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ERIC Number: ED550687
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 235
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-2645-6
Sabotaging Our Sisters: Perceptions of Female Relational Aggression in Higher Education among Female Faculty and Administrators at Three Western U.S. Universities
Nyborg, Deborah G.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Idaho State University
The purpose of this study was to explore and understand relational workplace aggression among female faculty and administrators at three western U.S. universities. This study was designed to address the gap in empirical knowledge of the phenomenon by elucidating how workplace relational aggression affects the lives of female university faculty and administrators who are targets of workplace aggression by their female colleagues. This study employed mixed methods: quantitative data were derived from surveys sent to 210 female faculty and administrators at three universities; qualitative data were derived from face-to-face interviews conducted with 9 survey respondents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to draw conclusions from the data derived from the survey. The quantitative research explored the perceived prevalence of workplace aggression, as defined and delimited by twenty-three workplace aggression survey items. Among the twenty-three survey items designed to query workplace aggression instances and associated prevalence, nearly a quarter of respondents noted they had been subject to someone rolling their eyes when the respondents were talking, receiving unkind looks, and being given the silent treatment. Another quantitative question explored perceptions of the effect of relational aggression on job satisfaction. Although the means indicated that the majority of participants disagreed to some extent with the majority of the survey items associated with reduced job satisfaction, the highest ranked items conveyed psychological and emotional impacts that reflected reduced job satisfaction including sleepless nights and crying. The inductive analysis of the interview data yielded five broad themes. They were: (a) anytime, anywhere; (b) motives; (c) trigger events; (d) target resilience; and (e) not everybody. None of the interviewees indicated a motive associated with race, sexual orientation or gender, but several referenced power, feelings of importance and self-esteem as factors in the aggression they experienced or witnessed. Interviewees most often cited the motivation for relational aggression to be jealousy, although their circumstances varied. Although the quantitative data in terms of overall prevalence of experiences associated with workplace aggression instances were low, the qualitative data indicated that workplace aggression was an issue, with eight of the nine respondents indicating that they had been witnesses to such acts, and seven of the nine indicating that they had at some point been targets of aggression. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A