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MOBBİNG AND WORLD

The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

                Bullying; Whistleblowing

                          A Case Example: Eve

                                      © Heinz Leymann – file 14100e

                                                                                        Correcte Sue Baxter
A canteen supervisor at a large prison went into retirement and a successor was needed. The prospective employer and the personnel department were of the same opinion: the opportunity should be used to bring about certain changes. The canteen needed to economize and at the same time offer healthier food. An individual with suitable training was found. She was employed and assigned to the kitchen where six female cooks – who all knew very well how to prepare a thick cream sauce but nothing about the impending changes – were standing in front of their ovens.

An inevitable conflict soon broke out. How was the new manager in the kitchen going to pursue the desired changes without the support of her employer? Nobody had informed the cooks of any planned change except the new manager herself. The new methods for preparing the food were totally strange to them. The idea of making provision for a relevant training course had never dawned on the employer. The cooks believed that all these new ideas came personally from Eve, their new supervisor. This caused them to turn against her. They started to gossip and counteract her instructions. Even the fact that she had a mentally handicapped child was held against her, as if her own character were responsible for this. There were continuous heated discussions. The cooks, not being willing to listen to Eve and her delegation of assignments, regularly took measures that resulted in differences of opinion. It was maintained that Eve went far beyond the scope of her responsibility, which in fact, was not true.

On a number of occasions, Eve tried to obtain descriptions of her responsibilities from the prison authorities. Top management refused her requests and her continual requests were interpreted as insubordination. Here we should bear in mind, that job descriptions of this nature are, in fact, a method through which top management can express it´s leadership at all levels! By defining institutional hierarchy at a central level, and defining various areas of responsibility, an employer is provided with an indispensable control mechanism through which the various areas of responsibility can be influenced. In Eve´s case, the only thing that happened was, that top management felt attacked by her requests and defended themselves. This legitimized the cooks´ harassment of Eve as they interpreted the situation as if the top management were “on their side.” The harassment continued and developed into a serious mobbing process, whereby Eve eventually completely lost her authority. Harsh arguments took place on a daily basis. One of the top managers who accidentally overheard such an argument, called Eve for a report. As she entered the meeting room, she noticed, that she was standing in front of some kind of court, where she was given no chance to explain the situation, but was heavily criticized. Top management ordered (!!) her to take a sick leave, which the prison´s own physician validated (!!). After having been on sick leave for more than two years (!!), Eve eventually lost her job. She never found another job again.

Some analyses regarding this case are given a more formal presentation in the file ãMobbing course over timeÒ.

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Information about Psychoterror in the Workplace

Frequently Asked Questions

© Heinz Leymann – File 00005e

  • What is meant by “mobbingÒ or “bullyingÒ? These words refer to a situation in which one or more people (employees) at the workplace show hostile behavior toward (1) most often, only one employee (2) very often and (3) over a very long period of time (months or years), thereby victimizing him or her. More information can be found under Mobbing definition.
  • What is the difference between a conflict and mobbing/bullying? One difference is that a conflict occurs between equally strong people. In a mobbing/bullying situation, the hostility is directed by one or more strong people towards a weaker individual who has become the underdog. This person is further weakened because of the immense pressure caused by the frequency and the duration of the attacks. More information can be found under Mobbing definition.
  • What happens when a person is mobbed/bullied? The attacks aim at destroying or sabotaging the mobbed person´s reputation, disturbing or destroying communication to or from the mobbed person; or, manipulating his or her work performance or work assignments. More information can be found under Mobbing Activities.
  • Do the mobber´s or victim´s personality traits play a part? No personality traits shared by victims have thus far been detected in research. The causes of mobbing are to be found in the social structures and power structures that are dominant in the workplace organization. More information can be found under Personality Theories.
  • Why, then, does it happen? In analyses of mobbing/bullying cases, research thus far has always detected serious organizational problems. Organizational disorder and poor management automatically cause conflicts. Some of these conflicts exaggerate opposing views (most often because of a power struggle), and end up by designating a scapegoat or “loserÒ. If this is allowed to continue with any frequency or over a longer period of time, a mobbing/bullying situation will take root. More information can be found under Mobbing Causes.
  • Why don´t people leave the workplace and take other employments? People actually do move to other workplaces. Nevertheless, this is difficult or almost impossible for certain employees because of difficulties in the labor market. Sometimes no other employer can be found and individuals are forced to remain where they are. In quite a few cases, the individual chooses unemployment rather than remaining in a mobbing/bullying situation, andthereby ruins his or her own social and financial situation. More information can be found under Mobbing – The Legal Situation.
  • Is mobbing a problem between people or is it a management problem? Of course, this is a communicative problem between people. However, the fact that employees can´t act freely as if they where members of a club must be taken into consideration. The organization in which individuals are employed affords them, by definition, minimal possibilities of controlling their own situations in every respect. It is the manager´s job to keep order in the organization and to ensure efficient and orderly production. Management always bears the responsibility if mobbing/bullying is not stopped. More information can be found under Mobbing Negotiations.
  • Is this a new problem in society or has it always existed? This problem between people has always existed in different societies. Thanks to the work of Professor Heinz Leymann and his associates, light has been shed on the problem, and for the first time, a detailed analysis has been presented. More information can be found under The Autencity of Mobbing Research.
  • Why, then, has the problem been discovered so late and just recently? In an advanced industrial society, all disturbances in production and administration are very costly. On the other hand, advanced societies have to provide their citizens with greater security and health care in order to maintain the so-called industrial culture. At the same time, citizens demand more security and integrity (as stated in these societies´ constitutions). Societies gain prosperity by maintaining law and order and arranging for codes in order to further enhance prosperity (Harlem, New York, will never be a place in which an economy can grow). In order to focus on this goal, it is easy to forget other values such as the psychosocial climate in a company. Stigmatization of the mobbed person (that is, arguing that only certain individuals will get mobbed) is often a last resort when the company doesn´t want to be bothered. This process of producing fog instead of insight also creates difficulties for the researcher. More information can be found under Research backgrounds and also Stigmatization.
  • Can a person become ill as a consequence of mobbed/bullied? Yes he or she can. Quite frequently, victims develop serious anxiety, as well as posttraumatic stress disorder, a condition that must be treated. More information can be found under The onset of PTSD.
  • What is the cost to the victim? In the end, the cost to the victim may be enormous: his career may be destroyed as well as his social and financial situation, along with his health. More information can be found under The onset of PTSD.
  • What is the cost to the employer? Mobbing is very costly. The employer pays, at least for a certain period of time, full salary to a victim who no longer is able to perform very well. Mobbing also destroys the psychosocial work environment and its psychological climate, infecting the morale of other personnel badly as well. More information can be found under The employer´s costs.
  • Does society also have to pay? Yes. Society has to take over the costs of a sick person by paying insurance and health care, etc. More information can be found under Society´s costs.
  • Can anything be done about it? Certainly. Correcting the situation is actually quite easy once an employer decides to do something about it. Different measures can be employed to achieve different objectives. More information can be found under Measures.
  • Can the victim recover from the illness caused by mobbing/bullying? Yes, but it requires special treatment programs. More information can be found under Treatment.
  • How frequent is this problem in society? It is very frequent. The only representative study in the world so far (in Sweden), where a randomly chosen group, representing the entire Swedish work force, were interviewed, showed substantial figures: 3.5% of the work force found themselves mobbed/bullied situation (154.000 of 4,4 million), with an average duration per case of 15 months (!). Assuming that the individual´s average length of time in the labor market is about 30 years, the risk of being subjected to this devastating treatment for at least a period of 6 months during their careers is 1:4 for young people entering the labor market. Approximately 10% to 20% of these will eventually suffer from severe PTSD-problems. More information can be found under Epidemiology.
  • Why is mobbing so widespread in organizations? In almost every organization, stress is endemic. As a consequence, organizations lose the organizational correctness that allows employees are less able to perform their work assignments as well as before. Management, supervisors and the work force experience more and more frustration. People who are frustrated tend to come into conflict with each other. Hostility can mount towards a single person over a longer period of time, bringing about a mobbing situation. More information can be found under Mobbing causes.
  • Why are several words used for the same thing, such as mobbing, bullying etc.? The reason is that different research groups during their first years chose different names for their subject of study. More information can be found under Terminology.

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Bullying; Whistleblowing

Research Around the World

© Heinz Leymann – file 13200e
Following the publications of a first research paper (Leymann & Gustavsson, 1984) and the first book on the topic (Leymann, 1986), the concept of mobbing has been targeted in a number of different countries for further scientific development. Research thus far has been carried out in Norway (Einarsen & Raknes, 1991; and Kihle, 1990; and Matthiesen, Raknes & Rökkum, 1989), Finland (Björkqvist et al, 1994; and Paanen & Vartia, 1991), Germany (Becker, 1993; and Knorz & Zapf, 1996; and Zapf et al, 1996), Austria (Niedl, 1995), Hungary (Kaucsek & Simon, 1995) and Australia (McCarthy et al, 1995; and Toohey, 1991). Mobbing research is also about to start in the Netherlands, the U. K., France and Italy. Although some progress can be reported, it becomes clear that there are much more open questions than empirically founded answers. It is my hope that further research will be done in this area, thus altering scientists and practitioners sensibility to the harm and suffering that is caused by mobbing at work. For the literature – see file 61000e and (for English texts only) 61100e.

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Epidemiological Findings

© Heinz Leymann – file 13100e
The most extensive research project on mobbing thus far has been carried out in Sweden. About 2.400 employees, representing a sample of the entire Swedish working population, were interviewed (Leymann, 1992a, 1992c, 1992d).

Frequencies: The epidemiological statistics revealed that the experiences of 3.5% of the collective fit into the definition of mobbing. This prevalence means that 154,000 of the working population of 4.4 million male and female employees in Sweden were subjected to mobbing. An epidemiological calculation based on this study revealed an incidence rate of 120,000 individuals per year as “newcomers”. The average strain time for this group, subjected to mobbing at least 6 months, was 1.25 year (15 months), a very long mobbing period indeed. Presuming a mean duration of 30 years in the labor market, the individual´s risk of being subjected to mobbing is 25%, i.e. one out of every four employees entering the labor market will risk being subjected to at least one period of mobbing of at least six months´ duration during his or her working career.

Gender: Men (45%) and women (55%) are subjected in roughly equal proportions, the difference not being significant. As to the question “who is mobbing whom?”, the study shows that 76% of the subjected men were mobbed by other men, whereas only 3% were attacked by women. Only 21% of the men were subjected by both sexes. On the other hand, 40% of the subjected women were mobbed by other women. 30% were attacked by men and another 30% by both sexes. This should not be interpreted according to gender. The explanation as to why men are mainly mobbed by other men and women by other women should be interpreted as a structural consequence of work life, at least in Sweden, which is still divided: men mostly work together with men and women with women. Of course, it is of interest that there is quite a difference in the proportion of mobbing between the sexes. Even the results of other studies confirm this tendency. It could be reasoned, that men attack women in a smaller proportion, but that men who mob women are those women´s superiors (both men and women still more often have a man as their superior).

Age: The groups 21 to 30 years and 31 to 40 years are overrepresented, compared with the three groups 41 to 50, 51 to 60 and over 61 years old. These differences are not significant. There was no gender difference.

The number of mobbers: Approximately one third of the mobbed individuals were attacked by only one other person. Slightly more than 40% were subjected to attacks by two to four persons. That an entire work team should harass a single person is very rare. Future research should focus on those individuals, who are very well aware of ongoing mobbing, but who do not intervene. These individuals, may be seen as those who hypothetically could stop the process. The results of the Swedish studies shows that there may be quite a number of “bystanders”.

Occupations: Even here, the results are not significant due to the fact that the sample consisting of 2.400 individuals was still not large enough for studies of subgroups. Nevertheless, there are tendencies, showing that some branches may be overrepresented (in the following, the proportion of the entire work force in a given branch is shown in brackets): 14.1% (6.5%) of the subjected persons in the study work in schools, universities and other educational settings. A study of patients in the now defunct Swedish “mobbing clinic” (Leymann & Gustafsson, 1996) shows an overproportion of patients who worked in schools, universities, hospitals, child care and religious organizations. About * of the patients at the hospital were women. Even these findings should not be interpreted in terms of gender. The explanation may simply be that these workplaces have greater shortcomings as regards organization, work task content and management. The reason for this may be organizational difficulties caused by these workplaces being controlled by more than one hierarchy, e. g. by politically selected groups and so on. So far, this has not been studied to any greater extent. The overrepresentation of women in the patient group may be caused by the fact that these workplaces employ women in greater proportions than men. Other branches with an overrepresentation of mobbing victims are hospitals, child care centers and religious organizations; these organizations also employ more women in than men.

