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Workplace violence: issues, trends and strategies, edited by Vaughan Bowie (University of Western Sydney, Australia), Bonnie S Fisher (University of Cincinnati) and Cary L Cooper (University of Lancaster)

December 2005

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work-related violence as:

Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work. This can include verbal abuse or threats as well as physical attacks. Physical attacks are obviously dangerous, but serious or persistent verbal abuse can be a significant problem too, as it can cause damage employees' health through anxiety and stress. For their employers this can represent a real financial cost - through low staff morale and high staff turnover. This in turn can affect the confidence of a business and its profitability. Further costs may arise from expensive insurance premiums and compensation payments.

All work-related violence, both verbal and physical, has serious consequences for employees and for the business they work for. For employees violence can cause pain, distress and even disability or death.

This new book Workplace violence: issues, trends and strategies edited by eminent experts, examines some of the key issues around violence at work which have emerged in the new millennium, including the events of September 11th 2001 and other terrorist-related incidents, identifying these as an extreme form of workplace violence. It builds upon the expanded typology of workplace violence in Violence at Work (Willan, 2001), and identifies four types of workplace violence: intrusive, external violence including terrorism; consumer/client-related violence; staff-related violence; organisational violence.

This book also addresses some key emerging and controversial issues facing those concerned with workplace violence, including staff who abuse those in their care, domestic violence spilling over into the workplace, violence against aid and humanitarian workers, and organisations who are themselves abusive to their staff and service users as well as oppressive of their surrounding communities.

The Chapter contents are as follows:


  1. Workplace Violence: new issues, trends, and strategies Vaughan Bowie, Bonnie S Fisher and Cary Cooper

Section 1 - National and International Trends and Responses to Workplace Violence

  1. A cross-national comparison of workplace violence and response strategies Vittorio Di Martino
  2. Organizational factors and psychological aggression: results from a national survey of US companies Paula L Grubb, Rashaun K Roberts, Naomi G Swanson, Jennifer L Burnfield, and Jennifer H Childress
  3. Reforming abusive organisations Charlotte Raynor

Section 2 - Identifying and responding to at risk groups

  1. Staff violence against those in their care Charmaine Hockley
  2. Domestic violence and the workplace: do we know too much of nothing? Bonnie S Fisher and Corinne Peek-Asa
  3. Caring for those who care - aid worker safety and security as a source of stress and distress: a case for psychological support? Ros Thomas
  4. Not off the hook: relationships between aid organisation culture and climate and the experience of workers in volatile environments Barb Wigley

Section 3 - Terrorism: a new type of workplace violence

  1. Organisational violence: a trigger for reactive terrorism Vaughan Bowie
  2. Preparing, training, and supporting human service workers to respond to terrorist events David F Wee and Diane Myers
  3. Workplace preparedness and resiliency: an integrated response to terrorism Nancy T. Vineburgh, Robert J. Ursano, and Carol S. Fullerton

Section 4 - Bullies at work

  1. Workplace bullying: individual pathology or organisational culture Stale Einarsen, Helge Hoel, Dieter Zapf and Cary L. Cooper
  2. Cyber-harassment in the workplace Monica T Whitty and Adrian N Carr
  3. Where to from here? countering workplace violence in the new millennium, Vaughan Bowie, Bonnie S. Fisher, and Cary Cooper

Workplace Violence goes beyond the current emphasis on equipping 'primary responders' (e.g. police, fire ambulance, etc) to react to terrorist-related and other workplace violence incidents, paying attention to the 'secondary' responders such as human services workers, managers, human resources staff, unions, occupational health and safety professionals, humanitarian aid workers and median staff - and their training and support needs.

The book is highly recommended for the wide range of contents and certainly value for money. There are references for further reading at the end of each chapter and there is an extensive index.

The editors

Vaughan Bowie lectures at the University of Western Sydney in Australia, has carried out both research and training in the prevention of workplace violence, and is the author of Coping with Violence: a guide for human services; Bonnie Fisher is a Professor in the Division of Criminal Justice, and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Criminal Justice Research, at the University of Cincinnati, and is also a co-editor of the Security Journal; Cary L. Cooper is Pro Vice Chancellor (External Relations) and Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health, University of Lancaster, England, and the author of over 100 books and 400 scholarly articles.

Workplace violence: issues, trends and strategies, edited by Vaughan Bowie (University of Western Sydney, Australia), Bonnie S. Fisher (University of Cincinnati) and Cary L. Cooper (University of Lancaster)

Published by Willan Publishing, Culmcott House, Mill Street, Uffculme, Cullompton, Devon EX153AT, UK. ISBN: 1843921340, 2005, 312pp, Price: GBP£ 27.50