School Administrator Mistreatment of Teachers

  • Joseph Blase
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 21)

This chapter presents an overview of major concepts, typologies, and theories of workplace mistreatment-abuse as well as findings on abusive behavior and effects. This is followed by summaries of findings from two studies of school principal mistreatment-abuse of public school teachers. The remainder of the chapter consists of a brief methodological critique of extant related research, suggestions for future research, and implications for teacher education.

During the past 15 years, there has been a proliferation of international scholarly research and theoretical models focusing on the problem of workplace mistreatment-abuse. Significant work has been produced in countries such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Great Britain, Australia, the United States, and Canada. Legislation and organizational policies addressing the workplace mistreatment-abuse problem have also emerged in several of these countries (e.g., Blase & Blase, 2003a; Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper, 2003; Keashly, 1998; Rayner, Hoel, & Cooper, 2002).


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Sexual Harassment Emotional Abuse Abusive Supervision Abusive Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, B. P. (1988). Leader behavior of principals and its effect on teacher burnout. Unpublished dissertation. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison.Google Scholar
  2. Ashforth, B. (1994). Petty tyranny in organizations. Human Relations, 47(7), 755–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Australian Council of Trade Unions. (2000). Being bossed around is bad for your health. Retrieved June 1, 2006, from
  4. Ball, S. J. (1987). The micropolitics of the school: Towards a theory of school organization. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  5. Baron, R. A., & Neuman, J. H. (1996). Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence on their relative frequency and potential causes. Aggressive Behavior, 22, 161–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barnette, J. E. (1990). The relationship between leadership styles of school principles and teacher stress as perceived by teachers. Unpublished dissertation, West Virginia University, Morgantown.Google Scholar
  7. Bassman, E., & London, M. (1993). Abusive managerial behavior. Leadership & Organizational Development Journal, 14(2), 18–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Björkvist, K. (1992). Trakassering forekommer bland anstallda vid AA (Harassment exists among employees at Abo Academy). Meddelanden fran Abo Akademi, 9, 14–17.Google Scholar
  9. Björkvist, K., Österman, K., & Hjelt-Bäck, M. (1994). Aggression among university employees. Aggressive Behavior, 20, 173–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blase, J. (1984). School principals and teacher stress: A qualitative analysis. National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision, 1(32), 35–43.Google Scholar
  11. Blase, J. (1986). A qualitative analysis of sources of teacher stress: Consequences for performance. American Educational Research Journal, 23(1), 13–40.Google Scholar
  12. Blase, J. (1990). Some negative effects of principals' control-oriented and protective political behavior. American Educational Research Journal, 27(4), 725–753.Google Scholar
  13. Blase, J. (1991a). The micropolitical orientation of teachers toward closed school principals. Education and Urban Society, 23(4), 356–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Blase, J. (1991b). The politics of life in schools: Power, conflict, and cooperation. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Blase, J., & Anderson, G. L. (1995). The micropolitics of educational leadership: From control to empowerment. London: Cassell.Google Scholar
  16. Blase, J., & Blase, J. (2002). The dark side of leadership: Teacher perspectives of principal mistreatment. Education Administration Quarterly, 38(5), 671–727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Blase, J., & Blase, J. (2003a). Breaking the silence: Overcoming the problem of principal mistreatment of teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.Google Scholar
  18. Blase, J., & Blase, J. (2003b). The phenomenology of principal mistreatment: Teachers' perspectives. Journal of Educational Administration, 41(4), 367–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Blase, J., Blase, J., & Du, F. (2006, November). The national study of school administrators' mistreatment of teachers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration, San Antonio, TX.Google Scholar
  20. Balse, J., Blase, J., & Du, F. (2008). The mistreated teacher: A national study. Journal of Educational Administration, 46(3), 263–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (1982). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  22. Boulton, M. J., & Smith, P. K. (1994). Bully-victim problems in middle-school children: Stability, self-perceived competence, peer perceptions, and peer acceptance. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 12, 315–329.Google Scholar
  23. Brown, J. R. (1996). Why do school teachers leave? Unpublished master's thesis. University of Toronto, Toronto.Google Scholar
  24. Buss, A. H. (1961). The psychology of aggression. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Crick, N. R., & Bigbee, M. A. (1998). Relational and overt forms of peer victimization: A multi-informant approach. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 337–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Diehl, D. B. (1993). The relationship between teachers' coping resources, feelings of stress, and perceptions of the power tactics employed by the administrators. Unpublished dissertation. Georgia State University, Atlanta.Google Scholar