Table: The patients’ trade affiliation compared with that of the gainfully employed population’s trade affiliation in Sweden. The patient group (64 persons) is not representative for Swedish conditions.

Trade affiliation The patient groups at the clinic Sweden’s working population Over- or underrepresentation by comparison
01 Industr. companies 6.3% 19.7%
02 Trade, stockroom 1.6% 11.6%
03 Public adm. & soc. work (child, elderly care etc.)

23.4%

12.5%

+

04 Forest/Farming 3.1% 2.7%  
05 Health care 23.4% 10.3% +
06 School/University 6.3% 6.2%  
07 Religious organiz:s 6.3% 0.6% +
08 Administration and office 7.8% (8+9 together:  
09 Technique/data 7.8% 11.8%)  
10 Bank and auditing 4.7% 3.6%  
11 Other 9.4% 21.0%

Long-term effects: A greater proportion of these mobbed employees (the study indicates roughly ten to twenty percent) seems to contract serious illnesses or commit suicide. Leymann (1987) points out that about every 6th to 15th officially noted suicide in the Swedish statistics (in all about 1.800 every year) may be caused by this kind of workplace problem. 80% of the patients at the now defunct Swedish special clinic for mobbing victims had suffered from suicidal thoughts, 25% of those had made an attempt.

Early international comparisons: Dthus far, direct comparisons of studies cannot be carried out since studies from different countries are still too few. Nevertheless, a number of studies carried out at different kinds of workplaces show minor differences in regard to countries and occupational areas. In Sweden, companies within the private sector show a slightly lower mobbing frequency compared with the public service organizations, where the frequency is higher. In Finland, Germany and Austria, the general frequency was higher than in Sweden. Studies pertaining to the prevalence of mobbing at Norwegian workplaces are impossible to compare with Swedish findings due to the fact that quite a different study method was used.

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Bullying; Whistleblowing

How Serious are

Psychological Problems after Mobbing?

© Heinz Leymann – file 32100e
Ifwe compare the difficulty of diagnosing our patients with that of, for example, individuals who have run-over and killed suicidal persons on train (Malt, Leymann et al., 1993) or subway tracks (Theorell, Leymann, Jodko, Konarski, & Norbeck, 1994), we see pronounced differences. In general, people seem to be able to intuitively imagine how it must feel to try to brake a train that weighs hundreds of tons and how it feels, despite these desperate efforts, to finally run over the person who has laid on the tracks in order to die. Nevertheless, the driver´s PTSD reaction is – statistically speaking – very much milder than that of our patients. Also, a considerably smaller proportion of train engineers suffer a PTSD reaction or share severe PTSD diagnose. Indeed the number is very small in comparison with that which prevails for patients such as ours, who almost all were diagnosed as having severe PTSD. This comparison might illustrate what the latter group of patients must have gone through in terms of psychological pain, anxiety, degradation, helplessness – that led to such extensive PTSD injuries. The reactions of our patients can, on the other hand, , be compared with those accounted for in a Norwegian study concerning raped women (Dahl, 1989).

By way of comparison with the high incidence of PTSD, it may be of interest to mention what the investigation of Swedish and Norwegian train engineers revealed, after the engineers had run over and killed suicidal individuals on the tracks: The frequency of high “intrusion” and “avoidance” values were considerably lower than in the present study (Malt, Karlehagen, Leymann, 1993). Even a study which mapped psychological problems in subway drivers in Stockholm shows a considerably lower frequency of drivers who developed psychological problems after having run over suicidal individuals on the tracks (Theorell and Leymann, 1994). The above-mentioned study of raped women shows very high values on the two IES scales (see also Dahl, 1989). We recommend as a hypothesis that high IES values are present if the traumatic event is followed by a series of further violations of the subjects´ rights and insults to their identities from different societal sources (Leymann, 1989). This did not occur in the groups of engineers but it did occur in cases of raped women – and, of course, in the mobbed employees in question in my studies. Mobbing and expulsion from the labor market are in themselves victimizations of trauma-inducing strength.

Our present hypothesis is that PTSD develops more severely if the traumatic situations last a long time and are followed by rights violations such as those conflicted by the judicial system or within the health care community, continue over a long period. Leymann (1989) carried out a major review of the literature concerning catastrophe psychiatry and victimology based on about 25,000 pages of scientific text. The objective was to make an inventory of the disappointments, insults and renewed traumas that follow an initial “causal trauma” – a trauma which thereafter leads to what is called “traumatizing consequential events”, due to society’s structure and the way it functions. Many of these traumata are provoked by the way administrative instances deal with or abstain from dealing with the situation.

The mobbed employee who has become our patient suffers from a traumatic environment: psychiatric, social insurance office, personnel department, managers, co-workers, labor unions, doctors in general practice, company health care, etc., can, if events progress unfavorably, produce worse and worse traumata.

Thus, our patients, like raped women, find themselves under a continuing threat. As long as the perpetrator is free, the woman can be attacked again. As long as the mobbed individual does not receive effective support, he or she can be torn to pieces again at any time.

Thus, these individuals find themselves in a prolonged stress- and in a prolonged trauma-creating situation. Instead of a short, acute (and normal!) PTSD reaction that can subside after several days or weeks, theirs is constantly renewed: new traumata and new sources of anxiety arise in a constant stream during which time the individual experiences rights violations that further undermine his or her self-confidence and psychological health. The unwieldy social situation for these individuals consists not only of severe psychological trauma but of an extremely prolonged stress condition that seriously threatens the individual’s socio-economic existence. Torn out of their social network, the majority of mobbing victims face the threat of early retirement, with permanent psychological damage.

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The Discovery of PTSD as a Diagnosis

Following Victimisation at Work

© Heinz Leymann – 32111e
In connection with the Work Environment Fund’s (AMFO) major investment in a research project concerning social expulsion, mobbing and victimisation at work in the labour market, an interview series employing the LIPT-method was included in one of the national representative investigations (Leymann, 1992a). This sample included 2,428 subjects. Analyses revealed that 350 of them had been subjected to mobbing. The individuals replied to questions regarding a number of stress symptoms as selected from neurological questionnaires in use at the Department of Neurology at the Swedish National Board of Occupational Health Research Institute. For each symptom, the interviewed individual had to choose between whether he or she had had the symptom during the last 12 months (1) very often or constantly; (2) often; (3) less often or seldom; or (4) never (complete information about the sample and methods is to be found in the original report from Leymann, 1992a). Further statistical analysis of the material led to the hypothesis that PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and GAD (general anxiety disorder) would be appropriate psychiatric diagnoses.

Results from the factor analysis: The statistical processing included a factor analysis of the symptoms (Leymann, 1992d). The principle component varimax rotation was used. As a basis for this analysis the results of all responses from identified mobbing victims were taken into account. The symptoms occurring over the past 12 months led to formation of the following seven factor groups. All 350 of the identified mobbing victims were interviewed:

Table: Factor analysis and item weights of symptoms stated by employees reporting mobbing activities. n=350

Group 1   Group 2  
Memory disturbances 0.5 Nightmares 0.6
Concentration difficulties 0.5 Abdominal or stomach pain 0.6
Low-spirited depressed 0.5 Diarrhoea 0.7
Lack of initiative, apathetic 0.6 Vomiting 0.7
Easily irritated 0.7 Feeling of sickness 0.8
General restlessness 0.7 Loss of appetite 0.6
Aggressive 0.6 Lump in the throat 0.5
Feeling of insecurity 0.6 Crying 0.5
Sensitive to set-backs 0.8 Lonely, contactless 0.6
       
       
Group 3   Group 4  
Chest pain 0.6 Backache 0.7
Sweating 0.6 Neck pain (posterior) 0.7
Dryness of the mouth 0.5 Muscular pain 0.6
Heart palpitations 0.6    
Shortness of breath 0.7    
Blood surgings 0.8    
       
       
Group 5   Group 6  
Difficulties falling asleep 0.6 Weakness in legs 0.6
Interrupted sleep 0.7 Feebleness 0.6
Early awakening 0.7    
       
       
Group 7      
Fainting 0.8    
Tremor 0.6    

The first five factor groups show the most revealing factor profiles. From a clinical perspective, these five groups are neither medically nor psychiatrically difficult to interpret. Group 1 deals with cognitive effects of strong stressors producing psychic hyperreactions. Group 2 indicates a syndrome with psychosomatic stress symptoms. Group 3 deals with symptoms arising in connection with production of stress hormones and activities of the autonomic nervous system. Group 4 describes symptoms which company health care physicians often encounter in individuals who have been stressed during very long periods of time and where the symptoms deal with muscular tensions. Group 5 comprises symptoms concerning sleep problems. Groups 6 and 7 are difficult to inerpret as too few items are shown.

These results were compared with well known psychiatric syndromes as described in the manuals of psychiatric diagnoses (DSM and ICD-10) leading to the hypothesis that PTSD may be the fitting diagnosis. These above generated symptom groups ( groups 1 to 5 in Table 1) fall psychiatrically under the DSM category “anxiety disordersÒ. The groupings or parts of these are described under the diagnosis “post-traumatic stress disorderÒ (PTSD), but also under “generalised anxiety disorderÒ (GAD).

Examining the diagnostic criteria for “generalised anxiety disorder” (300.02 D in the manual), we find the factor groups 4, 6, and 7 amongst the DSM group “motor tension”; factor groups 2 and 3 in the DSM group “autonomic hyperactivity”; and factor groups 1 and 5 in the DSM group “vigilance and scanning”. The diagnostic criteria for “post-traumatic stress disorder” (309.89 D in the manual) corresponds to factor groups 1 and 5. In the ICD-10, published by the WHO, these diagnoses are similarely discribed.

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General anxiety disorder

(DSM code-nr. 300.02)

File 32130e
Many of our patients´ PTSD values were so high (the majority received “full scores”), that we used the GAD criteria group D as a “magnifying glass” for the PTSD criteria group D. We did this in part because of our desire to acquire differential diagnoses between the patients and in part to verify the clinical observation that it is the symptoms in the PTSD criteria group D that often worsen (more symptoms, deeper penetration) during prolonged and deepened PTSD reactions.

The GAD criteria group D allows differentiation of psychosomatic stress symptoms into three groups in terms of somatic tensions (muscular tension), consequential symptoms of hormonal activity (autonomic nervous system hyperactivity) and symptoms that indicate cognitive mental activities or malfunctions (tense vigilance and hypersensitivity).

The general anxiety disorder (GAD) criteria group D: At least 6 of the following 18 symptoms should be present in connection with anxiety feelings (that does not include symptoms that are only present in connection with panic attacks):

1. Regarding muscular tension: (1) Trembling, jumpy, shaky. (2) Tense, aching or sore muscles. (3) Restlessness. (4) Unusual fatigue

2. Regarding autonomic nervous system hyperactivity: (5) Air hunger or a feeling of shortness of breath. (6) Heart palpitations or rapid pulse. (7) Sweating, or cold wet hands. (8) Dryness of the mouth. (9) Dizziness or giddiness. (10) Feeling of sickness, diarrhea or other gastro-intestinal difficulties. (11) Feeling of suddenly being quite warm or cold. (12) Frequent need to urinate. (13) Difficulties in swallowing or “lump in the throat”.

3. Regarding tense vigilance and hypersensitivity: (14) Affected or “uptightÒ.

(15) Overreacting to unexpected external stimuli. (16) Concentration difficulties or “completely blank mind”. (17) Difficulties in falling asleep or uneasy sleep.

(18) Irritability.

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What is PTSD?

File 32120e

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, DSM code-nr 309.89): As mentioned above, two authoritative psychiatric diagnosis manuals exist. One, which will be presented here, is edited by the American Psychiatric Association. The other (ICD-10) is published by the WHO in Geneva. The guidelines for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the American DSM, are divided into five criteria groups:

PTSD criteria group A (version 1987): The individual has witnessed something, beyond normal human experience, that would be very trying for almost anybody, such as a serious threat against one’s life or one’s physical or psychological integrity; a serious threat against or injury to one’s children, partner or even other close relatives or friends; sudden and extensive destruction of one’s home or home district; seeing a person who has just been seriously injured or killed due to an accident or violent act; or witnessing the entire course of events.

PTSD criteria group B: The traumatic event is relived repeatedly in at least one of the following ways: (1) Returning, insistent and painful memory images of the events. (2) Recurring nightmares about the event. (3) The individual can suddenly act or feel as if the traumatic event is repeated (experiencing a feeling of going through the event again, illusions, hallucinations and dissociative episodes (flashbacks), even those which occur while waking up or being under the influence of drugs). (4) Intensive psychological discomfort in the presence of phenomena that symbolize or are similar to some aspect of the traumatic event, such as might be experienced on the anniversary of the trauma.

