Workplace bullying in a professional environment: Perspectives of legal practitioners

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


University of Copenhagen

Place of Publication

Copenhagen, Denmark


School of Business and Law




Originally published as: Omari, M. and Paull, M. (2012) Workplace bullying in a professional environment: Perspectives of legal practitioners. In: A. Hogh, C. Jørgensen, A. S. Fedders (eds). Book of Proceedings of the The 8th International Conference on Workplace Bullying and Harassment -Future Challenges, 12 - 15 June, Copenhagen, Denmark pp. 166-175. Original article available here


Bullying may not be evenly distributed across industry. Zapf, Einarsen, Hoel and Varita (2003) consider bullying to be more prevalent among white collar workers and service employees. This paper reports the findings of a study of workplace bullying in the legal profession in Australia. Members of the professional association were asked to respond to a survey and to provide stories on their perceptions of the nature, causes and consequences of workplace bullying in the legal environment. The survey was dispatched to all members of the association in Western Australia; 327 completed forms were returned. The fiercely competitive nature of the field, and work practices such as ‘billable hours' were seen as significant contributors to the environment of workplace bullying. Direct and indirect negative behaviours were reported by the respondents with adverse consequences at the individual and organisational levels.

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