University of Tasmania
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A case study investigation of support processes and interventions for potential ogre behaviours in Tasmanian secondary schools

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posted on 2023-05-27, 12:04 authored by Anne HeathAnne Heath
Positively addressing and resolving staff grievances within a school is imperative for effective schooling and leadership. Often overlooked in Grievance Procedures is a behaviour that is creating significant concerns, but when recognised it is often associated with and mistaken for bullying. This concept, and associated behaviours (e.g. patterns of multiple unrelated negative interactions with others) belongs to the ogre. Ogre behaviours are not well understood because the focus in recent years has been on bullying research that is overt in its nature, rather than ogre research that is systematically covert, and may include deeper psychopathological underpinnings. This leaves a significant research gap that fails to address the relationship between the desire for power/authority in the workplace, ogre behaviours, and data on the extent to which negative interactions by ogres may be influenced by personality. Furthermore, a gap also exists that clarifies how individual perceptions may contribute to ogre behaviours, and explain how Grievance Procedures may contribute to the reinforcement of ogre behaviours. Content and Leximancer Analysis are two useful methodological tools which, when used in tandem, can specifically assist in addressing these gaps by increasing our understanding of the process/es undertaken to positively resolve ogre initiated grievance in terms of procedures, roles of individuals and outcomes in line with policy. Content and Leximancer Analysis were used to review formal procedures and archival files between the periods of 1973 until 1987 from a secondary school secure repository in Tasmania. Content Analysis was used to capture broad themes (i.e., concern relating to industrial/wage entitlements, behaviour/action of an individual, and negative interactions between 2 or more people), essences, and concepts common in archived formal grievance files; this led to identifying incidents in terms of their nature and severity. Leximancer Analysis was used to look at key ideas, concepts, and common words mandated by organisational human resource policy; this assisted in assessing whether appropriate procedures and processes were followed leading up to positive resolution of ogre initiated grievances. Content Analysis revealed that disputes regarding behaviours (e.g., harassment) appeared to have been resolved within five working days and, required no further action from school leadership. However, Leximancer Analysis identified that the Grievance Procedure in this school had a focus on producing measurable outcomes (e.g., reducing the harassment) rather than solutions (e.g., restoring an effective working relationship after harassment has ceased). Content Analysis allowed for a multi-layered consideration as it assisted in unpacking the grievance in terms of behaviour, and Leximancer Analysis provided a clear link in identifying how outcomes were achieved in line with policy and whether they resulted in positively resolving the grievance. Content Analysis in this research is guided by Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), and consequentially strengthened by enhancing the validity and reliability of the analysis. Even though this research did not unanimously indicate that there is an ability to identify ogres in the workplace within retrospective archival research, it did outline the importance of considering each concern on its merit and type, rather than expecting that the same reaction to concerns will provide solutions. Consequently, a risk framework has been developed to support the early identification of ogres in the workplace with two further recommendations from this research presented in the final chapter. The first of these recommendation is to develop a global definition of ogre behaviour, and secondly, to use solution focussed policy and procedure mechanisms in the form of a risk management tool.


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Copyright 2017 the author

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