PTSD criteria group C: The individual constantly avoids stimuli that can be associated with the trauma, or shows a general blunting of the ability to react emotionally which was not present before the trauma and which is shown in at least three of the following ways: (1) Efforts to avoid thoughts or feelings that are associated with the trauma. (2) Efforts to avoid activities or situations that arouse memories of the trauma. (3) Inability to remember some important aspect of the trauma (psychogenic amnesia). (4) Marked reduced interest in important activities. (5) Feeling of a lack of interest or expulsion by others. (6) Limited affects; such as inability to cherish loving feelings. (7) A feeling of not having any future; not expecting to have a career, get married, have children, or live a long life.

PTSD criteria group D: Permanent signs of hypersensitivity (which were not present before the trauma) and are shown in at least two of the following: (1) Difficulties in falling asleep, or uneasy sleep. (2) Irritability or bursts of fury. (3) Concentration difficulties. (4) Tense vigilance. (5) Exaggerated reaction to unexpected external stimuli. (6) Physiological reactions in the presence of events that symbolize or are similar to some aspect of the traumatic event.

PTSD criteria group E: The disturbance must be present for at least one month (with symptoms according to the above-mentioned groups B, C and D).

PTSD criteria group F: The disturbance has major influence on daily family and occupational life and other social events.

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The Method of Diagnosing a Mobbing Victim:

Selection of Diagnostic Instruments and

Summary of Their Scientific Backgrounds

© Heinz Leymann – file 32210e
A number of internationally well-documented diagnostic instruments used in catastrophe psychiatry can be used to examine a mobbing victim.

1. Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS by Overall & Gorham – an expert observation rating scale: Overall and Beller published two articles (1984): “The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) in Geropsychiatric Research: I. Factor Structure on an Inpatient Unit” and “The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) in Geropsychiatric Research: II. Representative Profile Patterns” (Beller & Overall, 1984).

2. Sleep and Alertness (The Caroline Institute Sleep Laboratory): The questionnaire which we use is a shortened version of that used at the Caroline Institute´s Sleep Laboratory. Although the clinical experience behind the questionnaire is extensive, no metrical or statistical studies exist regarding the questionnaire’s validity or reliability.

3. General Health Questionnaire (GHQ by Goldberg, 20-version): The questionnaire’s original version comprises 60 questions. For our diagnoses, a shortened version with 20 questions was used. Validations that were carried out by Norwegian researchers are by Malt (1989), “The Validity of the General Health Questionnaire in a Sample of Accidentally Injured Adults” and by Holen (1990), “A Long-Term Outcome Study of Survivors of a Disaster.” The original study was carried out by Goldberg 1985), “Identifying Psychiatric Illness Among General Medical Patients” and by Goldberg and Williams (1988), “A User’s Guide to the General Health QuestionnaireÒ.

4. Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI by Beck, 13-version): The questionnaire exists in different versions. The original version has 21 questions, but the version used in our diagnoses was shortened to 13 questions. The first publication was already released in 1961 by Beck, Ward, Mendelsohn, Mock and Erbaugh.

5. Impact of Event Scale (IES by Horowitz et al. 15 version): The questionnaire scale represents a deepening of the criteria included in the conditions for diagnosis in the psychiatric diagnostic manual DSM III R (1987), upon which this scale has been based. The scale was evaluated by Zilberg, Weiss and Horowitz (1982), at the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute at the University of California, San Fransisco. The scale was originally published by Horowitz, Wilner and Alvarez (1982), “Impact of Event Scale: A Measure of Subjective Distress”.

6. Post-Traumatic Symptom Scale (PTSS-10 by Malt): The scale is described in Raphael, Lundin and Weisaeth (1989), “A Research Method for the Study of Psychological and Psychiatric Aspects of Disaster.”

7. Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire (MHQ, 40-version): A large number of scientific articles about this questionnaire have appeared. A survey of the research is found in Crown Sidney, “The Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire (MHQ) in Clinical Research: A Review” (in Pichot & Olivier-Martin, 1974). A newer article is found in Pallecchi, Nicolau, Biagi & Nardini (1990), “The Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire (MHQ) Compared with the MMPI: Study of Internal and Reciprocal Correlations Between the Psychodiagnostic Scales.”

8. Original PTSD diagnosis according to DSM and ICD-10: This list of criteria was taken directly from these two diagnostical manuals and used as a diagnostic summary of the seven questionnaires mentioned above.

The Diagnosis Method

The diagnosis procedure was carried out following the patient´s having undergone occupational-social anamnesis. This included a chronological description of the traumatic course of events which had taken place during the past years. The anamnesis served as the basis for the diagnosis criteria shown in part A, provided that the diagnosis showed psychological traumatic injuries. These anamneses were carried out during interviews lasting approximately 4 to 10 hours. You will find some examples of anamneses of this kind in my homepage.

The patients were informed that the diagnosis would be performed with the help of standardized questionnaires. During the course of the interviews, as soon as the questionnaire was completed, the patient was notified about what type of information had been collected. Furthermore, patients were immediately informed about the results of his or her responses. Thus, the questionnaire was evaluated immediately and continuously throughout the ongoing interview. Even the diagnostic “yesÒ to the questions concerning a decline in sexual interest, difficulties in making decisions, difficulties in starting everyday duties, etc., he was immediately given an explanation for the meaning of his or her depressiveness. The patient was thus not left with unanswered questions about what his or her answers really mean for his or her emotional state. You will find some examples of diagnoses in my homepage.

This method of diagnosing and simultaneously informing the patient thoroughly about the character and meaning of his or her answers may actually be regarded as a first cognitive behavioral therapeutic contribution, even at this early stage of our contact with the patient. The diagnosis takes approximately 2 to 4 hours to complete. Patients are also informed what the different criteria groups of the PTSD diagnosis mean and how they give rise to the psychosomatic symptoms in the diagnosis criteria group D.

If you want Dr. Leymann to diagnose you, please double click: Dr. Leymann Diagnosis.

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The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

Sixty-four patients at a Swedish special clinic

Part 1: Description of the patients

© Heinz Leymann – file 32231e
The now-defunct Swedish clinic, “ViolenÒ, specialized in treating patients with the diagnosis PTSD after years of heavy mobbing in the workplaces. The 64 patients, described here, were the first 64 patients who came to this clinic. What kind of patients were they? What occupational branches did they represent? In what mental and physical condition did they arrive? This will be discussed in two sections below regarding the patients bio- and socio-economic situation (see below) as well as their diagnostical data.

THE PATIENT´S BIO- AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA

The number of patients and gender information: Of the 64 patients, 20 (31%) were men and 44 (69%) women. The gender distribution cannot be interpreted in respect to conditions on a national scale, and indicates only the percentual distribution between men and women among the patients who happened to be referred to us.

Age: The majority of the patients were between 41 and 50 years old (53% or 34 individuals). 23%, or 15 individuals, were between 51 and 60 years of age. 13%, or 8 individuals, are between 31 and 40 years. 5%, or 3 individuals, were either over 61 years old or under 30 respectively. For one individual, age information is missing. A correlation between age and gender indicates that women and men had the same age distribution.

Position: Of 14 individuals, 22%, had work leadership assignments, the other did not.

Occupation: The table below shows patient affiliation in 11 occupational groups. These constitute a summary of the trade survey in Sweden’s statistical yearbook (1994). This yearbook´s table 204 deals with the gainfully employed population according to branches of business or industry in November 1991). The column on the right gives the expected percentage according to the country’s population. The left column shows the patients´ occupational affiliations.

Table: The patients’ trade affiliation compared with that of the gainfully employed population’s trade affiliation in Sweden. The patient group (64 persons) is not representative for Swedish conditions.

Trade affiliation The patient groups at the clinic Sweden’s working population Over- or underrepresentation by comparison
01 Industr. companies 6.3% 19.7%
02 Trade, stockroom 1.6% 11.6%
03 Public adm. & soc. work (child, elderly care etc.)

23.4%

12.5%

+

04 Forest/Farming 3.1% 2.7%  
05 Health care 23.4% 10.3% +
06 School/University 6.3% 6.2%  
07 Religious organiz:s 6.3% 0.6% +
08 Administration and office 7.8% (8+9 together:  
09 Technique/data 7.8% 11.8%)  
10 Bank and auditing 4.7% 3.6%  
11 Other 9.4% 21.0%

It must be pointed out that public administration and social work (which include care of children and the elderly), health care, and work in religious organizations (which includes the Lutheran Swedish church) are overrepresented regarding the number of mobbing victims, whereas industrial companies (manufacturing and mechanical industry), trade and stockroom work together with other branches of business or industry are underrepresented. Our patient group was thus not nationally representative for all employees diagnosed with PTSD due to victimization at work or other reasons. Other studies show, nevertheless, trends that do correspond (Leymann, 1992a, 1992b, 1992c, 1992e, Leymann & Gustafsson in print, Leymann & Tallgren 1989, Leymann & Lindroth 1992).

Diagnosis: In 59 individuals, PTSD was diagnosed; the remaining 5 suffered from dystymi (popularly expressed as psychological burnout). These 5 had the same scores in the PTSD categories B to E, but lacked a traumatic course of events in their occupational situations.

The patients’ average strain period: By “strain time” I mean the length of time during which the patients were subjected to mobbing activities resulting in emotional strain. The strain time that the patients had to experience was very long. This period was estimated from the time at which the patient’s psychosocial working environment had become mentally disturbing until it became traumatic (see the chronological description of mobbing phases).

In the table below, it can be seen that only 15% of the patients had a strain period of less than one year. Just as many, namely 15% had a strain period exceeding 8 years! Most of the patients, 54%, had a strain period between 2 and 8 years. There was no difference between women and men.

Table: Strain period (mobbing) in number of months and according to sex (n=61, 3 drop outs)

Number of months Total: n=61 Men: n=19 Women: n=42
-11 9 (15%) 11% 17%
12-24 10 (16%) 21% 14%
25-48 12 (20%) 21% 19%
49-96 21 (34%) 32% 36%
97- 9 (15%) 16% 14%

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The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

Mobbing – its Course Over Time

© Heinz Leymann – file 12220e
The course of mobbing changes its character over time as the social setting changes. Research thus far reveals very stereotypical courses (Leymann, e. g. 1990b).

  1. Critical incidents: The triggering situation is always one that can be described as a conflict. Mobbing can, therefore, be seen as an escalated conflict. So far, not much is known about what details transform the development of a conflict into a mobbing situation. Hypothetically, this first mobbing phase (which, to be exact, is not yet mobbing!) may be very short while the next phase reveals stigmatizing actions by colleges, shop-floor management or top management.
  2. Mobbing and stigmatizing: As stated above, mobbing activities may contain quite a number of behaviors which, in normal interaction, do not necessarily indicate aggression, any attempts to expel or exclude anyone. However, being subjected to these behaviors on an almost daily basis, for a very long period of time and for hostile purposes, the activity can change in context and may be used in stigmatizing someone in the group. In fact, all of the observed behaviors, regardless of their meaning in normal daily communication, have the common denominator of being based on the intent to “get at a person” or punish him or her. Thus, aggressive manipulation is the main characteristic of these activities.
  3. Personnel management: When management eventually steps in, the case becomes officially “a case”. Due to previous stigmatization, it is very easy to misjudge the situation and place the blame on the mobbed person. Management tends to accept and take over the prejudices produced during previous stages. This very often seems to bring about the desire to do something in order to “get rid of the problem”, i. e. the mobbed person. This most often results in serious violations of the individual´s civil rights. In this phase, the mobbed person ultimately becomes marked/stigmatized. Because of fundamental attribution errors, colleges and management tend to create explanations based on personal characteristics rather than on environmental factors (Jones, 1984). This may be the case particularly when management is responsible for the psychosocial work environment and may refuse to accept this responsibility.
  4. Incorrect: If the mobbed person seeks contact with psychiatrists or psychologists, there is a great risk that these professionals will misinterpret the situation, as they very often lack sufficient training in investigating social situations in the workplace. Therefore, they also tend to judge the person due to some incorrect personality concepts. The risk is that the subjected person will be labeled with an incorrect diagnosis such as “paranoiaÒ, “querulous paranoiaÒ, “manic-depressive illnessÒ, “adjustment disorderÒ or “character disorderÒ. This judgment can destroy the person´s chances of gaining anything from vocational rehabilitation in order to return to the labor market, or from occupational rehabilitation in order to be able to return to the previous occupation.
  5. Expulsion: As far as the mobbing scenario at the workplace is concerned, the social consequences for people who have been expelled from the labor market long before retirement are well known. This situation is probably responsible for the development of serious illnesses (Groeblinghoff & Becker, 1996; or also Leymann, 1996) that cause the victim to seek medical or psychological help. However, as has been argued, the subjected person can very easily be incorrectly diagnosed by professionals, namely when they do not want to believe the person´s story or when they do not bother to look into the triggering social events, as stated above.

