About the book

Book cover plus quote from Dame Anita Roddick, The Body Shop founder: "We were searching for employees, but people turned up instead."

Bullying in Australian (and Other) Workplaces is a groundbreaking book that explains workplace bullying in plain English for the general reader in a revealing, forthright and often confronting style. It includes the latest viewpoints and strategies for addressing one of Australia’s most serious workplace health and safety problems.

Attempts to address bullying in Australian workplaces are failing. News media tell us almost weekly about severe bullying in industries such as emergency services, health, business, public service and not-for-profits. But bullying affects workers employed in all sectors, big and small. Independent staff surveys reveal bullying rates upwards of 25 per cent in some industries.

Worldwide, most employees don’t report their bullying for a range of valid reasons. Among them are fear of retribution and lack of faith that anything will be done about it, so the extent of the problem is understated. Millions of Australians suffer miserable and sometimes wretched work lives, struggling daily to come to work. Their pain spills into every other part of their lives.

While this book focuses on Australian workplaces, the problem of bullying is global. The lessons here and strategies for dealing with it will resonate with readers worldwide.

Topics covered include:

  • What bullying is and isn’t
  • Impact on targets and costs for employers
  • Bullying behaviours and why bullying happens
  • Bullying and personality
  • Employers’ dirty tactics and reasons not to trust HR
  • Preparing a complaint and having an advocate
  • Taking legal action
  • Advice from the bullied
  • Creating respectful workplaces

See the full table of contents

Read about the bullying example that led to this book

This book is an independent not-for-profit project funded by the Triple A Foundation.

Available from these booksellers

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Dr John W Murphy

Dr John William Murphy is a qualified social worker with 40 years of experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. He taught social work at Monash University and worked in family and children’s services, community development and volunteering. He has supported employees who have been bullied at work and advised employers.


Barrie Thomas

Barrie Thomas is a qualified social worker with a 42-year business career which included bringing The Body Shop cosmetics retail chain to Australia and New Zealand where he is currently managing director. He was an Adjunct Professor at Deakin University. Through his business, he has supported a wide range of philanthropic causes in Australia, New Zealand and developing countries. Barrie funded the production of this book through his community foundation.

Dr Max Liddell

Dr Max Liddell has social work qualifications and has had a long career in family and children’s services and private consulting. He was an Associate Professor and Head of the Social Work Department at Monash University and recently wrote a seminal history, Child Welfare in Australia Since 1788.

Book cover: Bullying in Australian (and Other) Workplaces

Bullying in Australian (and Other) Workplaces by Dr John W. Murphy with Barrie Thomas and Dr Max Liddell is available at leading booksellers worldwide or ask your favourite bookstore.