Institutional safe space and shame management in workplace bullying [article]

Hwayeon Helene Shin, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
2009
This study addresses the question of how an individual's perception of the safety of his or her institutional space impacts on shame management skills. Shame has been widely recognised as a core emotion that can readily take the form of anger and violence in interpersonal relationships if it is unresolved. When shame is not acknowledged properly, feelings of shame build up and lead to shame-rage spirals that break down social bonds between people. ¶ Some might consider the total avoidance of
more » ... tal avoidance of shame experiences as a way to cut the link between shame and violence. However, there is a reason why we cannot just discard the experience of shame. Shame is a self-regulatory emotion (Braithwaite, 1989, 2002; Ahmed et al., 2001). If one feels shame over wrongdoing, one is less likely to re-offend in the future. That is to say, shame is a destructive emotion on the one hand in the way it can destroy our social bonds, but on the other hand, it is a moral emotion that reflects capacity to regulate each other and ourselves. This paradoxical nature of shame gives rise to the necessity of managing shame in a socially adaptive way. ¶ ... The present thesis suggests that further consideration should be given to institutional interventions that support and maintain institutional safe space and that encourage shame acknowledgement, while dampening the adverse effect of defensive shame management. The evidence presented in this thesis is a first step in demonstrating that institutional safe space and shame management skills are empirically measurable, are relevant in other cultural contexts and address issues that are at the heart of the human condition everywhere
doi:10.25911/5d7a2b977c03e fatcat:4d6xnt6mabbb5dwlsba7wnafuy