  27. Dunham, J. (1984). Stress in teaching. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  28. Dworkin, A. G., Haney, C. A., Dworkin, R. J., & Telschow, R. L. (1990). Stress and illness behavior among urban public school teachers. Education Administration Quarterly, 26(1), 60–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D., & Cooper, C. L. (Eds.). (2003). Bullying and emotional abuse in the workplace: International perspectives in research and practice. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  30. Einarsen, S., Raknes, B. I., Matthiesen, S. B., & Hellesoy, O. H. (1994). Mobbing og harde personkonflikter (Bullying and harsh interpersonal conflicts). Bergen: Sigma Forlag.Google Scholar
  31. Einarsen, S., & Skogstad, A. (1996). Bullying at work: Epidemiological findings in public and private organizations. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 5(2), 185–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Emler, N., & Cook, T. (2001). Moral integrity in leadership: Why it matters and why it may be difficult to achieve. In B. Roberts & R. Hogan (Eds.), Personality psychology in the workplace (pp. 277–298). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Folger, R. (1993). Reactions to mistreatment at work. In J. K. Murningham (Ed.), Social psychology in organizations: Advances in theory and research (pp. 161–183). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  34. Glaser, B. G. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity: Advances in the methodology of grounded theory. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.Google Scholar
  35. Glaser, B. G. (1992). Emergence vs. forcing: Basics of grounded theory. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.Google Scholar
  36. Glaser, B. G. (1998). Doing grounded theory: Issues and discussions. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.Google Scholar
  37. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine.Google Scholar
  38. Glasl, F. (1994). Conflict management: A handbook for managers and consultants (4th ed.). Bern, Switzerland: Haupt.Google Scholar
  39. Glomb, T. M. (2002). Workplace anger and aggression: Informing conceptual models with data from specific encounters. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(1), 20–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Graham, P. J. (1999). Teacher burnout. In R. Vanderberghe & M. Huberman (Eds.), Understanding and preventing teacher burnout: A sourcebook of international research and practice (pp. 1–318). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Guglielmi, R. S. (2001). Teacher stress and burnout: Methodological perspectives. In N. J. Smelser & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences (Vol. 23, pp. 15464–15468). New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  42. Harlos, K. P., & Pinder, C. C. (2000). Emotion and injustice in the workplace. In S. Fineman (Ed.), Emotion in organizations (2nd ed., pp. 255–276). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  43. Hodgkinson, C. (1991). Educational leadership: The moral art. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  44. Hoel, H., Cooper, C., & Faragher, B. (2001). The experience of bullying in Great Britain: The impact of organizational status. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 10(4), 443–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hoel, H., & Cooper C. L. (2000, November). Destructive conflict and bullying at work. Unpublished report. UMIST, UK.Google Scholar
  46. Hornstein, H. A. (1996). Brutal bosses and their prey. New York: Riverhead Books.Google Scholar
  47. Hornstein, H. A., Michela, J. L., Van Eron, A. M., Cohen, L. W., Heckelman, W. L., Sachse-Skidd, M., et al. (1995). Disrespectful supervisory behavior: Effects on some aspects of subordinates' mental health. Unpublished manuscript. Teachers College, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  48. Irish Taskforce on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying. (2001). Dignity at work: The challenge of workplace bullying. Report of the Taskforce on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying. Dublin: Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  49. Junger-Tas, J., & Van Kesteren, J. (1999). Bullying and delinquency in a Dutch school population. The Hague, the Netherlands: Kugler.Google Scholar
  50. Kahn, R. L. & Byosiere, P. (1992). Stress in organizations. In H. C., M. D. Dunnette, L. M. Hough (Eds.) Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology Vol. 4 (2nd ed.). (pp. 571–641). Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  51. Kashani, J. H., & Shepperd, J. A. (1990). Aggression in adolescents: The role of social support and personality. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 35, 311–315.Google Scholar
  52. Keashly, L. (1998). Emotional abuse in the workplace: Conceptual and empirical issues. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 1(1), 85–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Keashly, L. (2001). Interpersonal and systemic aspects of emotional abuse at work: The target's perspective. Violence and Victims, 16(3), 233–268.Google Scholar
  54. Keashly, L., & Jagatic, K. (2000). The nature, extent, and impact of emotional abuse in the workplace: Results of a statewide survey. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Academy of Management, Toronto, Canada.Google Scholar
  55. Keashly, L., Trott, V., & MacLean, L. M. (1994). Abusive behavior in the workplace: A preliminary investigation. Violence and Victims, 9(4), 341–357.Google Scholar
  56. Kelley, R. E. (1992). The power of followership: How to create leaders people want. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  57. Kets de Vries, M. F. R. (1989). Prisoners of leadership. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  58. Leymann, H. (1990). Mobbing and psychological terror at workplaces. Violence and Victims, 5(2), 119–126.Google Scholar
  59. Leymann, H., & Gustafsson, A. (1996). Mobbing at work and the development of post-traumatic stress disorders. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 5, 251–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Marzano, R. J. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexandria, VA : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Google Scholar
