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  1. Johnson, Susan L. PhD, RN
  2. Boutain, Doris M. PhD, RN
  3. Tsai, Jenny H.-C. PhD, RN
  4. de Castro, Arnold B. PhD, RN


OBJECTIVE: To explore how workplace bullying is addressed by hospital nursing unit managers and organizational policies.


BACKGROUND: Although workplace bullying is costly to organizations, nurses report that managers do not consistently address the issue.


METHODS: This study used discourse analysis to analyze interview data and policy documents.


RESULTS: There were differences in the manner in which managers and the policy documents labeled bullying-type behaviors and discussed the roles and responsibilities of staff and managers. Policies did not clearly delineate how managers should respond to workplace bullying.


CONCLUSIONS: These differences can allow management variation, not sanctioned by policy. Unclear policy language can also offer insufficient guidance to managers, resulting in differential enforcement of policies.