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“It’s Not Us, It’s You!”: Extending Managerial Control through Coercion and Internalisation in the Context of Workplace Bullying amongst Nurses in Ireland

Department of Work & Employment Studies, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX Limerick, Ireland
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Academic Editor: Gregor Wolbring
Received: 3 March 2021 / Revised: 31 May 2021 / Accepted: 1 June 2021 / Published: 4 June 2021
This article investigates why workers submit to managerial bullying and, in doing so, we extend the growing research on managerial control and workplace bullying. We employ a labour process lens to explore the rationality of management both engaging in and perpetuating bullying. Labour process theory posits that employee submission to workplace bullying can be a valuable method of managerial control and this article examines this assertion. Based on the qualitative feedback in a large-scale survey of nurses in Ireland, we find that management reframed bullying complaints as deficiencies in the competency and citizenship of employees. Such reframing took place at various critical junctures such as when employees resisted extremely pressurized environments and when they resisted bullying behaviours. We find that such reframing succeeds in suppressing resistance and elicits compliance in achieving organisational objectives. We demonstrate how a pervasive bullying culture oriented towards expanding management control weakens an ethical climate conducive to collegiality and the exercise of voice, and strengthens a more instrumental climate. Whilst such a climate can have negative outcomes for individuals, it may achieve desired organisational outcomes for management. View Full-Text
Keywords: workplace bullying; managerial control; culture of bullying workplace bullying; managerial control; culture of bullying
MDPI and ACS Style

McMahon, J.; O’Sullivan, M.; MacCurtain, S.; Murphy, C.; Ryan, L. “It’s Not Us, It’s You!”: Extending Managerial Control through Coercion and Internalisation in the Context of Workplace Bullying amongst Nurses in Ireland. Societies 2021, 11, 55. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020055

AMA Style

McMahon J, O’Sullivan M, MacCurtain S, Murphy C, Ryan L. “It’s Not Us, It’s You!”: Extending Managerial Control through Coercion and Internalisation in the Context of Workplace Bullying amongst Nurses in Ireland. Societies. 2021; 11(2):55. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020055

Chicago/Turabian Style

McMahon, Juliet, Michelle O’Sullivan, Sarah MacCurtain, Caroline Murphy, and Lorraine Ryan. 2021. "“It’s Not Us, It’s You!”: Extending Managerial Control through Coercion and Internalisation in the Context of Workplace Bullying amongst Nurses in Ireland" Societies 11, no. 2: 55. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020055

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