  61. Matthiesen, S. B., Raknes, B. I., & Rokkum, O. (1989). Mobbing pa arbidsplassen (Bullying in the workplace). Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening, 26, 761–774.Google Scholar
  62. McGregor, D. (1960). The human side of enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  63. Namie, G. (2000). U.S. hostile workplace survey 2000. Benicia, CA: Campaign Against Workplace Bullying.Google Scholar
  64. Neuman, J., & Baron, R. (1998). Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence concerning specific forms, potential causes, and preferred targets. Journal of Management, 24(3), 391–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Northwestern National Life Insurance Company (NNLI). (1993). Fear and violence in the workplace. Minneapolis, MN: Author.Google Scholar
  66. O'Moore, M. (1999). Critical issues for teacher training to counter bullying and victimization in Ireland. Aggressive Behavior, 26, 99–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Olweus, D. (1991). Bully-victim problems among school children: Basic facts and effects of a school based intervention program. In K. Rubin & D. Pepler (Eds.), The development and treatment of childhood aggression (pp. 411–448). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  68. Orpinas, P., & Horne, A. M. (2006). Bullying prevention: Creating a positive school climate and developing social competence. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Owens, R. G., & Valesky, T. C. (2007). Organizational behavior in education: Adaptive leadership and school reform. Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  70. Pearson, C., Andersson, L., & Porath, C. (2000). Assessing and attacking workplace incivility. Organizational Dynamics, 28, 129–137.Google Scholar
  71. Peri, M., & Baker, D. P. (1997). Job satisfaction among America's teachers: Effects of workplace conditions, background characteristics, and teacher compensation. NCES 97-XXX. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  72. Price-Spratlen, L. (1995). Interpersonal conflict which includes mistreatment in a university workplace. Violence and Victims, 10(4), 285–297.Google Scholar
  73. Queensland Government Workplace Bullying Taskforce. (2002). Report of the Queensland Government Workplace Bullying Taskforce. Brisbane: Queensland Government Department of Industrial Relations.Google Scholar
  74. Randall, P. (1997). Adult bullying: Perpetrators and victims. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  75. Rayner, C. (2000). Bullying and harassment at work: Summary of findings. Staffordshire, UK: Staffordshire University Business School.Google Scholar
  76. Rayner, C., Hoel, H., & Cooper, C. L. (2002). Workplace bullying: What we know, who is to blame, and what can we do? London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  77. Robinson, S. L., & Bennett, R. J. (1995). A typology of deviant workplace behaviors: A multidimensional scaling study. Academy of Management Journal, 38(2), 555–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Ryan, K. D., & Oestreich, D. K. (1991). Driving fear out of the workplace: How to overcome the invisible barriers to quality, productivity, and innovation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  79. Ryan, K. D. & Oestrich, D. K. (1998). Driving fear out of the workspace, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  80. Salin, D. (2001). Prevalence and forms of bullying among business professionals: A comparison of two different strategies for measuring bullying. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 10(4), 425–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Shakeshaft, C., & Cohan, A. (1995). Sexual abuse of students by school personnel. Phi Delta Kappan, 76(2), 512–520.Google Scholar
  82. Sheehan, K. H., Sheehan, D. V., White, K., Leibowitz, A., & Baldwin, D. C. (1990). A pilot study of medical student abuse. Journal of the American Medical Association, 263(4), 533–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Slee, P. T., & Rigby, K. (1994). Peer victimization at schools. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 19(1), 3–11.Google Scholar
  84. Starratt, R. J. (1991). Building an ethical school: A theory for practice in educational leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 27(2), 185–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Sullivan, K. (2000). The anti-bullying handbook. Auckland, New Zealand: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  86. Taylor, S. J., & Bogdan, R. (1998). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  87. Tepper, B. J. (2000). Consequences of abusive supervision. Academy of Management Journal, 43(2), 178–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. The Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute (WBTI). (2003). The WBTI 2003 report on abusive workplaces. Retrieved May 1, 2006, from
  89. Tye, B. B., & O'Brien, L. (2002). Why are experienced teachers leaving the profession? Phi Delta Kappan, 84(1), 24–31.Google Scholar
  90. Westhues, K. W. (1998). Eliminating professors: A guide to the dismissal process. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.Google Scholar
  91. Westhues, K. W. (2004). Workplace mobbing in academe: Reports from twenty universities. Lampeter, Wales: Edwin Mellen Press.Google Scholar
  92. Wolke, D., Woods, S., Stanford, K., & Schultz, H. (2001). Bullying and victimization of primary school children in England and Germany: Prevalence and school factors. British Journal of Psychology, 92(4), 673–696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Zapf, D. (1999). Mobbing in organizationen: Ein uberblick zum stand der forschung (Mobbing in organizations: A state of the art review). Zeitschrift fur Arbeits-and Organisations psychologie, 43, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Zapf, D., & Gross, C. (2001). Conflict escalation and coping with workplace bullying: A replication and extension. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 10(4), 497–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Blase
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational Leadership, College of EducationThe University of GeorgiaAthens30602

Personalised recommendations