Joking behaviours and bullying from the perspective of Australian Human Resource Professionals

Nikola Djurkovic*, Darcy McCormack, Helge Hoel, Denise Salin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the views of human resource professionals (HRPs) and employee representatives on joking behaviours and the potential link to workplace bullying in Australia. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 HRPs and five employee (union) representatives. Contextual factors stemming from Australian culture and historic characteristics of work in this country are discussed. The findings indicate that the legal framework – specifically, the definition of bullying and related legislation such as health and safety laws and equal employment opportunity legislation – is key for HRPs in establishing whether joking behaviours transgress into bullying. Implications for HRPs including ‘boundary’ management of joking behaviours are discussed and some ideas for future research are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)381-404
Publication statusPublished - 15.07.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Australian culture
  • human resource professionals
  • humour
  • joking behaviours
  • workplace bullying

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Leading for growth and well-being


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