Table of contents(21 chapters)
The Coercive Community College: Bullying and its Costly Impact on the Mission to Serve Underrepresented Populations
Bruising the Bottom Line: Cost of Workplace Bullying and the Compromised Access for Underrepresented Community College Employees
Researchers have conducted numerous studies on workplace bullying (Björkqvist, Österman, & Hjelt-Bäck, 1994; Branch, Ramsay, & Barker, 2013; Cowan, 2012; Duffy & Sperry, 2007; Fritz, 2014; Harvey, et al., 2006; Liefooghe, 2010; Matthiesen & Einarsen, 2007; Yamada, 2000; Zabrodska & Kveton, 2013). Other studies specifically examined the corporate sector, European trends, and the impact on health and wellness for staff facing workplace bullying (Constanti & Gibbs, 2004; Djurkovic, McCormack, & Casimir, 2008; Query & Hanely, 2010; Thomas, 2005); yet, few studies considered the impact of workplace bullying on American higher education. More specifically, no empirical studies considered the impact of workplace bullying in America’s community colleges. Consequently, Hollis has replicated her study of four-year colleges and universities (2015) and applied the procedures to the community college setting. Consistent with the findings from respondents at four-year colleges and universities (n = 401), this data set revealed that community college respondents (n = 200) proportionally face workplace bullying as well. Sixty-two percent of respondents of four-year colleges and universities reported being affected by workplace bullying, while 64% of community colleges participants reported being affected by workplace bullying. Arguably, the impact on the community college and the first-generation students who pursue a community college education might be more severe as community colleges have fewer resources than four-year colleges and universities to spend on employee disengagement.
When the President is Bullied: A Diverse Sample of Narratives that Chronicle the Effect on the Community College Mission
Various researchers (Bennis, 1999; Birks, Budden, Stewart, & Chapman, 2014; Boggs, 2003; Burns, 1978; Gill & Jones, 2013; McPhail, 2002) have studied executive leadership and the cultures such leaders govern. Other studies have considered workplace bullying and its impact on the target (Branch, Ramsay & Barker, 2007; Hollis, 2015; Keim & McDermott, 2010; Klein, 2009). However, the voice of the president is often missing from such studies on workplace bullying and the culture that causes these distractions. Therefore, this narrative qualitative study collects the stories of six community college presidents to better understand how even the most executive officer can be the target of workplace bullying. The findings reveal that presidents endure workplace bullying from collective populations such as the faculty or the community. Further, the board of trustees can act as or enable a bully that has a deleterious impact on the presidents and the communities they serve. The findings from this narrative qualitative study may prove informative to candidates considering such presidential or chief executive positions as well as to boards of trustees who are critical to any president’s success.
Color Outside the Lines: The Impact of Workplace Bullying on People of Color Working in Community Colleges
Workplace bullying is an emerging topic for researchers considering the impact of abusive behavior on employees (Björkqvist, Österman, & Hjelt-Bäck, 1994; Branch, Ramsay, & Barker, 2007; Cowan, 2012; Duffy & Sperry, 2007; Fritz, 2014; Harvey, Heames, Richey, & Leonard, 2006; Liefooghe & Mackenzie, 2010; Matthiesen & Einarsen, 2007; Yamada, 2000; Zabrodska & Kveton, 2013). European trends, corporate cultures, and the target’s wellness have also been the focus of other studies on workplace bullying (Constanti & Gibbs, 2004; Djurkovic, McCormack, & Casimir, 2008; Query & Hanely, 2010; Thomas, 2005); yet as was stated in the initial chapter, few studies considered the impact of workplace bullying on American higher education. More specifically, no empirical studies considered the impact of workplace bullying in America’s community colleges or the people of color who work at community colleges. Consequently, Hollis has replicated her study of four-year colleges and universities (2015) and applied the procedures to the community college sector. This analysis specifically reflecting on people of color at community colleges utilizes the data set, which was the subject of analysis in Chapter 1. Within the community college sample, 26% were people of color. Further, 73% of the respondents of color reported being affected by workplace bullying. Therefore, this study may be of interest to diversity officers or any personnel interested in creating and maintaining a healthy work environment for all community college staff, regardless of color.
The Importance of Professor Civility in a Computer-Based Open-Access Environment for a Minority-Serving Institution
The simultaneous proliferation of developmental education and online computer-based education creates questions about the success and failure of students engaging in remediation without teacher-led instruction. While many studies show minimal difference in student performance between online and face-to-face instruction (Schenker, 2007; Utts et al., 2003; Ward, 2004; Zieffler et al., 2008), other researchers (Bahr, 2012; Bailey, 2009; Crisp & Delgado, 2014) examine the effectiveness of developmental education to assist students in math, English, or both. In addition, Astin’s student development theory (1999) confirms that positive faculty-student interaction helps students persist through the curriculum. Faculty can create those supportive environments that help students. Therefore, within the cross-section of developmental education and computer-based instruction, the purpose of this study is to consider the importance of teacher care and civility for black and Hispanic developmental English students in an open-access, minority-serving institution. The findings show that while a statistically significant relationship was not observed, there is a positive relationship between students’ perception that the professor is caring and civil and the final grade.