Comments on Eve´s case: The case of Eve, clearly shows the course of a mobbing process: (1) Initially, conflicts arise, which management, despite their responsibility, does not manage to solve. (2) As the conflict extends over time and no solution is offered, a process develops, in which the harassed person is almost daily forced to experience hostilities. (3) Eventually (and this may take many months or even years), management is forced to take action. At this point, management very often accepts gossip, complaints from colleagues(very often just a few), believing them without questioning their truthfulness, and thus condemning the harassed individual to some kind of administrative punishment. Harassed persons rarely get any chance to speak out on behalf of themselves. Comparing case after case, this course of events is very stereotypical. (4) Because of management´s attitude, the individual in question develops such a poor reputation that it is extremely difficult to remain in the labor market. If he or she continues working, it will probably require them to take another position and lose their previous status.

It must be emphasized here that it is futile to discuss who caused the conflict or who is right, even if this is of practical interest. However, there is another point at issue: we are discussing a type of social and psychological assault at the workplace, which may lead to profound legal, social, economic and mental consequences for the individual. These consequences are so grave and out of balance, that it should be made very clear that this phenomenon should mainly be seen as an encroachment of the individual´s civil rights. These cases show very tragic fates including the violation of civil rights, which has been forbidden in most societies for a long time. In the societies of the highly industrialized western world, the workplace is the only remaining ãbattlefieldÒ where people can “kill” each other without running the risk of being taken to court. In Sweden, it has been found that approximately 10% to 20% of annual suicides are the result of mobbing in the workplace.

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The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

Why Does Mobbing Take Place?

© Heinz Leymann – file 12310e

Why do mobbing processes develop in the first place? Widely spread prejudices maintain that the problem arises once an employee with character difficulties enters the work force. Research so far has never been able in any way to validate this hypothesis, either with respect to mobbed employees at the workplace, or mobbed children in school. Thus, personality theories are not very valid for analyzing the reasons behind mobbing. What then does research show as its probable causes?

The Work Organization as a Factor: Analyses of approximately 800 case studies show an almost stereotypical pattern (Becker 1995; Kihle 1990; Leymann 1992b; Niedl 1995). In all these cases, extremely poorly organized production and/or working methods and an almost helpless or uninterested management were found. This is not surprising keeping in mind the poor organizational conditions revealed at most of the workplaces at which I found (1992b, 1995c) mobbed employees from hospitals, schools and religious organizations were overrepresented in these studies. Lets take the work organization at a certain hospital as an example (see also Leymann´s and Gustafsson´s suicide study). Quite a few nurses, whom we interviewed, did not really know who their boss was. A hospital has at least two parallel hierarchies: one, represented by doctors responsible for diagnosing and determining treatments, and one represented by a hierarchy of nurses responsible for carrying out the treatment. Both hierarchies have management that gives orders and bosses the nurses, both kinds of bosses have the authority to tell a nurse what to do or what not to do. The work load may increase either because of a shortage in the work force or due to poor work organization on a daily basis. Often, the unofficial institution of spontaneous leadership (often stigmatized as dangerous in the literature on management and organization) is required to get things accomplished at all. This commonly results in a situation where a nurse occasionally can assume command of a group of nurses without having the authority to do so, in order to accomplish the work. Clear-cut rules for this unofficial procedure, or knowledge of whether fellow nurses will accept this or not, do not exist. All of these situations are in fact high-risk situations and can very easily result in conflicts. When this happens, whether the conflict will be prolonged or can be easily settled, depends very often on the existing type of group dynamics and not on (as it should be) whether management has the training and motivation to solve conflicts or not. Especially in a working world where almost only women are employed, conflicts tend to become harsher, as women are more dependent on socially, supportive group dynamics (Björkqvist, Österman & Hjelt-Bäck, 1994).

Poor Conflict Management as a Second Source: The situation gets far more dangerous if the manager of one of these hierarchies wants to be part of the social setting. If the supervisor, instead of sorting out the problem, is actively taking part in the harassment, he or she also has to choose sides. As I have seen in very many cases, this stirs up the situation and makes it worse (Leymann, 1992b). In addition to this management reaction, it has been found to a high degree that, when a manager simply neglects the “quarrel”, the conflict is thus given time to deepen and escalate. Poor managerial performance thus entails either (a) getting involved in the group dynamics on an equal basis and thereby heating it up further (which I have seen more often with female managers), or (b) denying that a conflict exists (which I have seen more often with male managers). Both types of behaviors are quite dangerous and, together with poor work organization, are the main causes for the development of a mobbing process at the workplace (Adams, 1992; or Kihle, 1990).

Again, it must be underlined, that research concerning causes of mobbing behavior, is still in its beginning; in particular the difference in behavior between male and female managers is still poorly understood. Research in this area has been carried out in Finland, demonstrating that women choose mobbing activities that affect the victim more indirectly (gossip, slander, encouraging other individuals to carry out mobbing activities etc.). Björkqvist, Lagerspetz and Kaukianinen (1992) state that female aggressiveness has been widely overlooked in earlier research because variables in the data collecting were mainly oriented towards male standards. Björkqvist et al. argue that this might be the reason behind the false impression that women score lower on questionnaires measuring aggressiveness. Even here, future research will eventually focus in more detail on the causes.

What about the personality of the subjected person? As mentioned earlier, research so far has not revealed the importance particular of personality traits either with respect to adults in workplaces or children at school. It must not be forgotten that the workplace should not be confused with other situations in life. A workplace is always regulated by behavioral rules. One of these rules calls for effective co-operation, controlled by the supervisor. Conflicts can always arise, but, according to these behavioral rules, they must be settled in order to promote efficient productivity. One of the supervisor´s obligations is to manage this kind of situation. By neglecting this obligation (and supervisors as well as top management often do so as a consequence of shortcomings in conflict management), a supervisor then – instead – promotes the escalation of the conflict into a mobbing process. In its early stages, mobbing is most often a sign that a conflict concerning the organization of work tasks has taken on a private touch. When a conflict is “privatized”, or if the motive behind its further development begins to develop into a deeper dislike between two individuals, then the conflict concerning work tasks has created a situation that an employer has the obligation to stop. Once a conflict has reached this stage in its escalation, it is meaningless to blame someone’s “personality” for it. If a conflict has developed into a mobbing process, the responsibility lies primarily with management, either because conflict management has not been brought to bear on the situation, or because there is a lack of organizational policies with respect to handling conflict situations (Leymann, 1993b).

Another argument against regarding an individual´s personality as a cause of mobbing processes is that when a post-traumatic stress syndrome develops, the individual can undergo major personality changes that are indicative of a major mental disorder brought on by the mobbing process. As the symptoms of this changed personality are quite typical and distinct, it is understandable that even psychiatrists who lack knowledge about PTSD as a typical victim disorder, misinterpret these symptoms as being something that the individual brought into the company in the first place (Leymann & Gustafsson, 1996).

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New Literature

 

 

 

MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace

Noa Davenport, Ph. D., Ruth Distler Schwartz, Gail Pursell Elliot

 

Foreward by Dr. Heinz Leymann

Mobbing can be compared to bullying at the workplace. Mobbing denotes, however, more specifically a “ganging up” by co-workers, subordinates or superiors, to force someone out of the workplace through rumor, innuendo, intimidation, discrediting, isolation, and particularly, humiliation. Mobbing is a serious form of nonsexual, nonracial harassment. It has been legally described as a status-blind harassment.

Mobbing affects the mental and physical health of victims to a great extent. It extracts staggering emotional and economic costs from victims, their families, their organizations, and society.

The authors’ intent is to stimulate public awareness in the United States, to help detect mobbing in American workplaces, and to encourage preventive, timely and appropriate action. This book helps readers to understand what mobbing is, why it occurs, how it affects a victim, how organizations are impacted and what people can do – as a victim, a family member, a friend, or as a manager.

Written by three Iowa authors, Dr. Noa Davenport, Ruth Distler Schwartz, and Gail Elliot Pursell, the book deals with what has become a household word in Europe: Mobbing.

The authors are available for presentations on the material contained in the book.

 

“Read this book as a safety manual for avoiding the most terrifying kind of workplace injury. The advice given here is clear, practical, and sound. Its foundation in empirical research is firm. I recommend this book to every employee and manager in America.”

-Dr. Kenneth Westhues, Professor of Sociology, University of Waterloo, Canada, author of Eliminating Professors, A Guide to the Dismissal Process

“This is the first U.S. book on mobbing, a widespread and serious form of workplace victimization. We are in the authors’ debt for bringing mobbing to the attention of the American Public and recommending ways to halt it.”

-Dr. Nicole Rafter, Professor in Northeastern University’s Law, Policy, and Society Program and author of numerous books on crime and punishment

 

 

CIVIL SOCIETY PUBLISHING

P.O. Box 1663 – Ames, Iowa 50010-1663

Illustrated, 216 pages, Paperback, ISBN 0-9671803-0-9, US$ 14.95, CAN$ 21.95

Publication Date: July 20, 1999

 

 

Advance orders accepted. To order:

BookMasters, Inc. – P.O. Box 388 – Ashland, OH 44805

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Eliminating Professors: A Guide to the Dismissal Process

Kenneth Westhues

A sociological study of and administrative guidebook to getting rid of unwanted professors based on 25 case studies of professorial elimination (including the author’s own). Five stages in the removal of an unwanted professor are delineated and administrative strategies for navigating those stages are explained.

Book News (Portland, OR)

This account has the chill of graveyard truth. I’ve often read about the ideal of a fearless objectivity in the social sciences, but I’ve rarely experienced it as forcefully as in this book.

James R. Kelly, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Fordham University (NY)

Though thinly disguised as a guide for oppressors, it is a must read by any student of bullying and psychological terrorization. This should be required reading for new and retired faculty – the former group to serve as a warning, the latter to compel them to change the system now that they are free from defending the indefensible.

Gary Namie, Ph.D., Founder, Campaign against Workplace Bullying (USA), co-author of Bullyproof yourself at Work

Although intended as a bitter satire, Westhues gives a remarkably perceptive account of the techniques useful for getting rid of unwelcome academics. Of course, it can also be read by those who are targeted, and their supporters, as a primer on what is likely to happen and how best to oppose it. Brian Martin, Ph.D., Science and Technology Studies, University of Wollongong (Australia), author of The Whistleblower’s Handbook

Eliminating Professors is first of all a scholarly treatise developed to the sociology of controlling human relations in academia and thus it contributes to our understanding of policy and practice at many Canadian Universities.

W. Robert Needham, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, University of Waterloo (Canada), in UW Gazette (13 January 1999)

Published for the Robert Kempner Collegium, 1998, by the Edwin Mellan Press

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UK orders:

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Hardcover US$29.95

Available through amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com

The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

The relationship of mobbing to conflict

© Heinz Leymann – file 11320e

As originally understood in the Swedish research carried out since 1982, mobbing should be viewed as an exaggerated conflict. Mobbing evolves after a certain time from a conflict, sometimes very quickly, sometimes after weeks or months, leading to characteristics described in other files in this homepage. In social psychology, research on aggression and conflicts is voluminous. Nevertheless, the mobbing phenomenon was not detected by these efforts, the reason probably being that the social context in which it develops and is carried out, changes (see ãMobbing – its course over timeÒ). Another reason is probably that conflict researchers have investigated many things but have never focused on the outcomes in terms of the health of the persons involved in the conflict. Therefore, experiences from “conflict-solving” may not necessarily be helpful (Zapf et al., 1996).

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Bullying; Whistleblowing

Conflict: risk for mobbing

© Heinz Leymann – File 12110e

One of the better surveys of empirical studies of conflict that I have ever had in my hands is to be found in the first chapter of Easterbrooks (ed.) CSCW: Cooperation or Conflict. It gives an excellent picture of the state of research in this area. My text below is entirely built on this book and gives but a very brief notion of what Easterbrook and his fellow authors have collected. So, get that book, if only for the one chapter.

The research on conflicts is considerable. Unfortunately, it is not only dispersed among quite a range of academic disciplines, but it also mirrors the many behavioral theories that can be found in the literature. Last but not least, there are a number of definitions of the concept “conflict”, that are influenced by these very different theories. This can also be said about the different classifications of conflict that exist. In receiving the better part of this research, the scholar will soon realize one major shortcoming: most of the researchers assume that conflict is something that should be avoided. Studies that look at the utility of conflicts are hardly to be found before about 1980. Conflict research can also be divided into a number of theoretical paradigms, that, of course, have heavy influence on both the method of observation and the interpretation of results. The most often used paradigms are bargaining theory, game theory, decision theory and group decision-making.

