Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela, and Sarah Tracy. “Answering five key questions
about workplace bullying: How Communication Scholarship Provides Thought
Leadership for Transforming Abuse at Work.” Management Communication
Quarterly 26(1), 3-47 (2012).
Organizational communication research is vital for understanding and addressing workplace bullying, a problem that affects nearly half of working adults and has devastating results on employee well-being and organizational productivity. A communication approach illustrates the toxic complexity of workplace bullying as it is condoned through societal discourses, sustained by receptive workplace cultures, and perpetuated through local interactions. Examining these (macro, meso, and micro) communicative elements addresses the most pressing questions about workplace bullying, including (a) how abuse manifests, (b) how employees respond, (c) why it is so harmful, (d) why resolution is so difficult, and (e) how it might be resolved. This article provides tips for addressing and transforming workplace bullying, which may be of particular interest to consultants and human resource professionals, while also offering a theoretical synthesis and launching pad for future research.