The main objective of my project lies within the question of how online technology can be used to support the reporting of workplace bullying? This question can be molded to fit multiple frameworks, so to get a stronger overview and help carry the proposed research, using several frameworks will be helpful in collecting and applying the research. Using multiple theories will allow me to be more objective and use multiple lenses; “competing theories are common in the social sciences because the nature of the phenomena being studied allows for those phenomena to be viewed from multiple perspectives. Each perspective could provide a reason and sensible explanation of the phenomenon being studied” (Anfara & Mertz, 2015).

There are times during my research that I feel as though I am hitting a brick wall, for example, when I research Alberta Colleges Policies and Procedures, most state to contact HR or report workplace harassment to a manager (BVC, 2019 & SAIT, 2020). When researching the actual technology aspect, I am finding non descriptive and vague examples; which tells me I need to do more quantitative research into what the actual (if any) technology is, as this is one of the largest road blocks I am seeing. Therefore, the technology acceptance model is most fitting for one of my frameworks. I need to examine the attitude and see what influence this has on the individual’s behavior. Would using technology make a person more disinterested in reporting workplace bullying? Technology acceptance brings to light certain variables I had not considered when doing my research. There could be potential losses, frustration and even create a realm of distrust (Chung, 2006): “It is equally important to understand what motivates employees to continue to use these systems once adopted” (Chung, 2006).

Systems Theory is broken down as a “framework by which one can investigate and/or describe any group of objects that work together to produce some result” (Gaia, 2020). Because I am dealing with a question which contains several different variables, I feel this will allow me to identify the many different “players” involved. For example, the bullying victim needs to go through a system to report workplace bullying, but what are the effective ways of navigating this system? I am dealing with anti-social behavior, technology, workplace policies and procedures and statistics of reporting bullying. Systems theory helps bridge a gap between the sociological and socio – science perspective. I am wondering if there are too many moving parts, which keeps the research very interesting, but makes it overwhelming.

“Emphasizing the impact of constructed knowledge on the individual’s active, reflective thinking” Ruey, S. (2010) plays a large factor in my research, as constructivism points out that the reality of the situation is based on the individuals experience. Finding out how bullying is reported is important but does not lend to the entire premise of the research, I need more than the individuals “real world perceptions” (McLeod, S. A. 2019), but I cannot dismiss their reality. Therefore, I want to ensure I use constructivism theory as something in my “back pocket” when reviewing the research to bring a stronger, deeper understanding of the logic and rationale as to what is being discussed in regard to bullying. Would social constructivism work best possibly?

Reading examples of why people do not report workplace bullying seems to boil down to victim blaming and fear of repercussions (Meidav, 2020), so having more autonomy and avoiding a long drawn out process is elemental in bringing both awareness and reporting to the forefront. Since we have moved the majority of colleges to an online capacity (due to the current climate), I would like to think we are more advanced in how we report workplace bullying. I find it interesting that we can take a picture, post it to facebook or snapchat and receive feedback and comments immediately. Yet, when I reached out to my Faculty Association and HR department 2 weeks ago regarding technology offered to help with reporting workplace bullying, I have been given a phone number or in one case – radio silence.

I always appreciate the great feedback I get from this group, so please let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance.

  • Kerry

References

Anfara, V. A., & Mertz, N. T. (2015). Theoretical frameworks in qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Chung, S. (2006). Extending the technology acceptance model with social and organizational variables. Cornell University.

Gaia. (2020). What is Systems Theory? Retrieved November 30, 2020, from http://environment-ecology.com/general-systems-theory/137-what-is-systems-theory.html

McLeod, S. A. (2019). Constructivism as a theory for teaching and learning. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/constructivism.html

Meidav, N. (2020). Why workers don’t report misconduct in the workplace. Retrieved from https://vaultplatform.com/why-workers-dont-report-misconduct-in-the-workplace/

Ruey, S. (2010). A case study of constructivist instructional strategies for adult online learning. British Journal of Educational Technology41(5), 703-720.