Easterbrooks and his associates present a number of assertions about conflict that should interest the practitioner. Assertions are made on the occurrence of conflict, of its causes; about the utility of conflicts, their development, their management and resolution, and on the result of conflicts. In the following I only focus on the overall tendencies in the research. If you want more details than I can offer in this file, please get the book. It is worthwhile indeed.

1. Occurrence of conflict:

Assertion: Conflict is inevitable. Most of the referred literature does not hold this view. It may be inevitable in certain situations, but the structure of society is such that conflict forms an integral part of it. Earlier conflict research also held the assumption that conflict is an abnormality and should be avoided. Modern research seems not to share this view. Conflict is not inevitable. Conflict has its value. But the mere escalation of conflict in a situation that gets out of hand should be avoided through proper conflict management according to the modern view. If limitless escalation sets in, mobbing becomes more and more inevitable.

Assertion: The more cohesive the group, the less conflict there is. The answer is yes. Cohesiveness can be defined as a sense of “we-ness”. As long as this state is balanced within the group, conflict is not likely to occur. The cost of this may be that no member may give an opinion that “rock the boat” and that any member who does so will be the object of sanctions that may trigger mobbing. “We-ness” in its worst form has been called “group-think” and is seen as an exaggerated form of “we-ness”. See below. If “group think” takes over, mobbing the whistleblower is rather inevitable.

Assertion: The occurrence of conflict varies with the development of the group. Different phases in the development of a group have been outlined in the literature. Four phases regarding to the functioning of the group are presented: the group forms, then storms, then norms and finely performs. Different phases are prone to different conflicts, for example in the “storming” phase.

Assertion: The more communication there is between people, the more opportunities there are for conflict. This statement, which can be heard very often, is not supported by the evidence, as managing the conflict is a crucial factor. Very much of the early conflict research focused on too narrow an interpretation of the causes. Conflict is managed by means of communication, therefore, communication as such cannot be seen as the cause of conflict; instead, we must look at what is communicated.

Assertion: Clearly defined roles reduce conflicts. It seems that specialization may lead to more cohesion, but may go further and isolate individuals. The assertion is far more true if the isolation of an individual can be slowed down by plenty of face-to-face contacts and mutual discussions. In the literature, this assumption is held to be true. But too detailed a role division may split up the group.

2. Cause of conflict:

Assertion: Conflicts arise from misunderstanding. This is certainly true and the occurrence of misunderstanding grows with poor communication, where misunderstanding may be interpreted as ill will. We can see a tendency for early signs of an arising conflict to cause people to reduce communication because of this assumption. This will eventually lead to misunderstanding and conflict.

Assertion: Technological mediation introduces conflict. To what extend new technologies such as e-mail and internet conferences introduce conflict is very unsure at the moment, but it is debated in the literature. This may be the consequence as these technological advances eliminate the need of a number of media that play an important role in communication (facial expression, tone of voice, body language etc.). The invention of graphic “smiles” may be seen as a need to compensate the loss.

Assertion: Anonymity and physical separation contribute to conflict. This assertion also meets with doubt in the current literature, as the studies are very few in number. It may be the case, as conflict has been observed between car drivers on highways or in communication in Internet conferences. On the other hand, these factors may reduce high-risk aggressive behavior modes.

3. Utility of conflict:

Assertion: Conflict can be productive. In the present debate, this is often held as true. But the assertion is rarely demonstrated in the literature. Modern researchers argue that conflict is a necessity if cognitive change is to occur. The problem is, as stated before, that the utility of a conflict lies in its management. Under good conflict management, conflict can be a necessary precondition for creativity.

Assertion: Actively eliciting conflicting viewpoints can reduce group-think. Group-think is defined as a phenomenon that may occur in a group of very high cohesiveness, strong group leader influence and a group climate that forbids creative problem-solving if it would “rock the boat” too much (one of Easterbrooks´ examples deals with the poor quality of decision-making before the launching of the space shuttle Challenger). The assertion is possibly right, but if the “troublemaker” does have too weak an influence in the group, he may be treated as a whistleblower and may be mobbed.

4. Development of conflict:

Assertion: Conflict has to be resolved for parties to continue to work together. There is no real evidence for this assumption in the literature, either for or against it. Whether or not it applies, depends on how dysfunctional the conflict is for the group and whether the group is able to handle the conflict or not, which depends on a number of circumstances. It will to “work through” the conflict, but experiences from work groups that used group therapeutical methods also show that too much of “working through” may destroy further co-operation. Assertion: Çatışma parti için birlikte çalışmaya devam etmek için çözülmesi gerekmektedir. Bu literatürde bu varsayım için gerçek bir delil, ya da buna karşı olduğunu. Olsa da olmasa da bu geçerlidir, nasıl dysfunctional çatışma bağlıdır grup ve herhangi bir grup olan durumlarda bir dizi bağlıdır çatışma da, ele mümkün değildir. Sadece “çatışma” ile çalışmak için, ancak çalışma gruplarından deneyimleri kullanılan grup terapik yöntemler de da “ile yok Mayıs çalışma bundan çok daha fazla göstermek işbirliği.

Assertion: Conflicts follow a set pattern. A number of pattern models are to be found in the literature. Most of them lean on very poor empirical bases. There appears to be some agreement to the effect that there are a number of stages in the conflict process (latent conflict, perceived conflict, felt conflict, manifest conflict, conflict aftermath etc.). But, again, these patterns seem to be assumptions by themselves. Even the practical usefulness of these patterns is rather unclear. But, on the other hand, people seem to have a kind of perception of how a conflicts develops from “somewhat bad” to “very bad” fighting.

Assertion: Styles of handling conflict vary with pressure of time. If an action is regarded as conflict at one point, it might not be seen so at a later time. The answer to whether this assumption is right or wrong is: it depends. Pressure of time is often correlated with a risk of being criticized for poor work quality. That may cause the group to avoid conflict. Again, the key factor is: conflict management.

Assertion: The size of a group affects the occurrence and resolution of conflict. Also this assumption “depends”. It may be true, but it may not be. This is by and large the effect of the fact that the influence of the size of the group is very difficult to isolate from many other factors that play important roles simultaneously. It is easier to show that very large groups show a tendency to split up into cliques, for example, in large groups can a minority form such a clique around a certain point of view. In very small groups on the other hand, every member has much more time to talk, so that communication in the small group may be more equally distributed. But this is not a single factor that can have that much an influence on conflict occurrence or resolution in addition to all the other possible factors of influence.

Assertion: The course of conflict is culturally sensitive. That different cultures have different attitudes to conflict is self-evident. But this does not mean that conflicts are worse in certain cultures and less serious in others. The assumption receives hardly any support in the literature. What is found is that conflict is displayed differently in different cultures. The habit of when or when not to regard a conflict as such may differ, as well as rules and expectations for how to resolve a conflict. Preferences with respect to how conflict should be handled may differ between cultures, but there is quite a lack of research in this area. This is also the case regarding mixed cultures within a group.

Assertion: Personality has little effect on the development of conflict. This assumption has no support whatsoever in the psychosocial literature. Nevertheless, it is one of the most commonly claimed assumption to be found. One of the reasons for this may be that certain individuals or groups or organizations need to find a scapegoat. Attribution psychology deals very effectively with this false assumption. In fact, over and over again studies have demonstrated that an analysis of the social situation at hand gives better possibilities of predicting the actual behavior of individuals. Personality has a bigger influence on the group members initial behavior (the “get-to-know-each-other” phase) but not on the occurrence or development of conflict. The way to act in a conflict, how to try and master it, may be influenced by personality traits, but this, than, is true of all kinds of personality traits of people involved in the conflict. But the assumption above argues that acertain personality trait is to be blamed and that individuals with that kind of personality should be viewed with suspicion. This is nothing else but a simple prejudice. A psychological question of great interest is, of course, why this assumption is still there in spite of all evidence that prove it false.

5. Management and resolution of conflict:

Assertion: A strong leader is needed to resolve conflict. According to the impression from the literature, this may be valid from time to time, but it is quite unclear what is meant by “strength”. The selection of a leader may itself lead to conflict. Furthermore, if the leader does not behave as expected, this may lead to high tension and to struggle in the group. Very many very bad cases of mobbing have been observed in connection with very bad leader performance. The implication in the literature that strong leadership is a prerequisite for conflict is equivocal: The effectiveness of any particular leadership style, or indeed whether a leader is needed at all for conflict resolution, depends on the particular conflict and on the group members´ ability to manage the conflict by themselves.

Assertion: Conflicts are unlikely to be resolved if participants argue from entrenched positions. This assumption is certainly true. If this position results in the participants´ unwillingness to attempt to understand one another´s positions, conflict can hardly be solved other then through a (brutal) power struggle that will further diminish the losing participant´s motivation for co-operation. The literature on mobbing and attacks on whistleblowers shows this very clearly. In many of these cases the introduction of a third-party mediator may be needed.

Assertion: Articulating conflict helps in its resolution. The assumption is true (with one exception, see below). This observation in the research led to an interest in techniques for making a conflict explicit. In the literature four aspects in conflicts are identified that are salient to differentiation and explicity: (1) The strength of the disagreement; (2) the level to which the disagreement is emotionally personalized; (3) the competitiveness of the dispute (such as the difference between a co-operative or a competitive conflict); (4) the centrality of the issue for the disagreeing individuals. Differentiation of depersonalized conflict may be very important for group consensus and cohesion. The exception to watch may occur when a differentiation process becomes prolonged, which can damage personal relations in the group. Another note of caution is that conflicts that, objectively seen, cannot be resolved, should not be articulated. For some conflicts suppression may be a sensible approach. If this, on the other hand, is used by a powerful agent as his or her strategy in a power struggle, this may be seen as advice that asks human beings to deny democratic evolution.

Assertion: People can be trained to handle conflict in a constructive way. This is indeed the case. The assumption has overwhelming support in the literature. It is possible to train people, through awareness, to interact better in group situations. Another issue is learning about specific strategies for dealing with conflict. Individuals who are prone to turning every single conflict into an (often quite meaningless) competition can thus alter their strategies. Much of the modern literature is devoted to developing successful models for conflict management. But the research so far also underlines that science cannot be to offer a universal panacea to manage all kind of conflicts. The goal of training people to handle conflict is to offer both a range of techniques and an awareness of their limitations.

Assertion: Difficult conflicts need a third party to introduce a resolution. This has been shown and demonstrated as being the case. De Bono (1985), one of the forerunners of technique development, claims that it is necessary to introduce a third-party mediator, when participants become “bogged down by tradition, training and complacency, in the argument mode of thinking”. Other researchers argue that an interested third-party often provides the attitude, strength and resources that are crucial determinants of whether participants in a conflict will favor a co-operative or a competitive approach. A third party can take either or both of two roles: (1) The encouragement of co-operative resolution, and/or (2) the provision of problem-solving resources and models. Since the late 60s, there has been a growing literature on third-party intervention techniques.

Assertion: Different people prefer different approaches for tackling conflict. This assumption is also true according to the literature. This is easy to understand if we focus on the fact that there are many different types of conflict and many different ways in which a conflict may manifest itself. One can find in the literature three possible assumptions that may determine the strategy for conflict management: (1) Disagreement is inevitable and permanent; (2) Conflict can be avoided since interdependence between groups is unnecessary; (3) Agreement and maintaining interdependence is possible. A modification of the assumption given in the heading, then, may be: As different people apprehend and interpret the mode of the conflict differently (see 1 to 3 above), they may prefer different approaches for tackling conflict.

Assertion: Styles of handling conflict vary with gender. This is at present very unclear indeed and in this single assumption, I would like to complete Easterbrooks fine work in the light of new research that was not available to him. A common prejudice is that men tend more often to choose competitive struggle and women tend more often to choose co-operation. Easterbrooks mentioned that this assumption is not based on any empirical findings at all, but was just based on assumptions and interpretations. Research on violence and gender differences show, for example, very convincing evidence, that “violence” tends to be defined in terms of manly preferences on how to carry out the aggression, which causes low scores for women when they are compared to these men’s behavior. Recent research (Björkqvist et al., 1992) points out that women choose other techniques for violence – and hence, according to my understanding, different conflict strategies as well. Unsystematic observations, that have not yet entered scientific methodology, show that it may be possible to balance gender-oriented modes of conflict behavior, by balancing the number of females and men in the group.

6. Results of conflict:

Assertion: There is a positive relationship between levels of participation and satisfaction. My personal feeling is that this assumption may be self-evident. The literature support the notion. I also believe that this assumption leads to quite another problem, namely the question of work motivation, whether work allows involvement and whether decision making allows participation. But quite another field of research is hidden behind these very key words.

