The Counties Manukau Health Research Office has approved a final research report by Massey University doctoral student Natalia D’Souza et al. which develops a model of the factors that underlie workplace cyberbullying in nursing (Figure 1).
The model identifies individual, organisational and industry-level factors that enable workplace cyberbullying to happen.
Ms D’Souza said individual-level factors include perpetrator-related features, such as cultural or generational differences in communication, and targets believing they could or should deal with cyberbullying alone.
Organisation-level factors include organisations having inadequate policies to deal with bullying, lack of clarity about who the target can approach for help, and a belief by targets that the bully had the support of senior management, she said.
She identified industry- or national-level factors as a bullying culture in the workplace or broader industry; the ‘mateship’ of small professional communities where most people knew each other and public incidents of cyberbullying had the potential to damage reputations; inadequate policy and support from external agencies, such as lawyers and the police; and work-related pressures, such as staff shortages, workloads and resource constraints.
“This model will provide a useful framework for understanding how cyberbullying occurs and a starting point for preventing and managing it,” said Ms D’Souza.
The model is part of a study that explored eight cases of workplace cyberbullying.
Download the full report, Workplace cyberbullying in New Zealand nursing.