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1. About Workplace Bullying/ Definition

2. Coping & Health

3. Academia

4. Hospitals & Nursing

5. Global Perspective



DEFINITION OF WORKPLACE BULLYING [SHRM]


There are many definitions of workplace bullying but the one we like best is the one from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM):
"Persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behavior or unfair actions directed at another individual, causing the recipient to feel threatened, abused, humiliated or vulnerable. Workplace bullies and targets may be employees, clients or vendors of the affected organization."

Workplace bullying v workplace incivility [Wikipedia.org]

Main article: Workplace incivility
"Workplace bullying overlaps to some degree with workplace incivility but tends to encompass more intense and typically repeated acts of disregard and rudeness. Negative spirals of increasing incivility between organizational members can result in bullying,[22] but isolated acts of incivility are not conceptually bullying despite the apparent similarity in their form and content. In case of bullying, the intent of harm is less ambiguous, an unequal balance of power (both formal and informal) is more salient, and the target of bullying feels threatened, vulnerable and unable to defend himself or herself against negative recurring actions.[8][9]"



The Mobbing Encyclopedia:

(© Heinz Leymann – file 11120e) "I borrowed the word mobbing in the early eighties, when I found a similar kind of behavior at work places. I deliberately did not choose the English term “bullying”, used by English and Australian researchers (in the USA, the term “mobbing” is also used), as very much of this disastrous communication certainly does not have the characteristics of “bullying”, but quite often is carried out in a very sensitive manner, still having highly stigmatizing effects. The connotation of bullying is physical aggression and threat. In fact, bullying at school is strongly characterized by such physically aggressive acts. In contrast, physical violence is very seldom found in mobbing behavior at work. Rather, mobbing at work places is characterized by much more sophisticated behaviors such as, for example, socially isolating the victim. I suggest keeping the word bullying for activities between children and teenagers at school and reserving the word mobbing for adult behavior at workplaces. Other expressions found in the literature are harassment or psychological terror"


Here's important information that helps clarify the difference between harassment, bullying and violence:

"Workplace bullying is a major problem in many industries, but it is frequently confused with harassment or violence. The lack of distinction between these issues can affect their identification, the assessment of their importance, and the ways in which they are controlled. Despite being closely related to harassment and violence, this article aims to outline the ways in which bullying is distinctly different, and goes on to suggest how recognition of this distinction can lead to improved risk management-based interventions. The article describes a risk management model that can be used to deal with the risk of workplace bullying, and reviews suggestions for "dignity at work" policies. By identifying the unique aspects of bullying and implementing appropriate strategies to address them, organisations will be better able to control the risk of bullying in their workplaces, leading to improved outcomes for employees and, in turn, significant positive effects on business performance. [Distinguishing Between Workplace Bullying, Harassment and Violence: a risk managment approach Caponecchia, C; Wyatt, A. Journal of Health, Safety and Environment(Dec 2009): 439-449. ]


Identifying and managing bullying in the workplace;

Anni Townend. Human Resource Management International Digest. Bradford: 2008. Vol. 16, Iss. 6; pg. 3
"Abstract (Summary) The article sheds light on the phenomenon of bullying in the workplace and the need to create truly assertive and inclusive organizations in which business leaders and employees embrace diversity in all they do. The paper presents a framework of assertiveness and diversity, of openness, trust and respect, which can benefit everyone in the workplace. The reveals that a lack of awareness of self and others, and a fear of difference, is the underlying cause of bullying. The paper shows that that, by integrating diversity awareness into everything that people do, and valuing people for their gifts different, bullying can be tackled. The author argues that people change their behavior when given support and encouragement to understand the impact of their behavior on others, and that they can be helped to appreciate their differences and thus build bigger relationships in which more and greater business opportunities are realized.

Workplace bullying and the employment relationship: exploring questions of prevention, control and context;

Beale, David; Hoel, Helge. Work, Employment & Society25. 1 (Mar 2011): 5. "Previous research strongly indicates that the perpetrators of workplace bullying in Britain are mainly managers. Contrary to the predominant view in workplace bullying literature and despite cost implications for employers, this article proposes an agenda for future empirical research focused on whether employers may also benefit significantly from bullying. It outlines a definition of workplace bullying, key debates and prescriptions suggested in previously published literature for management to contest and prevent it. When bullying is perceived in terms of managerial control of labour and the core concepts of the labour process -- an approach not previously embraced in the established psychological and social psychological analyses of the issue -- bullying is better understood as an endemic feature of the capitalist employment relationship. Existing secondary material and future research possibilities are then explored and discussed, with some conclusions that are aimed to take the research in this field in new directions. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