Assertion: The “loser” in a conflict will try to save face, and the “victor” may help the “loser” to do so. This assumption focuses on the aftermath of the conflict: After having fought a conflict, how should the participants relate to each other in the future? There is evidence in the literature that the behavior mentioned in the heading is a wise approach – instead of affronting the “loser” by scornfully mirroring his pain and irritation. It seems that offering face-saving possibilities is built into certain cultures, which may not be true of the Germanic or Celtic. That is certainly a pity.

At other places in this homepage it is underlined that mobbing can occur, when a conflict develops into a negative direction. The above view on the literature with the starting point in Easterbrooks assumptions gives quite good hypotheses when, during the course of conflict, mobbing behavior may be triggered.

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eThe Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

Identification of Mobbing Activities

© Heinz Leymann – 12210e
The identification of hostile activities resulted in an understanding of the structure of the mobbing process. It then became apparent that these activities, although they were negatively used in such cases, did not always in themselves, have a purely negative character. They consisted to a great extent of quite normal interactive behaviors. However, used frequently and over a long period of time in order to harass, their content and meaning changes, consequently turning into dangerous communicative weapons (see case studies). The systematic use of hostile activities in this type of interaction triggers the development of a very stereotypical course in the mobbing process.

Because of this conceptualization, a typology of activities could be developed and subdivided into five categories depending on the effects they have on the victim. The following shows the results of informal interviews and heuristic analyses:

o    Effects on the victims´ possibilities to communicate adequately (management gives you no possibility to communicate, you are silenced, verbal attack against you regarding work assignments, verbal threats, verbal activities in order to reject you, etc.).

o    Effects on the victims´ possibilities to maintain social contacts (colleagues do not talk with you any longer or you are even forbidden by management to talk to them, you are isolated in a room far away from others, you are “sent to Coventry”, etc.).

o    Effects on the victim´s possibilities to maintain his personal reputation (gossiping about you, others ridicule you, others make fun about of handicap or your ethnic heritage or your way of moving or talking, etc.).

o    Effects on the victim´s occupational situation (you are not given any work assignments at all, you are given meaningless work assignments, etc.).

o    Effects on the victim´s physical health (you are given dangerous work assignments, others threaten you physically or you are attacked physically, you are sexually harassed in an active way, etc.).

In all, 45 different activities used during a mobbing process were identified (see the LIPT questionnaire and also Leymann, 1992b and 1993b). The list of items has been statistically analyzed using factor analyses (Niedl, 1995; but also Zapf et al., 1996) leading to similar categories.

It must, nevertheless, be emphasized, that these activities mainly describe hostile interactions as they are carried out in northern European countries (Leymann, 1991a). Studies carried out in Austria (Niedl 1995) support an earlier hypothesis that still other behaviors may be used in other cultures, while some of those from the northern European culture may not be used at all. Knorz and Zapf (1996) published a number of other behaviors found in the southern part of Germany using qualitative interviews.

Eventually a questionnaire was developed and tested (LIPT-questionnaire: Leymann Inventory of Psychological Terror). It has been used in all studies mentioned above, with the exception of the Norwegian studies, which used a different investigative method.

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The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

Consequences of mobbing

© Heinz Leymann – file 15100e
Effects on Society: In Australia, Toohey (1991) calculated some of the costs for these and other cases of stress-related illnesses. The Australian society’s costs for sick leaves due to employees being maltreated in the workplace are dramatic. Toohey´s main criticism is focused on the fact that these employees, following long periods of being subjected to very poor psychosocial work environments, eventually consulted their physicians who diagnosed “stress” (as is usually done in this country). Toohey´s criticism is that the “health industry”, by using this procedure, focuses on “being ill”, “not being well”, or “not being able to take the strain of working life”, instead of forcing management, as Toohey claims should be done, to carry out inquiries into the working environments which produced the illnesses. The result of this type of policy does not give management any incentive to reorganize the working procedures or the social environment of their companies.

Highly abused employees also show a tendency towards early retirement, as has been shown by Swedish public statistics. The figures for 1991 show that as much as approximately 25% of the work force above the age of 55 were retired early. The Social Insurance Office estimated that ther were a great many individuals who developed illnesses from poor psychosocial working environments, in other words, mobbing experiences. Between 20% and 40% of the yearly number of early retirements was caused by poor psychosocial environments. Approximately every third to fifth early retiree in this age group had suffered from extensive mobbing (personal discussions with officials from the Swedish National Board of Social Insurance, 1993).

The fact that the Swedish government wanted to protect the national budget from these heavy financial burdens is not surprising. At the turn of the year 1993/1994, the Vocational Rehabilitation Act went into effect. This law states that employers are obliged to present a vocational rehabilitation plan to the Social Insurance Office as soon as an employee has been on sick leave one month, or ten times within a 12-month period. The purpose of this enactment is to transfer costs for rehabilitation to the origin; the workplace where poor environmental conditions triggered costly consequences (AFS, 1994).

Effects on the Organization: Johanson (1987), a Swedish business economist, developed itemized lists in order to calculate company costs for repetitive or long-term sick leaves. He found methods by which to compute different kinds of costs to the company. He was also able to demonstrate that it was less costly for a company to offer these employees professional vocational rehabilitation, even a very expensive one, and to reorganize working environments, than to deal with employees in the manner as shown in the case of Eve.

Extended conflicts of this kind cause further negative development, worsening the psychosocial workplace environment. As the concept of mobbing is new, it is obvious that research results concerning these effects are not yet available. Hypothetically, one can imagine its consequences in the form of higher production costs, higher personnel turnover, lack of personnel motivation and so on.

Effects on the mobbed individual: For the individual, mobbing is highly destructive. We might wonder why the person does not leave the organization. But as a person becomes older, his/her ability to find a new job diminishes. This is probably the reason behind another fact, namely that those who have developed PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) because of mobbing are rarely younger than 40 years of age (Leymann & Gustafsson, 1996). The risk that the subjected person´s occupational position will stagnate or even worsen is elevated (this is well demonstrated in a study by Knorz & Zapf, 1996). Expulsion from employment may easily turn into a situation in which the individual in question is unable to find any job at all, which means that he or she is in effect expelled from the labor market (e. g. Grund, 1995). Seen from this perspective, further negative effects will most likely be detected in future research.

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The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

Sexty-four patients at a Swedish special clinic

Part 2: Results from Diagnostical Instruments

© Heinz Leymann file 32232e
The results of this part of the study are too voluminous to be presented in my homepage. However, you can order this paper (see below). The paper is presented in four sections, starting with detailed analyses of the PTSD-state. Thereafter, the results of comprehensive data are presented. In the third section, you find results from differential diagnostics and finally data on the remaining quality of life experienced by patients before treatment.

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Please send this paper

Ethology

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Ethology (from Greek: ἦθος, ethos, “character”; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a branch of zoology (not to be confused with ethnology).

Although many naturalists have studied aspects of animal behavior through the centuries, the modern discipline of ethology is usually considered to have arisen with the work in the 1930s of Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen and Austrian biologist Konrad Lorenz, joint winners of the 1973 Nobel Prize in medicine. Ethology is a combination of laboratory and field science, with strong ties to certain other disciplines — e.g., neuroanatomy, ecology, evolution. Ethologists are typically interested in a behavioral process rather than in a particular animal group and often study one type of behavior (e.g. aggression) in a number of unrelated animals.

The desire to understand the animal world has made ethology a rapidly growing field, and since the turn of the 21st century, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as animal communication, personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, have been revolutionized, as have new field

Mobbing

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Jump to: navigation, search

Mobbing is a term referring to a type of animal behaviour. A newer use refers to a group behavioural phenomenon in workplaces. In a different sense, it is a criminal offence in Scotland.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Antipredatory behavior

Main article: Mobbing behavior

A longer-established technical use of mobbing is in the study of animal behaviour, especially in ornithology, where it refers to the antipredatory mobbing behavior harassing something that represents a threat to them.

From the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, RSPB, website [1]:

Mobbing is a noisy, obvious form of behaviour that birds engage in to defend themselves or their offspring from predators. When a predator is discovered, the birds start to emit alarm calls and fly at the predator, diverting its attention and harassing it. Sometimes they make physical contact. Mobbing usually starts with just one or two birds, but may attract a large number of birds, often of many species. For example, a chorus of different alarm calls coming from the same tree is often a good sign of a roosting owl or a cat.

Mobbing behaviour has been recorded in a wide range of species, but it is particularly well developed in gulls and terns, while crows are amongst the most frequent mobbers. In addition to flying at the predator and emitting alarm calls, some birds, such as fieldfares and gulls, add to the effectiveness by defaecating or even vomiting on the predator with amazing accuracy…

From the book “Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 2005, page 21″[2]:

“In the sixties, the eminent Austrian ethologist Konrad Lorenz used the English term mobbing to describe the behaviour that animals use to scare away a stronger, preying enemy. A number of weaker individuals crowd together and display attacking behavior, such as geese scaring away a fox.”

[edit] In the workplace

Though the English word mob denotes a crowd, often in a destructive or hostile mood, German, Polish and several other European languages have adopted mobbing as a loanword to describe all forms of bullying including that by single persons. The resultant German verb mobben can also be used for physical attacks, calumny against teachers on the internet and intimidation by superiors, with an emphasis on the victims’ continuous fear rather than the perpetrators’ will to exclude them. The word may thus be a false friend in translation back into English, where mobbing in its primary sense denotes a disorderly gathering by a crowd and in workplace psychology narrowly refers to “ganging up” by others to harass and intimidate an individual.

Research into the phenomenon was pioneered in the 1980s by German-born Swedish scientist Heinz Leymann, who borrowed the term from animal behavior due to it describing perfectly how a group can attack an individual based only the negative covert communications from the group”.[3].

Mobbing is also found in school systems and this too was discovered by Dr. Heinz Leymann. Although he preferred the term bullying in the context of school children, some have come to regard mobbing as a form of group bullying. It is interesting to note that a German born doctor practicing in Sweden chose the English term “Mobbing” to describe this social phenomenon. As professor and practicing psychologist, Dr. Leymann also noted one of the side-effects of Mobbing is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is frequently misdiagnosed. After making this discovery he successfully treated thousands of mobbing victims at his clinic in Sweden.

In the book MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, the authors say that mobbing is typically found in work environments that have poorly organized production and/or working methods and incapable or inattentive management and that mobbing victims are usually “exceptional individuals who demonstrated intelligence, competence, creativity, integrity, accomplishment and dedication”.[4]

UK Anti-bully pioneers Andrea Adams and Tim Field used the expression workplace bullying instead of what Leymann called “mobbing” although workplace bullying nearly always involves mobbing in its other meaning of group bullying.

[edit] Mobbing in Scots law

Under the law of Scotland, mobbing, also known as mobbing and rioting, is the formation of a mob engaged in disorderly and criminal behaviour. The crime occurs when a group combines to the alarm of the public “for an illegal purpose, or in order to carry out a legal purpose by illegal means, e.g. violence or intimidation”.[5] This common purpose distinguishes it from a breach of the peace.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Mobbing Royal Society for Protection of Birds, UK, website
  2. ^ Davenport, Noa, Distler Schwartz, Ruth, Pursell Elliott, Gail, Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 3rd Edition 2005, Civil Society Publishing. Ames, IA, Page 21
  3. ^ [1] Heinz Leyman’s personal website kept live since his death
  4. ^ Davenport, Noa, Distler Schwartz, Ruth, Pursell Elliott, Gail, Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 3rd Edition 2005, Civil Society Publishing. Ames, IA,
  5. ^ Index of legal terms and offences libelled – The National Archives of Scotland

[edit] See also

Workplace bullying

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Workplace bullying, like childhood bullying, is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker. Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. This type of aggression is particularly difficult because unlike the typical forms of school bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace therefore takes a wide variety of forms such as:

Bullying can be covert (in the form of passive-aggressive behaviour) or overt.

Contents

[hide]

o    2.1 Gender

o    2.2 Race

o    7.1 Personality disorders and executives

o    7.2 Psychopathy and workplace bullying

o    7.3 Narcissism and workplace bullying

o    8.1 Australia

o    8.2 Canada

o    8.3 Ireland

o    8.4 Sweden

o    8.5 United Kingdom

o    8.6 United States

[edit] Definition

While there is no single formal definition of workplace bullying, several researchers have endeavoured to define it. Some categorize all harmful boss-behavior and actions of malintent directed at employees as bullying. Bullying behaviours may be couched in humiliation and hazing rites and iterative programs or protocols framed as being in the best interests of employee development and coaching. Others separate behaviors into different patterns, labeling a subset of those behaviors as bullying, explaining that there are different ways to deal effectively with specific patterns of behavior. Some workplace bullying is defined as involving an employee’s immediate supervisor, manager or boss in conjunction with other employees as complicit, while other workplace bullying is defined as involving only an employee’s immediate supervisor, manager or boss.

