Wayne State University

Dr. Loraleigh Keashly



Loraleigh Keashly is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Wayne State University, Detroit. Her research, teaching and consulting focus on conflict and conflict resolution at the interpersonal, group, intergroup and organizational level. She is part of the core faculty of the MA in Dispute Resolution program at WSU, having served as Academic Director of the MADR for more than a decade. Her main research focus is the nature, effects and amelioration of uncivil and bullying behaviors in the workplace with a particular interest in the role of organizational structure and culture in the facilitation or prevention and management of these behaviors. She has focused her recent attention on the academic environment and works with universities on these issues. She has developed and conducted trainings in building bystander efficacy to take constructive action in challenging situations.  Her works in progress focus on 1) the power of relationships at work and 2) civility in academia. She has published over 40 articles and book chapters. She has been a consultant to organizations and an expert witness on cases of workplace bullying and hostility.

"The workplace is the most profound social context we have," said Dr. Keashly. "Here more than anywhere else, we connect with others often very different from ourselves and work towards a common set of goals, creating rich opportunities for interaction. So work is a place of connections and relationships and it is these connections and relationships that intrigue me. They intrigue me because how we connect and relate to one another affects the quality of our work, the meaning and identity we derive from it, and the overall climate and culture of the workplace. In my research and writing, I have focused on “tough” or “difficult” relationships, e.g., conflict and bullying, with an eye to taking our understanding of the “why” and “how” and translating that into ways to ameliorate both at the individual and organizational level. I have been particularly intrigued with how organizational culture and climate influence and are influenced by the nature and quality of working relationships. I am also beginning to interrogate ideas of “respectful workplace” and “civility” in terms of how they are characterized or defined, how they show up, who uses them, and in what context and what functions are served by advocating for or challenging them. I have been examining these concepts within academic environments as I think academe has some interesting features (e.g., academic freedom, shared governance; a learning and working environment), which can really push us to think hard about the nuances and complexities of these seemingly ideal qualities (their light and dark sides). And I think this exploration and discussion has implications for how we engage and consider each other at work and in our broader lives."

View Professor Keashly's vitae.

Courses taught:

DR 7210 Negotiation Theory and Practice

DR 7220 Neutral Intervention Theory and Practice

DR 7890 Final Seminar in Dispute Resolution

COM 8000 Intro to PhD Studies. 

Area of Expertise

Quality of work environments, work relationships, workplace aggression & bullying

Degrees and Certifications

B.A., Psychology, University of Calgary 1979

M.A. Applied Psychology, University of New Brunswick 1983

Ph.D. Applied Social Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, 1988.

Primary Research Interest

Nature and quality of interpersonal relations in the workplace with a specific focus on aggression and bullying; international, intergroup and interpersonal conflict resolution, diversity in organizations, program development and evaluation, statistics and research methodology

Recent Publications

Keashly, L. (2014 April 15). Everything you always wanted to know about workplace bullying but were afraid to ask. Internet radio presentation for the Texas Conflict Coach, Pattie Porter http://www.texasconflictcoach.com/2014/everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-workplace-bullying-but-were-afraid-to-ask/

Keashly, L. (2013). Hostile work relationships. In B. Omdahl and J. Fritz (eds). Problematic relationships at work, Volume II.

Keashly, L. & Neuman, J.H. (2013). Bullying in academia: What does current theorizing and research tell us?  In J. Lester (ed). Workplace bullying in higher education. Routledge.

Keashly, L. (2012). Workplace bullying and gender: It’s complicated. In S. Fox & T. Lituchy (eds.). Gender and the dysfunctional workplace. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Neuman, J.H., & Keashly, L. (2012). Bullies coming out of the schoolyard and into the boardroom: Combating abusive workplace communication. In J. Wrench (ed). Workplace communication for the 21st Century: Tools and strategies that impact the bottom line. Praeger.

Keashly, L. (2012). Workplace bullying: The case of teen workers. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 24(1), 47-56.

Keashly, L. (2011). Some things you have always wanted to know but were afraid to ask: A researcher talks to ombudsmen about workplace bullying. Journal of International Ombudsman Association, 3(1), 10-23.

Keashly, L. & Neuman J.H. (2010) Faculty experiences with bullying in higher education: Causes, consequences and management. Administrative Theory and Praxis, 32(1), 48-70.

Keashly, L. & Jagatic, K (2010). North American perspectives on workplace hostility and bullying. Chapter in S. Einarsen, H. Hoel, & D. Zapf. Bullying and harassment in the workplace: Developments in theory, research and practice 2nd Edition. London, UK: Taylor Francis. Chapter 2, pp. 41-71.

Keashly, L, & Nowell, B. (2010). Workplace bullying, conflict and conflict resolution. Chapter in S. Einarsen, H. Hoel, & D. Zapf..Bullying and harassment in the workplaace: Developments in theory, research and practice 2nd Edition.London, UK: Taylor Francis Chapter 19 pp. 423-445.

Neuman, J. H., & Keashly, L. (2010). The means, motive, and opportunity framework and insidious workplace behavior. In J. Greenberg (Ed.), Insidious workplace behavior. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Keashly, L & Neuman, J.H. (2009). Building constructive communication climate: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Workplace Stress and Aggression Project. In P. Lutgen-Sandvik & B.D. Sypher (eds). Destructive organizational communication: Processes, consequences and constructive ways of organizing. Routledge/LEA