Labor Intensive: Workplace Bullying, Union Membership, and Unrealized Civil Rights for People of Color
A recent study considered the extent of workplace bullying in four-year colleges and universities (Hollis, 2015a). However, as 60% of all community college employees (faculty and staff) are represented by collective bargaining (Berry, Savarese, & Boris, 2012), no studies consider the impact of labor unions on the extent of workplace bullying at community colleges and the impact on people of color in labor unions.
Guided by a theory on social responsibility espoused by Dawkins (2010), this study considered a sample of 142 community colleges through a correlation analysis to reveal that 67% of those who belong to unions are subject to workplace bullying, 3% higher than the general population reporting their experiences in relationship to workplace bullying at community colleges. Further, 76% of people of color in unions also are affected by workplace bullying in community colleges. In contrast, 68% of people of color not in unions are affected by bullying.
Workplace bullying has received increasing attention from researchers since the early 2000s. While the cost of disengagement and the impact on people of color have been considered (Hollis, 2012), this conceptual essay is a secondary analysis of data collected in Chapter 1 to reflect on the position of the target. Reflecting on the primary sample of 200 community college respondents, this analysis uses descriptive statistics to answer the question, “what is the extent of community college women affected by workplace bullying?” After it was determined that 32.5% of the general sample, primarily women, avoided bullying, the researcher developed a second question “who is not bullied in community colleges?” This secondary analysis shows that race, gender, and position are factors that seemingly contribute to who avoids bullying. Considering theories regarding social dominance (Pratto, Sidanius, Stallworth, & Malle, 1994; Sidanius, 1993) and constrained choice (Broadbridge, 2010; Hakim, 2002), the data revealed that those who are not bullied tend to be white, women, in middle management, without tenure. Further, only 6% of the people of color reported they were unaffected by workplace bullying. These respondents of color all held positions without power in the community college structure.
As noted in chapter 3, workplace bullying has been proven to disproportionately affect those who are outside of the mainstream culture because of race, gender, or organizational position. In short, those who do not confirm to the hegemonic culture’s expectations are more likely to be the targets of bullying. This fact remains particularly evident in the examination of the gender and sexual minority (GSM) sample of this data collection. Rarely is 100% of one sample affected by bullying, as is the case of GSM employees working in community colleges. Therefore, this conceptual essay will use Allport’s (1979) theory on prejudice and descriptive statistics to reflect on the campus cultures that allow for GSMs to consistently face such abuse on the community college campus.
The information superhighway has also been a vehicle for bullies to harass targets in K-12, college, corporate sectors, and higher education (Long, 2008; Tu, 2002). While technology is useful, the public shaming component makes cyberbullying an indelible emotional assault that remains on the Internet years after the initial aggression. By reflecting on theoretical elements of public shaming discussed by Gilbert and Proctor (2006), and Dzurec et al. (2014), this conceptual essay will use descriptive statistics in a secondary analysis to document occurrences of cyberbullying in community colleges and reveal that people of color (56%) are more likely to be the target of cyberbullying than their white counterparts (41%). The contents of this chapter might be of interest to diversity officers and personnel considering acceptable use policies for technology on their respective campuses.
This book has presented theoretically driven empirical research that confirms the impact of workplace bullying on the community college campus. Theoretical insights and methods such as equal opportunity theory (Mithaug, 1996), Hochschild’s emotional labour (2003), McPhail’s culture management theory (2002), Bandura’s self-efficacy (1977), and theories on power (Goldblatt, 2007) provide a framework for these data. Further, social dominance theories, (Sidanius & Pratto, 1999) and employee disengagement theories (Samnani, Salamon, & Singh, 2014) give different lenses from which to consider bullying.
Theories provide solid backdrops, yet for those facing workplace bullying, there is nothing theoretical about the experience. The abuse is real and demoralizing; by the definition used throughout this book, bullying is escalating (Einarsen, 2003). In response to bullying, study respondents confirm filing EEO complaints, leaving the job, taking stress leave, and changing work schedules to find relief. The following scenarios provide an opportunity to reflect objectively on workplace bullying and its application to different community college constituencies.
The goal for each discussion is to find relief for the target, and develop recommendations to create a healthy environment. As one reflects on these scenarios, one also needs to consider: (1) A rationale reaction or strategy that is not informed by outrage, anger, or helplessness, (2) what resources can be or should be at the disposal of the target, and (3) what policies or legislations are available to assist the target. Readers should be encouraged to utilize the findings and data in this book and policy at their respective institutions to craft possible solutions. These scenarios are appropriate for those considering the nuances of workplace bullying and leadership in scholastic or practical arenas. Further, emerging leaders and graduate students can also consider solutions to workplace bullying.
Call to Action: Strategies to Create and Maintain Civility for Underrepresented Groups in the Community College
This chapter, which is based on the open-ended comments from study respondents, highlights the need for workplace bullying policies on community college campuses. Twenty-five percent of respondents from this study believe policy would help minimize bullying, and 27.10% believe professional development and training would help stem workplace bullying. In turn, this conceptual essay presents descriptive statistics reporting on how respondents view a healthy workplace. This call to action offers supporting data for those on community college campuses seeking to develop campus wide policy to prevent workplace bullying.