A qualitative study on the development of workplace bullying: Towards a three way model;

Elfi Baillien, Inge Neyens, Hans De Witte, Nele De Cuyper. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. Chichester: Jan/Feb 2009. Vol. 19, Iss. 1; pg. 1 "Abstract (Summary) Up to now, researchers have identified various individual and work-related factors as potential antecedents of workplace bullying. The aim of the present study is to integrate this line of research in view of explaining how these antecedents may develop into workplace bullying. Key informants, such as union representatives, employees with a confidence role concerning workplace bullying, human resource managers, prevention workers and social service employees, analysed bullying incidents or cases within their organization. We combined the various perspectives on the same incident into one plan. Then, all 87 case plans were united in a global model that reflects the development towards bullying. The results suggested three processes that may contribute to the development of bullying. Firstly, bullying may result from inefficient coping with frustration. Such coping mechanisms are likely to be active for perpetrators, and passive for victims. Secondly, bullying may be the consequence of escalated conflicts. Thirdly, bullying may result from destructive team and organizational cultures or habits. Individual and work-related antecedents may affect these processes in two ways: they may be at the origin of the three processes, and they may relate to the employees’ coping style. Implications for theory and research are discussed.





What do you do if your bosses are bullies?; Anonymous.

British Medical Journal. (International edition). London: Jan 17, 2009. Vol. 338, Iss. 7687; pg. 177

Abstract (Summary) Bullying takes many forms, some of them subtle, and provides a useful checklist. It may begin with covert undermining of one’s authority, so all one notices is that things seem harder that they need to be. Trying to fight it to oneself is debilitating and demoralizing, especially when the bullies are powerful in the organization. So don’t keep it to oneself, and get help as soon as one has made the diagnosis. Here, workplace bullying is discus



Bullying in Academe: Prevalent, Significant, And Incessant

Cassell, Macgorine A. Contemporary Issues in Education Research4. 5 (May 2011): 33-44.

This paper examines the top-down perspective of bullying and mobbing of professors by analyzing why it is prevalent, significant, and incessant and then proposes a framework to produce a caring, respectful, and safe environment for professors to engage in their teaching, scholarship, and service. The author suggests that the failure of administrations of institutions of higher education to acknowledge the prevalence and significance of bullying and mobbing of members of the professorate will further contribute to the incessancy of these behaviors and actions. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

Workplace Bullying In Academia: A Canadian Study;

Ruth McKay, Diane Huberman Arnold, Jae Fratzl, Roland Thomas. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. New York: Jun 2008. Vol. 20, Iss. 2; pg. 77, 24 pgs

Abstract (Summary) This paper examines the results of a workplace bully survey sent to faculty, instructors and librarians at a mid-sized Canadian university in 2005. The potential sources of workplace bullying by colleagues, administrators and students are examined. The survey determined that workplace bullying is of particular concern for employees that are newly hired or untenured. The systemic nature of this phenomenon and the spillover effect from one job domain to another are identified. The findings indicate costs for the university linked to workplace bullying. Costs include increased employee turnover, changed perception of the university by employees and reduced employee engagement.




There is substantial research about bullying in Hospitals & Nursing:

Is Your Hospital Safe? Disruptive Behavior and Workplace Bullying

Martin, William F. Hospital Topics86. 3 (Summer 2008): 21-8.

On April 9, 2008, in Daniel H. Raess v. Joseph E. Doescher, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a jury award of $325,000 to a former St. Francis Hospital employee who had accused a prominent heart surgeon of bullying him. (b) In March 2008, New York state legislators passed a bill establishing a cause of action for employees who are subjected to an abusive work environment (New York State Assembly 2008). (c) In adopting the 2009 Leadership Chapter Standards, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (2008) included requirements that leaders create protocols for managing disruptive behaviors and that they maintain a hospital culture of safety and quality. (d ) In February 2008, the Center for American Nurses adopted its statement on Lateral Violence and Workplace Bullying. And (e) at the 75th Annual Congress of the American College of Health Care Executives, the speaker for the 2008 Bachmeyer Address delivered a call for coordinated, organizational action by healthcare leaders and managers entitled "The Human Aspects of Quality Improvement" (Martin 2008).

Bullying Among Nurses;

Cheryl A Dellasega. The American Journal of Nursing. New York: Jan 2009. Vol. 109, Iss. 1; pg. 52

Abstract (Summary) Relational aggression is a type of bullying typified by various forms of psychological (rather than physical) abuse. It includes such behaviors as gossiping, withholding information, and ostracism. Although relational aggression in girls has garnered considerable interest, scant research on this subject has been conducted among adult women or among nurses in particular. Most studies of bullying among nurses have been conducted outside the United States. This article reports on the relevant literature on bullying among health care workers, describes common scenarios, and offers a framework for changing workplace environments affected by bullying.



