'They stand you in a corner; you are not to speak': Nurses tell of abusive indoctrination in work teams dominated by bullies

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Journal Article
Advances in Contemporary Nursing, 2006, 21 (2), pp. 228 - 238
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This paper reports some of the findings from the first qualitative stage of a large national study of bullying in the nursing workplace currently being undertaken in Australia.The findings reported here reveal how relationships between bullies were embedded within informal organizational alliances, enabling bullies to control work teams and use emotional abuse and psychological violence as a means of enforcing bully-defined 'rules of work'.Within nursing teams, bullies controlled work roles, tasks, and status in the nursing hierarchy through enforcing their 'rules'. Bullies enforced these rules through a process of ritual indoctrination, destroying the self-confidence and self-image of those targeted, and forcing them to eventually resign their position or acquiesce to survive.The merciless, calculated and deliberate nature of the bullying resulted in profound harm for many of those targeted.The findings of this research have implications for the understanding and management of workplace bullying.
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