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UKZN PhD Focuses on Workplace Bullying



UKZN PhD Focuses on Workplace Bullying

UKZN PhD Focuses on Workplace Bullying. Dr. Ashlesha Singh commitment to fostering healthier work environments and becoming an anti-bullying advocate has culminated in earning a PhD in Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Her groundbreaking study sheds light on the pervasive issue of workplace bullying, particularly within a local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

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Investigating Workplace Bullying

Dr. Singh’s research delved into the experiences of both employees and managers regarding workplace bullying. Utilizing interpretative phenomenological analysis, she explored the underlying reasons for bullying behaviors and devised systemic interventions aimed at mitigating these harmful actions.

Forms of Workplace Bullying

Dr. Singh identified various manifestations of workplace bullying, including:

  • Workplace aggression: Hostile behavior or communication.
  • Social and job isolation: Excluding individuals from professional or social activities.
  • Harassment: Repeated, unwanted behaviors that demean or intimidate.
  • Victimization: Targeting individuals for negative treatment.
  • Humiliation: Actions intended to embarrass or degrade.
  • Intrusion: Invasion of personal boundaries and privacy.

Lack of Awareness

A significant finding from Dr. Singh’s study was the lack of awareness about workplace bullying incidents at the research site. Despite existing efforts to combat bullying, the absence of comprehensive knowledge and understanding hindered effective prevention and management.

Impact of Workplace Bullying

The research underscored the profound negative impacts of workplace bullying on employees and managers, affecting their:

  • Social well-being: Straining relationships and reducing social interactions.
  • Psychological health: Causing stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Physical health: Leading to physical symptoms and illnesses.
  • Organizational well-being: Decreasing productivity, increasing absenteeism, and fostering a toxic work culture.

Support and Success

Dr. Singh’s journey was marked by support from enthusiastic study participants and leadership committed to addressing workplace bullying. This collaboration enabled her to conduct her research smoothly and complete her thesis with minimal supervision.

Personal Reflections

Reflecting on her PhD journey, Dr. Singh described it as both surreal and rewarding. She credited her family and friends for their unwavering encouragement and belief in her capabilities. Their support was instrumental in her successful completion of the study.


Dr. Ashlesha Singh PhD research at UKZN highlights the critical need for awareness and systemic interventions to combat workplace bullying. Her findings contribute valuable insights into understanding and addressing this detrimental issue, paving the way for healthier and more supportive work environments.

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