The Research Team on Workplace Violence and Abuse (Workplace Bullying)
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was first formed in 2000, under the auspices of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research, housed at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

Its initial (2004) study, was conducted in the form of three learning circles with individuals who self-identified as having been victimized at work. The team gained insights into New Brunswickers' experiences of bullying, intimidation, victimization, aggression, and other forms of violence and abuse in their workplaces. At this early stage, individual, group, and organizational remedies began to emerge. Findings of this phase of the team's work were summarized in a research report, of which a plain-language version is included in the Employee's Guide.

In its second study, funded by the National Crime Prevention Strategy, the research team examined workplace bullying from an organizational perspective. At this point, a project advisory team was formed, to bring added breadth of perspective. In this study, twenty-nine key informants (managers, Human Resources and Employee Assistance Program professionals, union officials, and investigators, working in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors and unions) were interviewed about their experiences in addressing workplace bullying and harassment issues. Ten of these people, and five others added at a later stage, took part in a series of co-facilitated solution-focused discussions which examined some of the more challenging and difficult-to-resolve issues and endeavoured to develop possible solutions. The Organization's Guide reflects the findings of this phase of the research.

A breakdown of research participation numbers is provided.

The research team and the project advisory committee are co-chaired by Dr. Judith MacIntosh (Faculty of Nursing, University of New Brunswick) and Marilyn Noble (community-based adult educator).

Research team members include: Julia Bannister, Counselor, Family Enrichment & Counseling Services and Wise Choice Career Counseling; Doreen Beckwith, Clerical Staff, River Valley Health (Region 3); Alyson Maxwell, Coordinator, Youth Choices Program, Saint John Boys & Girls Club; Joan Teed, Counsellor, Family Enrichment and Counselling Services; Sally Wells DiCarlo, Mediation and Legal Training Consultant, Sally Wells-DiCarlo & Associates; and Shera Stanley, Community Development and Disaster Services Associate, Canadian Red Cross, NB.

Project advisory committee members include: Dr. Marvin Claybourn, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychology, St. Thomas University; Ryan Jacobson, IPMA-CP, Manager, Repatriation, Population Growth Secretariat; John Oxner, Manager of Training and Wellness, Dept. of Public Safety; Wayne Walsh, President/CEO, Digital Earth Geomatics, Inc.

Anita Legere, recently retired from Human Resources Development Canada, is a project associate.

See www.unbf.ca/arts/CFVR/research-workplace-violence.php for further details regarding the research team.

Acknowledgements


We wish to thank all of the people who so generously shared their expertise as key informants during these two studies.
We also wish to acknowledge the funding support of the UNB Research Fund Series 39, and of the Crime Prevention Partnership Program of the National Crime Prevention Strategy.

About This Toolkit


This toolkit is the result of these two studies. Along the way, live and media-based public awareness presentations, workplace-based training sessions, individual cases brought to the team’s attention, and discussions with other researchers and practitioners have also contributed new perspectives and insights which are reflected here.
Our information and resources are freely available to all workplaces and to the public.

Short Summary of Research Participation Facts

PHASE ONE (2004): Three learning circles with self-identified targets of workplace bullying helped to clarify how this behaviour is being experienced in New Brunswick workplace settings, its human and economic impacts, and what employees perceived as appropriate ways of addressing it. (This phase was funded by the UNB Research Fund Series 39.)

PHASE ONE
May-June 2004:
Focus groups with self-identified targets of workplace bullying
21 participants: 16 women, 5 men
Their work experience ranged from two years to over 25 years.
62% were from Fredericton and Saint John; 38% from smaller communities in New Brunswick. They came from diverse workplaces: two-person offices, helping agencies, small businesses, large businesses, government departments, and unionized and non-unionized workplaces.

PHASE TWO (2006-07):
Interviews with 29 key informants (public, private, not-for-profit sector, and unions) identified some of the more persistent and difficulty-to-resolve issues. A series of co-facilitated, solution-focused learning circles led to the development of a set of action strategies. (This phase was funded by the Crime Prevention Partnership Program of the National Crime Prevention Strategy.)

PHASE TWO
July-Nov. 2006:

Key informant interviews with managers who have (or have had)
significant responsibility for addressing workplace bullying
29 participants: 22 women, 7 men
Most were individual interviews; two involved groups (of 2 and 5 people)
Interview duration: 1-4 hours, with most lasting about 2 hours 20 minutes
Workplace types:
13 public sector (8 in one large organization)
7 private sector
3 unions
1 not-for-profit organization
15 of these organizations were situated in the greater Fredericton-Oromocto area
and 2 were Atlantic regional offices based in Halifax
One interviewee works full-time in investigation of workplace harassment and professional standards violations
Jan- March 2007 Five co-facilitated two-and-a-half-hour group discussions, held every two weeks with a subset of the key informants
10 participants: 7 women, 3 men
7 public sector, 2 union, 1 private sector
Average attendance: six participants
October 2007 Two additional co-facilitated solution-focused group discussions (a full-day and a half-day session, held three days apart)
8 participants: 3 of the original key informants and 5 new participants
7 women, 1 man
5 public sector 2 union, 1 private sector

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