A descriptive investigation of morality and victimisation at work

Journal of Business Ethics 45 (1-2):29 - 40 (2003)
Abstract
This paper attempts to define the moral terrain attached to bullying, or work victimisation. Existing research on this problem tends to focus on the phenomenon as a personnel or organisational issue. Bullying is fairly endemic and harmful but not accorded the same priority as other forms of harassment and there is little protection in law. Much research has concentrated on the nature and extent of bullying and impact on its victims. The education sector in the United Kingdom provides fertile ground for bullying given greatly increased work demands. A descriptive case narrative is used to develop a number of ethical themes: the extent to which rights and/or individual moral conscience offer the best source of protection against bullying; the moral position and culpability of stakeholders, including policymakers, and individual witnesses to the case; implications for the development of ethical attitudes in the education sector of a developed economy; and the potentially conflicting ethical demands between government policy and individual needs. The paper concludes that inclusion of the moral dimension is vital to understanding and development of effective anti-discrimination mechanisms, intrinsic to which will be future research into discovering real attitudes towards bullying in the context of greater work pressure.
Keywords bullying  education sector  ethics  mobbing  morality  rights  victimization
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