What is it about?

Destructive behaviours which constitute workplace bullying can be countered through PBE to facilitate the establishment of sustainable workplaces.This study offers a new framework for developing sustainable workplaces which eschew bullying by using positive business ethics (PBE) and by leveraging knowledge on servant leadership and compassion.

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Why is it important?

In keeping with social learning theory, servant leaders play crucial roles in instilling compassion among their followers, such that relational dignity is usually upheld at work or sought to be restored in case bullying unfolds. Servant leadership are stewards who serve employees, organisations and communities with humility and authenticity informed by integrity and morality and add service to the leader–follower relationship. Therefore, workplace bullying is less likely to occur in their presence because they enhance feelings of compassion among followers and the followers respond with care, concern and kindness in case where mistreatment unfolds.


Writing this article was a great pleasure as it has co-authors whose prior research inspired my own work in the area of workplace bullying. Through this collaborative research project, we found that servant leadership and workplace compassion help workplaces protect their human capital while pursuing competitive advantage such that economic, ethical and social responsibilities are addressed, thereby serving as appropriate solutions to tackle the negative, unethical and destructive behaviours.

Dr Saima Ahmad
RMIT University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Caring for those in your charge: the role of servant leadership and compassion in managing bullying in the workplace, International Journal of Conflict Management, September 2022, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/ijcma-05-2022-0098.
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