Release date: 13 June, 2016
Genre: Master’s Thesis / Academia
Length: 71 pages
Supervisor: Professor Marja Åkerström
The Silence Says It All: Cyberbullying and schools’ issues management from a communicative perspective.
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This study explores how schools can better handle cyberbullying through strategic communication and issues management. The problem stems from a change in the media climate and the rise of a new visibility culture.
Through a case study of two Swedish high schools, I have conducted qualitative interviews in regards to students’ relationship to cyberbullying, how they wish to tell schools about it, as well as suggestions on how schools can improve their issues management. Interviews with school staff and analysis of documents have also been conducted.
The results indicate the importance for schools to build an open communication climate and a crisis-aware organisation. Furthermore, the study shows that schools need to increase the sense of moral responsibility within the organisation, and close the gap between teachers and students. The strategic work against cyberbullying has to be anchored in the organisational culture for it to be effective in the long-term.