Glossary - Museums Association


Bullying is a conscious act and our definition of bullying centres around the concept of sustained intention.

For this research we adopted the following definitions of bullying:

‘Bullying is offensive, abusive, malicious, insulting and/or intimidating behaviour that occurs on more than one occasion.’

Anne-Marie Quigg, ‘Bullying in the Arts’¹

‘Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.’

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service

In addition, we use the term ‘bullying behaviours’ to describe unacceptable behaviours that could contribute to a bullying relationship.

The following terms are used to describe those involved:

  • ‘Target’ to describe the person with lived experience of bullying
  • ‘Perpetrator’ to describe the person who bullied the target
  • ‘Witness’ is for someone who has witnessed bullying behaviour

A policy outlines an organisation’s commitment to an area of work and may include reference to specific procedures or approaches to support this commitment. A policy must be applied rigorously, consistently and transparently for it to realise its intention.

Anti-bullying policies may have different titles, for example Respect and Dignity, and other policies may be associated with bullying, for example harassment, victimisation, grievance and whistleblowing.

Mediation is the process by which a workplace dispute or disagreement is explored to help both sides reach an agreement and a way forward. Mediation is an opportunity to address and explore an issue in advance of using a formal grievance procedure.

¹ Bullying in the Arts: Vocation, Exploitation and Abuse of Power, Publisher: Routledge; 1st edition (28 April 2017), ISBN-10: 1138895040, ISBN-13: 978-1138895041