Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of Experiences of Four Individuals Reporting Exposure to Workplace Bullying in the UK

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Mary O'Neill
Denise Borland

Abstract

Workplace bullying is a toxic dynamic that is widespread in the modern workplace. While there is a wealth of qualitative data about the process of bullying, very little is documented about the emotional and cognitive experiences of those exposed to workplace bullying. What do they feel about themselves? What do they feel towards the perpetrators of the abuse and their organisation? This is an Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the experiences of four individuals who self-identified and were also operationally identified as being bullied by a manager within their organisation. Common themes were identified across the four individuals and are discussed using TA concepts, specifically those from the cathexis and classical schools of TA. The results suggest that the bullying dynamic is predicated on discounting by the participants, their managers and the organisations. The participants were discounted by their managers through a negative and withholding stroke pattern of criticism and blame. This resulted in a loss of trust in their employer and lack of support by the organisation, both of which were seen as a discount of the individual. The participants react to their situation by moving into script which could be seen through the Miniscript process.  

 

Citation - APA format:

O'Neill, M. & Borland, D. (2018). Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of Experiences of Four Individuals Reporting Exposure to Workplace Bullying in the UK. International Journal of Transactional Analysis Research & Practice, 9(1), 23-42. https://doi.org/10.29044/v9i1p23  

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How to Cite
O’Neill, M., & Borland, D. (2018). Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of Experiences of Four Individuals Reporting Exposure to Workplace Bullying in the UK. International Journal of Transactional Analysis Research & Practice, 9(1), 23-42. https://doi.org/10.29044/v9i1p23
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Author Biographies

Mary O'Neill, BACP

MSC in TA Counselling. BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist, owns a private practice called Amaranth Counselling based in Edinburgh and East Lothian.

Denise Borland, UKCP

PhD, CTA, MSc (Psych), MA (voice)

Co-Director of Noble House, Edinburgh - a Performance Consultancy -with wife Ali Bell. Offering therapeutic coaching, body/breathwork, trauma recovery psychotherapy and performance development programme