White, S. (2013). An Introduction to the Psychodynamics of Workplace Bullying. London:Karnac. (

This textbook for academics, and handbook for HR managers, gives an in-depth understanding of bullying and presents new theories. There are chapters on individuals, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics and organisational issues. Each of these four chapters is structured into theory on bullying, psychoanalytical theories, and questions and answers. The fifth chapter is a case study of a management 'turnround' of a business.


Davidson, C., and White, S. (2013) Bullying in York's Plays: A Psycho-Social Perspective. In Corpus Christi Plays at York: A context for Religious Drama. New York: AMS Press.


Davidson, C., and White, S. (2010) Bullying in York’s Corpus Christi Plays. Research Opportunities in Medieval and Renaissance Drama, XLIX 2010:40-59. (

The paper highlights the potential for bullying within the social context of the city of York where the plays were acted for almost two hundred years. Examples of bullying from the plays, particularly the Passion pageants, illustrate the complexity of the evolving and escalating nature of bullying dynamics. The portrayal of envy, collusion, betrayal and violation of procedural and legal norms would have resonated with the citizens of York at that time.

White, S., (2008)  How leadership can develop into bullying. Organisations and People, 15 (3):79-86. (

This paper shows how a systemic interplay of factors gave rise to bullying by team leader in a large public sector organisation in the UK. The concepts of splitting, envy, projection and boundary testing are used to explain how the bullying arose within a cultural context of repression and excessive expectations.

White, S., (2007) A psychodynamic perspective of workplace bullying scenarios. Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of the West of England, UK for a PhD. (Available on restricted access from UWE)

This thesis reports on research into bullying in two contrasting large UK organisations. One organisation was undergoing rapid change, the other was changing incrementally. The management styles were very different. A new reflexive research methodology was devised for the research. The findings were interpreted using psychoanalytical theories which can be applied to organisations, groups, interpersonal relationships and individuals. Key findings were - bullying arose around vacuums of support in organisations and where there was a concentration of the most negative features of an organisation’s culture.

White, S., (2004)  A psychodynamic perspective of workplace bullying: containment, boundaries and a futile search for recognition. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 32(3): 269-280. (

Taking the theme of space, the paper draws on fieldwork and psychoanalytical theory to illustrate the evolving interpersonal and team dynamics within a bullying scenario. The life cycle theory of bullying shows how both bully and victim become trapped in a parasitic dynamic in which boundaries are obliterated and there is a confusion of identities. Recommendations are made for preventative action.

White, S., (2002)  Lies in truth and truth in lies:an in-depth study of a bullying scenario. Business and Professional Ethics Journal, 3(2):79-90. (

A case of bullying within a small UK sales office is used to show how a psychoanalytically informed mediator looks behind the conflicting stories of a bully and victim to understand the deeper systemic dynamics hurting both the organisation and individuals. In appreciating there may be truth in lies and lies in truth, based on a quote from William Blake, non-judgmental and non-intrusive recommendations for action are made resolve the conflict.

White, S., (2001) The life cycle theory of bullying: persecutory anxiety and a futile search for recognition. Socio-Analysis 3 (2):137-155. (

This paper makes a case for bullying to be understood as a futile search for recognition. It outlines the four evolutionary stages of a life cycle theory of bullying – the embryonic stage, trigger, loyalty and dance of death.