Perceptions of Unfairness in the Management of Bullying Complaints: Exploring the Consequences

Moira F Jenkins, Helen Winefield, Aspa Sarris


This exploratory study aimed to examine why some bullied workers submitted compensable injury claims for psychological injury after they had made a workplace bullying grievance, and others did not. This study was carried out using a mixed methodology. Forty-four participants who had complained about bullying at work completed a survey about their experiences, and 31 were interviewed. A thematic analysis of the interview data was undertaken. Those participants who submitted workers’ compensation claims were found to be significantly more depressed than those who did not submit workers’ compensation claims, although no significant differences were found between the anxiety and stress scores of all participants. Results also indicated that participants who submitted a workers’ compensation claim perceived less organisational justice in the way their complaint of bullying was managed than those participants who did not submit a claim. These results were endorsed by the qualitative aspects of the study where themes of frustration and unfairness were closely linked with the decision to submit a workers’ compensation claim. This is one of the few studies that have examined the effect of an organisation’s response to workplace bullying allegations on an employee’s decision to claim workers’ compensation for psychological injury.

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International Journal of Business Administration
ISSN 1923-4007(Print) ISSN 1923-4015(Online)


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