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Workplace bullying: multiple perspectives and interventions

   School of Applied Sciences

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  Dr Ethan Shapiro, Dr B Piotrowska, Dr M Gheorghiu  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Edinburgh United Kingdom Occupational Psychology Organisational Psychology Psychology

About the Project

The aim of this study is to explore the experiences of cyberbullying in the workplace to better understand its implications on employee wellbeing and engagement. Cyberbullying has become an increasing issue in organisations due to the rise in technological mediums used for communication. This type of workplace bullying is defined as repeated intrusive and offensive messages that leave the target feeling vulnerable and helpless (Loh & Snyman, 2020). In the UK, it has been estimated that there is a high level of prevalence in this type of behaviour in organisations (Privitera & Campbell, 2009). Trends for organisations to move toward more virtual working has meant that there will be an expected increase in this type of bullying (Farley, Coyne, & D’Cruz, 2021).  

Over the last few years research has documented the prevalence of this type of behaviour in the workplace (Loh & Snyman, 2020), but this leaves a gap in understanding how experiencing this type of bullying has on individuals in their professional and personal lives, as well as the detriment it has on organisations having to deal with poor retention rates. 

This PhD will adopt a mixed-methods approach to address the need to improve understanding of this issue from the perspective of the victims of cyberbullying, those who have been accused of this type of bullying and managers who have a responsibility for dealing with this type of behaviour. Additionally, there remains a need to examine the effectiveness of interventions to address workplace bullying behaviours (Illing et al., 2013; Gillen et al., 2017).


Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Psychology with a good fundamental knowledge of  research methods.

English language requirement

IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

 Essential attributes:

·        Experience of fundamental quantitative and qualitative methods

·        Competent in research planning, execution, and reporting

·        Knowledge of psychology research ethics

·        Good written and oral communication skills

·        Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project

·        Good time management

 Desirable attributes:

An understanding or desire to learn more about the field of occupational psychology.


Please quote project code SAS0150 in your application


• Completed application form

• CV

• 2 academic references, using the Postgraduate Educational Reference Form (Found on the application process page)

• A personal research statement (This should include (a) a brief description of your relevant experience and skills, (b) an indication of

what you would uniquely bring to the project and (c) a statement of how this project fits with your future direction.)

• Evidence of proficiency in English (if appropriate)

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded position.


Loh, J., & Snyman, R. (2020). The tangled web: consequences of workplace cyberbullying in adult male and female employees. Gender in Management: An International Journal.
Privitera, C., & Campbell, M. A. (2009). Cyberbullying: The new face of workplace bullying?. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(4), 395-400.
Carter, M., Thompson, N., Crampton, P., Morrow, G., Burford, B., Gray, C., & Illing, J. (2013). Workplace bullying in the UK NHS: a questionnaire and interview study on prevalence, impact and barriers to reporting. BMJ open, 3(6).