Workplace bullying

Anne-Marie Quigg has been researching the issue of workplace bullying since 1999, including where and why it happens and what can be done about it. She has also written a number of academic papers and in 2011 Gower Applied Research published her research findings, including bullying statistics and real-life case studies, in the book  Bullying in the Arts.

The research revealed that two in five UK arts workers reported being the target of bullying in their cultural sector workplace, a higher level at that time than in any other single employment sector.

In 2015 Anne-Marie edited The Handbook of Dealing with Workplace Bullying. She invited an international team of contributors to record their views and recommendations and gathered fresh information, data and new case studies from Ireland, England, the USA, Australia and across several countries in Western Europe.

See information in About the books for details of book covers.

Raising awareness 

Today workplace bullying, including sexual harassment, has a high profile. Together, Anne-Marie and Piers have continued to work on updating earlier research and they published a series of new articles and case studies in a variety of publications between November 2017 and April 2018, including Arts Professional in July 2017.

In 2013, the UK Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU) launched a new survey of bullying behaviour in arts, entertainment and media workplaces, which Piers reported in the Yorkshire Times. The resulting review Creating Without Conflict was launched by the author Cathy John 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. During 2014 many organisations revisited their workplace policies to ensure they covered bullying and harassment and in 2017 the UK actors’ union Equity unanimously passed a motion to appoint someone to deal with bullying, harassment and mental health issues in the workplace.

The Handbook of Dealing with Workplace Bullying is dedicated to the former chair of the North and East London branch of Equity, the late and much-missed Billy Mc Coll, who 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. In June 2018 Anne-Marie made a presentation at the All Ireland Performing Arts Conference in Belfast and in 2019 she wrote articles for Arts Management  Quarterly, an international publication by the Arts Management Network. A very welcome request to participate in a World Burlesque Day online conference was received in January and Anne-Marie is looking forward to the opportunity to participate on 26 April 2021.

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, originally published by Gower Publishing, is titled The Seeker VI (2000) and was painted by artist Angie de Courcy Bower. Photo:

The Seeker VI

The cover illustration for The Handbook of Dealing with Workplace Bullying is The Seeker II, 1993 also by artist Angie de Courcy Bower, and also photographed by J. Hardman-Jones.


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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