  • According to Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts[1], researchers associated with the Project for Wellness and Work-Life, workplace bullying is most often “a combination of tactics in which numerous types of hostile communication and behavior are used” (p. 152).
  • Gary and Ruth Namie[2] define workplace bullying as “repeated, health-harming mistreatment, verbal abuse, or conduct which is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or sabotage that interferes with work or some combination of the three.”
  • Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik[3] expands this definition, stating that workplace bullying is “persistent verbal and nonverbal aggression at work, that includes personal attacks, social ostracism, and a multitude of other painful messages and hostile interactions.
  • Noa Davenport, Ruth Distler-Schwartz and Gail Pursell-Elliot identify “mobbing” as a particular type of bullying that is not as apparent as most, defining it as “…an emotional assault. It begins when an individual becomes the target of disrespectful and harmful behavior. Through innuendo, rumors, and public discrediting, a hostile environment is created in which one individual gathers others to willingly, or unwillingly, participate in continuous malevolent actions to force a person out of the workplace.”[4]
  • Marilyn Haight identifies thirteen patterns of bad-boss-behavior, with workplace bullying being only one of those patterns: “Bully bosses try to intimidate the people who report to them. They insult, taunt, harass and threaten employees. They snap, shout, ridicule, and/or curse at them. While abusing people, both verbally and psychologically, bullying bosses have that cat-that-swallowed-the-canary, satirical expression on their faces. They appear to be out of control while attacking, but they are very much in control and keenly aware of the emotional reactions of the people around them.”[5]

Because it can occur in a variety of contexts and forms, it is also useful to define workplace bullying by the key features that these behaviors possess. Bullying is characterized by (Einarsen, 1999; Keashly & Harvey 2004; Lutgen-Sandvik, 2006):

  • repetition (occurs regularly)
  • duration (is enduring)
  • escalation (increasing aggression)
  • power disparity (the target lacks the power to successfully defend themself).
  • attributed intent.

This distinguishes bullying from isolated behaviors and other forms of job stress and allows the term workplace bullying to be applied in various contexts and to behaviors that meet these characteristics.

According to Pamela Lutgin-Sandvik[6], the lack of unifying language to name the phenomenon of workplace bullying is a problem because without a unifying term or phrase, individuals have difficulty naming their experiences of abuse, and therefore have trouble pursuing justice against the bully. Unlike the term “sexual harassment,” which named a specific problem and is now recognized in U.S. law (and many international laws), workplace bullying is still being established as a relevant social problem and is in need of a specific vernacular. Marilyn Haight has taken a step toward isolating and naming thirteen specific behavioral patterns which are typically lumped together under the generic term of bullying.

[edit] Statistics

Statistics[7] from the 2007 WBI-Zogby survey show that 13% of U.S. employees are currently bullied, 24% have been bullied in the past and 12% witness workplace bullying. Nearly half of all American workers (49%) have been affected by workplace bullying, either being a target themselves or having witnessed abusive behavior against a co-worker.

Although socio-economic factors may play a role in the abuse, researchers from the Project for Wellness and Work-Life[1] suggest that “workplace bullying, by definition, is not explicitly connected to demographic markers such as sex and ethnicity” (p. 151). Because 1 in 10 employees experiences workplace bullying, the prevalence of this issue is cause for great concern, even as initial data about this issue are reviewed.

[edit] Gender

In terms of gender, the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007)[7] states that women appear to be at greater risk of becoming a bullying target, as 57% of those who reported being targeted for abuse were women. Men are more likely to participate in aggressive bullying behavior (60%), however if the bully is a woman, her target is more likely to be a woman as well (71%) .

[edit] Race

Race also may play a role in the experience of workplace bullying. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007)[7], the comparison of combined bullying (current + ever bullied) prevalence percentages reveals the pattern from most to least:

  1. Hispanics (52.1%)
  2. African-Americans (46%)
  3. Whites (33.5%)
  4. Asian-Americans (30.6%)

The reported rates of witnessing bullying were:

  1. African-Americans (21.1%)
  2. Hispanics (14%)
  3. Whites (10.8%)
  4. Asian-Americans (8.5%)

The percentages of those claiming to have neither experienced nor witnessed mistreatment were among

  1. Asian-Americans (57.3%)
  2. Whites (49.7%)
  3. Hispanics (32.2%)
  4. African-Americans (23.4%)

[edit] Health effects of bullying

According to Gary and Ruth Namie, as well as Tracy, et al.[8], workplace bullying can harm the health of the targets of bullying. Organizations are beginning to take note of workplace bullying because of the costs the organization in terms of the health of their employees.

According to scholars at the The Project for Wellness and Work-Life at Arizona State University, “workplace bullying is linked to a host of physical, psychological, organizational, and social costs.” Stress is the most predominant health effect associated with bullying in the workplace. Research indicates that workplace stress has significant negative effects that are correlated to poor mental health and poor physical health, resulting in an increase in the use of “sick days” or time off from work (Farrell & Geist-Martin, 2005).

In addition, co-workers who witness workplace bullying can also have negative effects, such as fear, stress, and emotional exhaustion[3]. Those who witness repetitive workplace abuse often choose to leave the place of employment where the abuse took place. Workplace bullying can also hinder the organizational dynamics such as group cohesion, peer communication, and overall performance. Bullying is not a good thing, it can scar people for life.

[edit] Financial cost of bullying to a company

Several studies have attempted to quantify the cost of bullying to an organization.

  • According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) mental illness among the workforce leads to a loss in employment amounting to $19 billion and a drop in productivity of $3 billion (Sauter, et al., 1990).
  • In a report commissioned by the ILO, Hoel, Sparks, & Cooper did a comprehensive analysis of the costs involved in bullying.[9] They estimated a cost 1.88 Billion Pounds plus the cost of lost productivity.
  • Based on replacement cost of those who leave as a result of being or witnessing bullying, Rayner and Keashly (2004) estimated that for an organization of 1000 people, the cost would be $1.2 million US. This estimate did not include the cost of litigation should victims bring suit against the organization.
  • A recent Finnish study of more than 5,000 hospital staff found that those who had been bullied had 26% more certified sickness absence than those who were not bullied, when figures were adjusted for base-line measures one year prior to the survey (Kivimaki et al., 2000). According to the researchers these figures are probably an underestimation as many of the targets are likely to have been bullied already at the time the base-line measures were obtained.

Research by Dr Dan Dana has shown organizations suffer a large financial cost by not accurately managing conflict and bullying type behaviors. He has developed a tool to assist with calculating the cost of conflict.[10] In addition, researcher Tamara Parris discusses how employers need to be more attentive in managing various discordant behaviors in the workplace, such as, bullying, as it not only creates a financial cost to the organization, but also erodes the company’s human resources assets. [11]

[edit] Types of workplace bullying

Tim Field suggested that workplace bullying takes these forms[12]:

  • Serial bullying – the source of all dysfunction can be traced to one individual, who picks on one employee after another and destroys them, then moves on. Probably the most common type of bullying.
  • Secondary bullying – the pressure of having to deal with a serial bully causes the general behavior to decline and sink to the lowest level.
  • Pair bullying – this takes place with two people, one active and verbal, the other often watching and listening. The quiet one does more damage.
  • Gang bullying or group bullying – is a serial bully with colleagues. Gangs can occur anywhere, but flourish in corporate bullying climates. It is often called mobbing and usually involves scapegoating and victimisation.
  • Vicarious bullying – two parties are encouraged to fight. This is the typical “Triangulation” where the aggression gets passed around.
  • Regulation bullying – where a serial bully forces their target to comply with rules, regulations, procedures or laws regardless of their appropriateness, applicability or necessity.
  • Residual bullying – after the serial bully has left or been fired, the behavior continues. It can go on for years.
  • Legal bullying – the bringing of a vexatious legal action to control and punish a person. It is one of the nastiest forms of bullying.
  • Pressure bullying or unwitting bullying – having to work to unrealistic time scales and/or inadequate resources.
  • Corporate bullying – where an employee abuses an employee with impunity, knowing the law is weak and the job market is soft.
  • Organizational bullying – a combination of pressure bullying and corporate bullying. Occurs when an organization struggles to adapt to changing markets, reduced income, cuts in budgets, imposed expectations and other extreme pressures.
  • Institutional bullying – entrenched and is accepted as part of the culture.
  • Client bullying – an employee is bullied by those they serve, for instance subway attendants or public servants.
  • Cyber bullying – the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.

[edit] Workplace bullying tactics

Research by the Workplace Bullying Institute, see[13], suggests that the following are the most common 25 tactics used by workplace bullies.

  1. Falsely accused someone of “errors” not actually made (71 percent).
  2. Stared, glared, was nonverbally intimidating and was clearly showing hostility (68 percent).
  3. Discounted the person’s thoughts or feelings (“oh, that’s silly”) in meetings (64 percent).
  4. Used the “silent treatment” to “ice out” and separate from others (64 percent).
  5. Exhibited presumably uncontrollable mood swings in front of the group (61 percent).
  6. Made up own rules on the fly that even she/he did not follow (61 percent).
  7. Disregarded satisfactory or exemplary quality of completed work despite evidence (58 percent).
  8. Harshly and constantly criticized having a different standard for the target (57 percent).
  9. Started, or failed to stop, destructive rumors or gossip about the person (56 percent).
  10. Encouraged people to turn against the person being tormented (55 percent).
  11. Singled out and isolated one person from coworkers, either socially or physically (54 percent).
  12. Publicly displayed gross, undignified, but not illegal, behavior (53 percent).
  13. Yelled, screamed, threw tantrums in front of others to humiliate a person (53 percent).
  14. Stole credit for work done by others (plagiarism) (47 percent).
  15. Abused the evaluation process by lying about the person’s performance (46 percent).
  16. Declared target “insubordinate” for failing to follow arbitrary commands (46 percent).
  17. Used confidential information about a person to humiliate privately or publicly (45 percent).
  18. Retaliated against the person after a complaint was filed (45 percent).
  19. Made verbal put-downs/insults based on gender, race, accent or language, disability (44 percent).Age is another factor.
  20. Assigned undesirable work as punishment (44 percent).
  21. Created unrealistic demands (workload, deadlines, duties) for person singled out (44 percent).
  22. Launched a baseless campaign to oust the person; effort not stopped by the employer (43 percent).
  23. Encouraged the person to quit or transfer rather than to face more mistreatment (43 percent).
  24. Sabotaged the person’s contribution to a team goal and reward (41 percent).
  25. Ensured failure of person’s project by not performing required tasks, such as sign-offs, taking calls, working with collaborators (40 percent)

[edit] Bullying and personality disorders

[edit] Personality disorders and executives

In 2005, psychologists Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon at the University of Surrey, UK, interviewed and gave personality tests to high-level British executives and compared their profiles with those of criminal psychiatric patients at Broadmoor Hospital in the UK. They found that three out of eleven personality disorders were actually more common in executives than in the disturbed criminals, they were:

They described the business people as successful psychopaths and the criminals as unsuccessful psychopaths. [14]

[edit] Psychopathy and workplace bullying

Robert Hare and Paul Babiak discuss psychopathy and workplace bullying thus[15]:

“Bullies react aggressively in response to provocation or perceived insults or slights. It is unclear whether their acts of bullying give them pleasure or are just the most effective way they have learned to get what they want from others. Similar to manipulators, however, psychopathic bullies do not feel remorse, guilt or empathy. They lack insight into their own behaviour, and seem unwilling or unable to moderate it, even when it is to their own advantage. Not being able to understand the harm they do to themselves (let alone their victims), psychopathic bullies are particularly dangerous.”

“Of course, not all bullies are psychopathic, though this may be of little concern to their victims. Bullies come in many psychological and physical sizes and shapes. In many cases, “garden variety” bullies have deep seated psychological problems, including feelings of inferiority or inadequacy and difficulty in relating to others. Some may simply have learned at an early stage that their size, strength, or verbal talent was the only effective tool they had for social behaviour. Some of these individuals may be context-specific bullies, behaving badly at work but more or less normally in other contexts. But the psychopathic bully is what he is: a callous, vindictive, controlling individual with little or no empathy or concern for the rights and feelings of the victim, no matter what the context.”

[edit] Narcissism and workplace bullying

In 2007, researchers Catherine Mattice and Brian Spitzberg at San Diego State University, USA, also found that: “Narcissism revealed a small significant positive relationship with bullying and was found to be significantly related to indirect bullying tactics rather than direct tactics. Narcissism also revealed a strong relationship with overall bullying motivation and a moderate relationship with bullying satisfaction.”[16].

[edit] Workplace bullying and the law

[edit] Australia

Each state has its own legislation.

In Queensland there is no law against workplace bullying although anti-discrimination and stalking laws could be used to prosecute if appropriate.

