investigate the processes by which targets, intended objects of bullies’ affronts, become victims, those individuals who experience ongoing emotional injury in response to bullies’ affronts, and to clarify how bullying victimization impedes inclusive excellence in the workplace.

The design for this study was pragmatic utility, an inductive research approach grounded in assumptions of hermeneutics.

The pragmatic utility process involved the investigators’ synthesis of descriptions from a broad, interdisciplinary published literature. Integrating knowledge from their previous research and practice experiences with the pragmatic utility process, they derived qualitative features of victims’ experiences, differentiating target from victim in bullying encounters.

For those targets who ultimately are victimized, response to bullies’ affronts extends far beyond the immediate present. Redolence of personal, lived experience revives bygone vulnerabilities, and naïve communication and relationship expectations reinforce a long-standing, impoverished sense. That sense couples with workplace dynamics to augment a context of exclusion.

Findings suggest that, as Heidegger contended, we are our histories. Personal history demonstrates a significance influence on the manifestation of bullying victimization, acting to distance them from their workplace peers and to impede inclusive excellence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-596
JournalNursing Outlook
Issue number5
Early online date7 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished online - 7 Feb 2017


  • Workplace bullying
  • Workplace culture
  • Inclusive excellence


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