n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Risk factors for workplace bullying in schools : a two dimensional perspective

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The aim of this article is to report on findings from a qualitative study on the risk factors for workplace bullying in South African schools. Hodson, Roscigno and Lopez's (2006) two dimensional model of bullying was used as theoretical framework. Educators, who were furthering their studies at the University of the Free State, were invited to take part in a study on different types of bullying. Deductive, directed content analysis was used to analyse educators' answers to an open-ended question on the risk factors for workplace bullying. The study established that risk factors for workplace bullying can be found in the relationship between the powerful bullies and the powerless, vulnerable victims, as well as in schools where organisational chaos reigns as a result of, among other things, incompetent and unprincipled leadership. The key findings of the study are, to a large extent, a confirmation of South African and international studies on workplace bullying in educational and non-educational work environments. It is therefore recommended that further studies should probe the reasons for these commonalities across workplace and geopolitical divides. The study concludes with general guidelines on how to address workplace bullying.

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