Third-Party Interventions in Workplace Bullying: A neoliberal agenda?

Hazel Mawdsley, Alison Thirlwall

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    Purpose - Bullying is a persistent, damaging feature of neoliberal workplaces, despite the increased use of TPIs (Third-Party Interventions). This study investigates how TPIs relate to individualisation of the employment contract; whether TPIs deflect attention away from bullying; and the impact for targets.

    Methodology - Data was gathered from focus groups and interviews with members and officials of three large UK trade unions.

    Findings - TPIs individualise bullying allegations and such interventions are further characterised by impotence, injustice and lack of impartiality, serving to deflect bullying claims and exacerbate targets’ suffering.

    Practical implications - Recommendations are made to improve the efficacy of interventions.

    Originality/value - This paper increases the limited research into the efficacy of TPIs and makes a significant contribution to debates on neoliberal individualism.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)506-519
    Number of pages14
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Issue number3
    Early online date9 Dec 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


    • Workplace Bullying
    • Intervention
    • Mediation
    • Counselling
    • Peer Listeners
    • Individualism
    • Neoliberalism
    • Human Resource Management


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