Workplace bullying expert to give keynote address at global conference

A Plymouth University academic will be one of the keynote speakers at a global conference examining bullying and harassment at work.

Professor Duncan Lewis is a world-renowned researcher on workplace bullying, and its connections to discrimination and ill-treatment.

He has been invited to give one of the two keynote addresses at the 10th International Conference on Workplace Bullying and Harassment in Auckland, New Zealand, this April.

Professor Lewis, who holds a Chair in Management within the Plymouth Graduate School of Management, has written a number of books and research papers on the subject and recently took part in a roundtable meeting hosted by the Department of Health to discuss bullying and harassment in the NHS.

He said:

“In the fast changing global labour market, workplaces are changing. Workers increasingly face uncertainty, amid demands for them to be more flexible, and such conditions are likely to place particular burdens on different groups. These reforms have extended to employment tribunals, where workers now have to pay to have their workplace injustices heard, meaning the status of ‘employee’ looks increasingly vulnerable resulting in workers entering a more precarious employment status.”

The conference, hosted by the New Zealand Work Research Institute at AUT University in conjunction with the Healthy Work Group at Massey University, is already attracting delegates from across the world.

It will present scholars and practitioners with the opportunity to consider important aspects related to workplace bullying and harassment, with the overall aim of the conference to share and learn advances in preventing and managing workplace bullying.

As well as the keynote address Professor Lewis will also lead a workshop, alongside Paul Deemer of NHS Employers, exploring bullying and harassment in the health sector.

The aim is to offer practitioners, policy makers and researchers an opportunity to identify potential solutions which might transfer across local, international and cultural differences.

Professor Lewis added:

“Current issues facing the NHS include service delivery and staffing levels that inevitably lead to staff feeling more pressured – and perhaps more bullied and harassed. This is being countered by a significant drive to change the organisational cultures within NHS trusts – triggered, amongst others, by the Francis Inquiry. This drive includes innovative practices which will hopefully serve to bring about the desired changes; including a focus on values and improved staff engagement.”

Professor Duncan Lewis, who holds a Chair in Management within the Plymouth Graduate School of Management, said:

Current issues facing the NHS include service delivery and staffing levels that inevitably lead to staff feeling more pressured – and perhaps more bullied and harassed

Read more about Professor Duncan Lewis' research

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