The scope of bullying among nurses in a public hospital in the Free State : a mixed-method study

Du Toit, Jacqueline (2013-03)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Orientation: Bullying is a form of counterproductive behaviour that is more subtle and more difficult to detect and that can be instigated by either individual or organisational antecedents. Research purpose: This study aims to explore bullying in a public hospital, and strives to contribute to the body of knowledge by providing guidance not only to organisational practitioners but also to employees to assist with the formation of policies and procedures to protect employees against bullying. Motivation for the study: Bullying is currently a substantial phenomenon in schools, and little research exists in South Africa that explains the extent of bullying within organisations. The focus of the study is to explore the possible antecedents and cost of bullying within a public hospital and to provide guidelines for the prevention of bullying behaviour. Research design, approach and method: The design followed was that of a mixed-method study. First, a quantitative approach was used whereby questionnaires were distributed to 77 participants. The questionnaire consisted of five sections, namely demographic particulars, prevalence of bullying and intervention against bullying, types of bullying, Negative Acts Questionnaire and Work Harassment Scale, and the cost of bullying. Data was then analysed by means of descriptive statistics to determine the sample group with the highest prevalence of bullying. The second approach was a qualitative approach that included conducting an in-depth interview with seven participants who volunteered to be interviewed. Main findings: The results represented and discussed suggest that bullying is prevalent in the public hospital in the Free State, and that some of the most prevalent behaviours are that of interrupting someone while they are speaking, belittling someone’s opinion, excessive monitoring of work, or flaunting one’s status or authority. Antecedents such as attitude, job environment, perception, power and language have been identified as possible causes for bullying behaviour. Whereas anxiety, not looking forward to going to work and constantly feeling tired are some of the psychological cost, a high frequency of sick leave indicated the organisational cost of bullying. Practical/managerial implications: Participants suggested the following interventions that can be implemented by the organisation to possibly prevent bullying behaviour: an orientation programme; a policy on how to interact with staff; complying with the language policy; creating a grievance policy; support groups and training with a specific focus on anger management; emotional intelligence, and coping skills. Contribution: While bullying is prevalent and actively combated elsewhere in the world and in local schools, the importance and consequences thereof should still be realised in South African organisations. This study examined the prevalence of bullying in a public hospital, and the possible antecedents of bullying behaviour, the cost of such behaviours that should be considered by the organisation, and possible interventions that could be implemented. In line with the literature, South African organisations can benefit from realising the importance and implementation thereof.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Oriëntasie: Bullebakkery is 'n vorm van onproduktiewe gedrag wat meer subtiel is en moeiliker is om te bepaal. Dit word aangehits deur individuele asook organisatoriese faktore. Doel van navorsing: Hierdie studie het ten doel om bullebakery te verken in 'n publieke hospitaal, en streef daarna om by te dra tot die literatuur, deur riglyne te verskaf om organisatoriese praktisyns, maar ook werknemers te help met die vorming van beleide en prosedures om werknemers teen die bullebakery te beskerm. Motivering: Bullebakery is tans 'n groot fenomeen in skole, en min navorsing bestaan in Suid-Afrika wat die omvang van bullebakery binne organisasies kan verduidelik. Die fokus van die studie is om die moontlike faktore en die koste van bullebakery in 'n publieke hospitaal te ondersoek en riglyne vir die voorkoming van bullebakery te voorsien. Ontwerp, benadering en metode van navorsing: Die navoringsontwerp wat gevolg is, is 'n gemengde metode studie. Eerstens, is 'n kwantitatiewe benadering gevolg waarvolgens vraelyste aan 77 deelnemers uitgedeel is. Die vraelys bestaan uit vyf afdelings, naamlik: demografiese besonderhede, die voorkoms van bullebakery en intervensies teen bullebakery, tipes bullebakery, negatiewe gedragvraelys en werkteisteringvraelys, en die koste van bullebakery. Data is deur middel van beskrywende statistiek ontleed om die steekproef met die hoogste voorkoms van bullebakery te bepaal. Die tweede benadering wat gevolg is, is 'n kwalitatiewe benadering, met die uitvoering van 'n in-diepte onderhoud met sewe deelnemers wat vrywillig aan 'n onderhoud deelgeneem het. Vernaamste bevindings: Die resultate en bespreking daarvan dui daarop dat bullebakery algemeen voorkom in die openbare hospitaal in die Vrystaat. Dit dui aan dat die algemeenste bullebakery behels die onderbreking van iemand terwyl hulle praat, verkleinering van iemand se opinie, oormatige monitering van werk en dan spog met jou status of gesag. Faktore soos houding, werksomgewing, persepsie, krag en taal is geïdentifiseer as moontlike oorsake vir die bullebakery gedrag. Verder is angs, om nie daarna uit te sien om te gaan werk nie en voortdurende moegheid, as sommige van die sielkundige koste van bullebakery wat geïdentifiseer is. ‘n Hoë frekwensie van siekteverlof is geïdentifeer as die organisatoriese koste van bullebakery. Praktiese/bestuursimplikasies: Die deelnemers het aangevoer dat die volgende stappe deur die organisasie geïmplementeer kan word om moontlik bullebakery te voorkom: 'n oriënteringsprogram, 'n beleid oor hoe om te kommunikeer met die personeel, navolging van die taalbeleid, die skep van 'n griefbeleid, ondersteuningsgroepe; opleiding met 'n spesifieke fokus op woedebestuur, emosionele intelligensie en hanteringsvaardighede. Bydrae: Terwyl die bullebakery algemeen en aktief in plaaslike skole bestry word, is dit ook van belang om die impak daarvan op Suid-Afrikaanse organisasies te ondersoek. Die fokus van hierdie studie is die ondersoek na bullebakery in 'n publieke hospitaal en die moontlike oorsake daarvanvan, die koste van sodanige gedrag wat deur organisasies oorweeg moet word, en moontlike intervensies wat geïmplementeer kan word. In ooreenstemming met die literatuur kan Suid-Afrikaanse organisasies baat vind deur die belangrikheid van die implementering daarvan te besef.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80304
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