Global perspective

Bullying in the 21st Century Global Organization: An Ethical Perspective;

Michael Harvey, Darren Treadway, Joyce Thompson Heames, Allison Duke. Journal of Business Ethics. Dordrecht: Mar 2009. Vol. 85, Iss. 1; pg. 27, 14 pgs

Abstract (Summary) The complex global business environment has created a host of problems for managers, none of which is more difficult to address than bullying in the workplace. The rapid rate of change and the ever-increasing complexity of organizational environments of business throughout the world have increased the opportunity for bullying to occur more frequently. This article addresses the foundations of bullying by examining the ‘nature’ (i.e., bullying behavior influenced by the innate genetic make-up of an individual) and the ‘nurture’ (i.e., individuals learn to be bullies and environments allow the behavior to perpetuate) arguments for the occurrence of bullying behavior. In addition, guidelines are presented for managers in global organizations to use in assessing and monitoring bullying activities in global organizations.

Workplace bullying: BMJ

McAvoy, Brian R; Murtagh, John. British Medical Journalexternal image spacer.gif (Apr 12, 2003): 776-7.
A deadly combination of economic rationalism, increasing competition, "downsizing," and the current fashion for tough, dynamic, "macho" management styles have created a culture in which bullying can thrive, producing "toxic" workplaces.3 Such workplaces perpetuate dysfunction, fear, shame, and embarrassment, intimidating those who dare to speak out and nurturing a silent epidemic. Various studies point to an emerging global phenomenon with a growing evidence base particularly from Scandinavia,4 where Sweden and Norway are the only European countries with legislation specific to bullying.



Australia Defines Workplace Bullying & Enacts Law
Under the Work Safety Act 2008, employers must take all reasonably practicable steps to eliminate or minimise the harm from risks to the health and safety of their workers…[OHS] “Bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to the health and safety of those workers. It can be perpetrated by an individual or a group. As well as creating a risk to health and safety, bullying can impact an organisation through reduced productivity, staff turnover and legal costs. ‘Mobbing’ is a term sometimes used to describe bullying behaviour where the perpetrator is a group of people rather than an individual. ‘Unreasonable behaviour’ is behaviour that is offensive, humiliating, degrading or threatening.”

Bullying in the 21st Century Global Organization: An Ethical Perspective;

Michael Harvey, Darren Treadway, Joyce Thompson Heames, Allison Duke. Journal of Business Ethics. Dordrecht: Mar 2009. Vol. 85, Iss. 1; pg. 27, 14 pgs

Abstract (Summary) The complex global business environment has created a host of problems for managers, none of which is more difficult to address than bullying in the workplace. The rapid rate of change and the ever-increasing complexity of organizational environments of business throughout the world have increased the opportunity for bullying to occur more frequently. This article addresses the foundations of bullying by examining the ‘nature’ (i.e., bullying behavior influenced by the innate genetic make-up of an individual) and the ‘nurture’ (i.e., individuals learn to be bullies and environments allow the behavior to perpetuate) arguments for the occurrence of bullying behavior. In addition, guidelines are presented for managers in global organizations to use in assessing and monitoring bullying activities in global organizations.

Workplace bullying: BMJ

McAvoy, Brian R; Murtagh, John. British Medical Journalexternal image spacer.gif (Apr 12, 2003): 776-7.
A deadly combination of economic rationalism, increasing competition, "downsizing," and the current fashion for tough, dynamic, "macho" management styles have created a culture in which bullying can thrive, producing "toxic" workplaces.3 Such workplaces perpetuate dysfunction, fear, shame, and embarrassment, intimidating those who dare to speak out and nurturing a silent epidemic. Various studies point to an emerging global phenomenon with a growing evidence base particularly from Scandinavia,4 where Sweden and Norway are the only European countries with legislation specific to bullying.



Australia Defines Workplace Bullying & Enacts Law
Under the Work Safety Act 2008, employers must take all reasonably practicable steps to eliminate or minimise the harm from risks to the health and safety of their workers…[OHS] “Bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to the health and safety of those workers. It can be perpetrated by an individual or a group. As well as creating a risk to health and safety, bullying can impact an organisation through reduced productivity, staff turnover and legal costs. ‘Mobbing’ is a term sometimes used to describe bullying behaviour where the perpetrator is a group of people rather than an individual. ‘Unreasonable behaviour’ is behaviour that is offensive, humiliating, degrading or threatening.”