Shutting-Up or Speaking-Up: Navigating the Invisible Line between Voice and Silence in Workplace Bullying

Patricia EASTEAL, Allison BALLARD

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In this article, we identify and discuss individual and organisational factors which contribute to bully victims’ or targets’ decisions about whether or not to voice complaints about workplace bullying in Australian workplaces. This article examines the costs of voice and silence in workplace bullying matters for both targets and organisations. ‘Voice’ is understood as existing on a continuum, which ranges from informally voicing concerns about bullying behaviour to making a formal complaint or report within the workplace or to an external agency. The ‘silence’ of workplace bullying is also considered to exist on a continuum and may include things such as not raising the bully issue at all, exiting the workplace rather than addressing the issue, and ‘being silenced’ by external influences after having made a complaint. We suggest some organisational changes to facilitate the reporting and better handling of bullying complaints.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalAlternative Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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