Workplace bullying

Anne-Marie has been researching the issue of workplace bullying since 1999, and writing about it regularly since the publication of her research findings, including bullying statistics and real-life case studies, in her book Bullying in the Arts.

Two in five UK arts workers reported being the target of bullying in their cultural sector workplace, a higher level than in any other single sector. In 2013, new research in the arts and entertainments sector indicated that the level of bullying has risen substantially during the last decade.

Anne-Marie is now focusing on writing a new handbook about workplace bullying, and how to deal with it.

See information in About the book  for details of book cover.

Raising awareness 

Recent projects included a facilitated workshop on dealing with workplace bullying in collaboration with Bev Morton, Director of  The Art of Possibility.

Workplace bullying has had a high profile in recent years – in May 2013, Lyn Gardner wrote about bullying in the theatre; in June Devoted & Disgruntled ran a series of open space sessions and the BECTU Freelancers’ Fair included seminars on the issue.

The Federation of Entertainment Unions launched a new survey of bullying behaviour in arts, entertainment and media workplaces during the summer months (Piers has written an article about this for the Yorkshire Times) and the resulting report Creating Without Conflict was launched at the conference of the same name on 19th November 2013. You can download the conference report here or read about it in The Stage.

Anne-Marie and Piers attended the free Devoted & Disgruntled Open Space session on Monday 3rd June 3013 at Ovalhouse Theatre, London: Breaking the silence on bullying in the arts.

They were also at BECTU Freelancers’ Fair on Tuesday 18th June at Savoy Place, London participating in a panel session Britain’s Got Bullies.

On 19th November, a conference organised by the Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU) focused on workplace bullying and Anne-Marie gave a brief introductory talk about her research, and ran workshops with Piers during the afternoon. They also gave a presentation followed by an open discussion to students at Birkbeck College the following day, and then a workshop for freelance members of the FEU on 21st November.

During 2014 many organisations revisited their workplace policies to ensure they covered bullying and harassment.

As well as regular visits to the Centre for Cultural Policy and Research at City University, London, in October 2014 Anne-Marie was delighted to be invited to Birkbeck College to make a presentation at a free workshop about working in the arts. It was an evening of stimulating discussion and sharing of information.

Since 2011 she has met regularly with members of Equity in London to talk about her work. Former chair of the North and East London branch, the late and much-missed Billy Mc Coll, said on LinkedIn:

“After reading Anne-Marie Quigg’s wonderful and informative book ‘Bullying in the Arts’ I was so inspired and motivated, that I wrote and submitted a Motion for my Union, Equity, proposing that the Federation of Entertainment Unions hold a Symposium on the subject. The Motion was subsequently carried at a very well attended London Area AGM, and adopted as the London Area’s Motion for the Annual Representative Conference to be held in May. Anne-Marie Quigg’s book throws so much light on the issue there is no hiding place for the ‘Bullies’.”

Anne-Marie has also contributed articles to Arts Professional and Arts Industry, written a new chapter for ‘What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know’, published online in North America, and contributed an academic paper for the German Association of Arts Management yearbook. Cosmopolitan magazine featured an article on workplace bullying in the September 2013 issue, including some tips Anne-Marie provided.

Reviews of her work have appeared in The GuardianThe Yorkshire Post and The Stage, as well as Variant, and Bullying in the Arts is included in the Cultural Leadership section of the Ashgate Cultural and Heritage Management catalogue 2012.

Some of the posts that appear here are published subsequently on our sister site, which is devoted to the topic: Stop Workplace Bullying.

About the book 

The cover illustration for Bullying in the Arts, which is published by Gower Publishing,  is The Seeker VI, 2000 by artist Angie de Courcy Bower. Photo: J. Hardman-Jones

The Seeker VI


2 Responses to Workplace bullying

  1. monitise says:

    Jackson everyone gets bullied i haven’t had a day when i haven’t been bullied in some fashion or other in the workplace apparently its a common practice and their are often those who group together and organise the bullying of individuals for fun and they come from all walks of life subjecting their victim to as brutal attacks psychologically as those who are beaten up. Often many companies turn a blind eye to whats going on even encouraging continued abuse towards these people by third party’s. Your campaign is useless bullying is ingrained in british society and all really so many get on a day to day basis is punched….. punch. punch. punch.

    • jacksonquigg says:

      I’m sorry you’ve had negative experiences in your working life, that you continue to do so and that you can’t see any change in the future. Bullying is damaging and the psychological effects and any physical manifestations of these are usually connected. It’s true that management often react to reports or complaints by denying there is a problem and/or seeking to cover it up. However, I don’t think aiming to combat bullying is “useless” – many things that are no longer tolerated used to be “ingrained in British society.” The tone of your comment indicates that you are experiencing frustration and helplessness. I hope you can find a way to escape from the destructive “punch. punch. punch.” atmosphere that you describe.

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