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The form and function of ‘bullying’ behaviors in a strong occupational culture: bullying in a UK police service

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The study examines the persistence of bullying in a high-teamwork environment using self-categorization theory (SCT) and interaction ritual chain theory (IRCT). Findings from a qualitative study suggest that “isolation” is the key behavior police officers label as bullying and that other behaviors thought of as bullying may be tolerated, providing there is no exclusion. IRCT clarified the dynamics, whereas SCT explained the motivation for engaging in rituals containing behaviors that included bullying. The study posits a new framework for bullying in high-pressured teams and accounts for the tolerance to “bullying” behaviors in such work environments. Implications for addressing workplace bullying in these contexts are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-375
Number of pages29
JournalGroup & Organization Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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