Title of ArticleReflections on group power differentials across one safety professional’s career: In search of an optimal psychosocial safety climate
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection on Practice Development
Author/sEugene Laloo, Shahnaz Bakand, Natalia Hanley and Robyn Coman
ReferenceVolume 9, Issue 2, Article 9
Date of PublicationNovember 2019
KeywordsBullying, engagement, knowledge sharing, power differentials, psychosocial safety climate, reflexive learning

Background and context: The purpose of this paper is to declare my (EL’s) conceptual perspective as a prologue to a PhD study on leadership and its impact on the psychosocial safety climate in the public sector. Using the reflection for action model, significant moments where the power differential between groups has resulted in the mistreatment of people are reviewed to illustrate how these events contributed to my worldview.

Aim: To critically reflect on my career and highlight my development journey from the time I became aware of the potentially deleterious impact of group power differentials on individuals. I and my co-authors argue that further study is needed to understand fully the reasons for the high levels of bullying reported in the public sector.

Conclusions: By reflecting on moments in my career, I have realised that power differentials between groups can be a cause of bullying in the workplace. The high level of bullying in the public sector is also not clearly understood and warrants further investigation.

Implications for practice:

  • A person’s current perspective can be formed by many key moments over time
  • Group power differentials are predictors of ill treatment of people in the workplace
  • Insights from reflection can have a positive effect on research practice

This article by Eugene Laloo, Shahnaz Bakand, Natalia Hanley and Robyn Coman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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