November 01, 2009

Not Your Child's Playground: Workplace Bullying Among Community College Faculty

Community colleges have provided an entree into higher education for many women. Yet, women faculty perceive the overall climate of community colleges as “chilly.” To deconstruct the interpersonal dynamics that may lead to perceptions of a chilly climate, this study examines the prevalence of workplace bullying among and between community college faulty. The purpose is to understand the nature of harassment, the ways in which women define and respond to it, and the importance of contextual factors in the prevalence.

Workplace bullying is a form of interpersonal aggression that has implications for how individuals perceive the organizational climate, job productivity, and job satisfaction. Findings from this study indicate that workplace bullying among faculty includes many subtle practices characterized by informal and formal use of power, faculty workplace bullying is affected by several enabling structures specific to the context, and victims typically respond with avoidance. This study has implications for harassment policies, faculty involvement in institutional governance, and the gendered nature of interpersonal dynamics.


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