Dr. Theresa A. Chika-James’s new research will look at how Black women in Canada respond to interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace, which includes experiences of workplace bullying, incivility, social undermining or abusive supervision. 

Using two online surveys and a series of personal interviews, Dr. Chika-James and lead investigator Dr. Mercy Oyet from the University of New Brunswick Saint John aim to investigate how and why Black women in Canada speak up and/or out (known as remedial voice) in cases where they have been mistreated by others in the workplace and how those experiences relate to their mental health. 

“Some women might use remedial voice to report their experiences to organizational representatives (e.g., supervisors, human resources professionals, and/or union representatives), or to confide in a colleague,” says Dr. Chika-James, an assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Behavior, Human Resources and Management. “Others may decide to confront the person that mistreated them.” 

While the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded research focuses on interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace, Dr. Chika-James says the goal of the research is to make a positive impact in organizations.

“Ultimately, this research is about creating workplaces that are more harmonious; environments where Black women feel they can speak up and/or out when they experience workplace interpersonal treatment."

Dr. Chika-James and Dr. Oyet are currently inviting working women 19 years and older in the Black community in Canada to participate in the first stage of their study, which involves two national online surveys.  

The surveys, explains Dr. Oyet, will address a number of important questions, including how Black women in Canada speak up and/or out in response to workplace interpersonal mistreatment. “If Black women use remedial voice, is there a go-to form? Which factors influence their choice of which form of remedial voice used? And finally, which form of remedial voice is related to their positive mental health?”

After collecting the quantitative data from the two online surveys, the research team’s focus will move to gathering qualitative data through personal interviews. 

For more information and to access the survey, visit remedialvoiceatwork.ca.

About Dr. Theresa A. Chika-James
In addition to teaching courses related to management and leadership, Dr. Chika-James studies organizational behaviour and transformation. Her most recent work with Dr. Oyet looked at challenges new employees have in new organizations after experiencing interpersonal mistreatment.
Dr. Theresa Chika-James READ MORE

Related Reads

Let’s stay in touch!
Sign up to receive our weekly MacEwan University e-newsletter straight to your inbox.