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Abstract

Workplace bullying is increasingly recognized as an important area of debate, particularly among researchers adopting a psychological perspective of work. This paper examines definitions of workplace bullying and explores less orthodox approaches within a British context. It focuses primarily on managers as perpetrators, and comments on the ‘bullying organization’, the relevance of human resource management and of gender. Context, the workplace balance of power, workers’ collective resistance and trade unions are then emphasized as significant factors and the potential for developing a contextualized, politicized and interdisciplinary approach to workplace bullying is suggested. Links with mobilization theory are explored, and the issue is also examined within the UK public sector environment.