In Victoria, legislation comes from Worksafe Victoria. If bullying endangers a worker’s health causing stress or any other physical harm, a corporation can be found liable for not providing a safe place for their employees to work.[17]

[edit] Canada

The Canadian Province of Quebec introduced legislation addressing workplace bullying on 1 June 2004. In its Act representing Labour Standards “psychological harassment” is prohibited. The Commission des normes du travail is the organization responsible for the application of this act.[18]

Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979, “all employers must take every precautions reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of their workers in the workplace. This includes protecting them against the risk of workplace violence “[19]. The Act requires establishment of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees for larger employers.

Under the act, workplace violence is defined as “…the attempted or actual exercise of any intentional physical force that causes or may cause physical injury to a worker. It also includes any threats which give a worker reasonable grounds to believe he or she is at risk of physical injury”[19][20]. Currently, as the Act is written, the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act does not specifically cover the issue of psychological harassment [19].

On Dec 13, 2007 MPP Andrea Horwath introduced for first reading a new Bill, Bill-29, to make an amendment to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. This Bill-29 is proposing “to protect workers from harassment and violence in the workplace” and will include protection from psychological abuse and bullying behaviors in the workplace in Ontario. [21]

The Canadian Province of Saskatchewan made workplace bullying illegal in 2007 by passing The Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007. The act broadened the definition of harassment, as defined in the The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993, to include psychological harassment.[22]

[edit] Ireland

In Ireland, there is a Code of Practice for employers and employees on the prevention and resolution of bullying at work.[23] The Code notes the provision in the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 requiring employers to manage work activities to prevent improper conduct or behaviour at work. The Code of Practice provides both employer and employee with the means and the machinery to identify and to stamp out bullying in the workplace in a way which benefits all sides.

[edit] Sweden

Workplace bullying in Sweden is covered by the Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work, which defines victimisation as “…recurrent reprehensible or distinctly negative actions which are directed against individual employees in an offensive manner and can result in those employees being placed outside the workplace community.”[24]

The act places the onus on employers to plan and organise work so as to prevent victimisation and to make it clear to employees that victimisation is not acceptable. The employer is also responsible for the early detection of signs of victimisation, prompt counter measures to deal with victimisation and making support available to employees who have been targeted.

[edit] United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, although bullying is not specifically mentioned in workplace legislation, there are means to obtain legal redress for bullying. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997[25] is a recent addition to the more traditional approaches using employment-only legislation. Notable cases include Majrowski v Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust wherein it was held that an employer is vicariously liable for one employee’s harassment of another, and Green v DB Group Services (UK) Ltd, where a bullied worker was awarded over £800,000 in damages. In the latter case, at paragraph 99, the judge Mr Justice Owen said:

“…I am satisfied that the behaviour amounted to a deliberate and concerted campaign of bullying within the ordinary meaning of that term.”

Bullying behaviour breaches other UK laws. An implied term of every employment contract in the UK is that parties to the contract have a (legal) duty of trust and confidence to each other. Bullying, or an employer tolerating bullying, typically breaches that contractual term. Such a breach creates circumstances entitling an employee to terminate his or her contract of employment without notice, which can lead to a finding by an Employment Tribunal of unfair dismissal, colloquially called constructive dismissal. An employee bullied in response to asserting a statutory right can be compensated for the detriment under Part V of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and if dismissed, Part X of the same Act provides that the dismissal is automatically unfair. Where a person is bullied on grounds of sex, race or disability et al., it is outlawed under anti-discrimination laws.

It was argued, following the obiter comments of Lord Hoffman in Johnson v. Unisys in March 2001,[26][27] that claims could be made before an Employment Tribunal for injury to feelings arising from unfair dismissal. It was re-established that this was not what the law provided, in Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council, July 2004 [28] wherein the Lords confirmed that the position established in Norton Tool v Tewson in 1972, that compensation for unfair dismissal was limited to financial loss alone. Unfair dismissal compensation is subject to a statutory cap set at £60600 from Feb 2006. Discriminatory dismissal continues to attract compensation for injury to feelings and financial loss, and there is no statutory cap.

[edit] United States

In the United States, comprehensive workplace bullying legislation has yet to be passed by the federal government or by any U.S. state government, but since 2003, many state legislatures have considered bills.[29] As of February 2009, 15 U.S. states have proposed legislation; these are:[30]

  • Illinois (2009)
  • Utah (2009)
  • New Jersey (2007)
  • Washington (2007, 2005)
  • New York (2006)
  • Vermont (2007)
  • Oregon (2007, 2005)
  • Montana (2007)
  • Connecticut (2007)
  • Hawaii (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004)
  • Oklahoma (2007, 2004)
  • Kansas (2006)
  • Missouri (2006)
  • Massachusetts (2005)
  • California (2003)

These workplace bullying bills have typically allowed employees to sue their employers for creating an “abusive work environment,” and most have been supported by the notion that laws against workplace bullying are necessary to protect public health.

Although most U.S. states operate under the 19th Century doctrine of at-will employment (which, in theory, allows an employer to fire an employee for any reason or no reason), American workers have gained significant legal leverage through discrimination and harassment laws, workplace safety laws, union-protection laws. etc., such that it would be illegal under federal and the laws of most states to fire employees for a whole host of reasons. These employment laws typically forbid retaliation for good faith complaints or exercising legal rights, such as organizing a union. Discrimination and harassment laws enable employees to sue for creating a “hostile work environment,” which can include bullying, but the bullying/hostility must be tied in some way to a characteristic protected under the discrimination/harassment law, such as race, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.

[edit] Leading pioneers in the understanding of workplace bullying

The following pioneers made particularly important contributions to the understanding of workplace bullying.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts Nightmares, Demons and Slaves, Exploring the Painful Metaphors of Workplace Bullying, 2006
  2. ^ Namie, Gary and Ruth Workplace Bullying Institute Definition
  3. ^ a b Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela Take This Job and . . . : Quitting and Other Forms of Resistance to Workplace Bullying
  4. ^ Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace; Noa Davenport, Ph.D.; Ruth Distler Schwartz; and Gail Pursell Elliot; Civil Society Publishing; 1999, 2002; ISBN 0-9671803-0-9
  5. ^ Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Boss? How to Survive 13 Types of Dysfunctional, Disrespectful, Dishonest Little Dictators; Marilyn Haight; Worded Write Publishing; 2005, 2008; ISBN 978-0-9800390-1-6
  6. ^ Lutgin-Sandvik, Pamela, The Communicative Cycle of Employee Emotional Abuse, 2003
  7. ^ a b c Namie, Gary and Ruth The 2007 WBI-Zogby Survey
  8. ^ Namie, Gary and Ruth The WBI 2003 Report on Abusive Workplaces
  9. ^ “The cost of violence and bullying at work”. International Labour Organization (ILO). http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework/violence/costof.htm. Retrieved on February 13, 2009.
  10. ^ Dan Dana
  11. ^ Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
  12. ^ Field, Tim, Bullying: what is it?
  13. ^ Workplace Bullying Institute Harper Collins, 2006
  14. ^ Board, B.J. & Fritzon, Katarina, F. (2005). Disordered personalities at work. Psychology, Crime and Law, 11, 17-32
  15. ^ Hare, Robert and Babiak, Paul, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work Harper Collins, 2006
  16. ^ Catherine Mattice, MA & Brian Spitzberg, Ph.D. Bullies in Business: Self-Reports of Tactics and Motives San Diego State University, 2007
  17. ^ Worksafe, Victorian Workcover Authority
  18. ^ Commission des normes du travail
  19. ^ a b c Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979 Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada
  20. ^ Workplace Violence Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada
  21. ^ Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada
  22. ^ The Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007 in Saskatchewan
  23. ^ Republic of Ireland – 2007 Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work
  24. ^ Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work AFS 1993:17 Official English translation
  25. ^ Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  26. ^ Judgments – Johnson (A.P.) v. Unisys Limited, Uk Parliament – Publications
  27. ^ Johnson v Unisys Ltd [2001 IRLR 279 House of Lords], Case Summaries, Equal Opportunities Commission, UK
  28. ^ Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council 2004
  29. ^ Said, Caroline (2007-01-21). “Bullying bosses could be busted: Movement against worst workplace abusers gains momentum with proposed laws”. San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/21/BUG7DNKKN61.DTL. Retrieved on 2007-10-19.
  30. ^ Workplace Bullying Institute Legislative Campaign

[edit] External links

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_bullying

Categories: Bullying | Sociology | Social psychology | Business ethics | Employment | Organizational studies and human resource management | Persecution

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Workplace bullying

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Workplace bullying, like childhood bullying, is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker. Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. This type of aggression is particularly difficult because unlike the typical forms of school bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace therefore takes a wide variety of forms such as:

Bullying can be covert (in the form of passive-aggressive behaviour) or overt.

Contents

[hide]

o    2.1 Gender

o    2.2 Race

o    7.1 Personality disorders and executives

o    7.2 Psychopathy and workplace bullying

o    7.3 Narcissism and workplace bullying

o    8.1 Australia

o    8.2 Canada

o    8.3 Ireland

o    8.4 Sweden

o    8.5 United Kingdom

o    8.6 United States

[edit] Definition

While there is no single formal definition of workplace bullying, several researchers have endeavoured to define it. Some categorize all harmful boss-behavior and actions of malintent directed at employees as bullying. Bullying behaviours may be couched in humiliation and hazing rites and iterative programs or protocols framed as being in the best interests of employee development and coaching. Others separate behaviors into different patterns, labeling a subset of those behaviors as bullying, explaining that there are different ways to deal effectively with specific patterns of behavior. Some workplace bullying is defined as involving an employee’s immediate supervisor, manager or boss in conjunction with other employees as complicit, while other workplace bullying is defined as involving only an employee’s immediate supervisor, manager or boss.

  • According to Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts[1], researchers associated with the Project for Wellness and Work-Life, workplace bullying is most often “a combination of tactics in which numerous types of hostile communication and behavior are used” (p. 152).
  • Gary and Ruth Namie[2] define workplace bullying as “repeated, health-harming mistreatment, verbal abuse, or conduct which is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or sabotage that interferes with work or some combination of the three.”
  • Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik[3] expands this definition, stating that workplace bullying is “persistent verbal and nonverbal aggression at work, that includes personal attacks, social ostracism, and a multitude of other painful messages and hostile interactions.
  • Noa Davenport, Ruth Distler-Schwartz and Gail Pursell-Elliot identify “mobbing” as a particular type of bullying that is not as apparent as most, defining it as “…an emotional assault. It begins when an individual becomes the target of disrespectful and harmful behavior. Through innuendo, rumors, and public discrediting, a hostile environment is created in which one individual gathers others to willingly, or unwillingly, participate in continuous malevolent actions to force a person out of the workplace.”[4]
  • Marilyn Haight identifies thirteen patterns of bad-boss-behavior, with workplace bullying being only one of those patterns: “Bully bosses try to intimidate the people who report to them. They insult, taunt, harass and threaten employees. They snap, shout, ridicule, and/or curse at them. While abusing people, both verbally and psychologically, bullying bosses have that cat-that-swallowed-the-canary, satirical expression on their faces. They appear to be out of control while attacking, but they are very much in control and keenly aware of the emotional reactions of the people around them.”[5]

Because it can occur in a variety of contexts and forms, it is also useful to define workplace bullying by the key features that these behaviors possess. Bullying is characterized by (Einarsen, 1999; Keashly & Harvey 2004; Lutgen-Sandvik, 2006):

  • repetition (occurs regularly)
  • duration (is enduring)
  • escalation (increasing aggression)
  • power disparity (the target lacks the power to successfully defend themself).
  • attributed intent.

This distinguishes bullying from isolated behaviors and other forms of job stress and allows the term workplace bullying to be applied in various contexts and to behaviors that meet these characteristics.

According to Pamela Lutgin-Sandvik[6], the lack of unifying language to name the phenomenon of workplace bullying is a problem because without a unifying term or phrase, individuals have difficulty naming their experiences of abuse, and therefore have trouble pursuing justice against the bully. Unlike the term “sexual harassment,” which named a specific problem and is now recognized in U.S. law (and many international laws), workplace bullying is still being established as a relevant social problem and is in need of a specific vernacular. Marilyn Haight has taken a step toward isolating and naming thirteen specific behavioral patterns which are typically lumped together under the generic term of bullying.

[edit] Statistics

Statistics[7] from the 2007 WBI-Zogby survey show that 13% of U.S. employees are currently bullied, 24% have been bullied in the past and 12% witness workplace bullying. Nearly half of all American workers (49%) have been affected by workplace bullying, either being a target themselves or having witnessed abusive behavior against a co-worker.

Although socio-economic factors may play a role in the abuse, researchers from the Project for Wellness and Work-Life[1] suggest that “workplace bullying, by definition, is not explicitly connected to demographic markers such as sex and ethnicity” (p. 151). Because 1 in 10 employees experiences workplace bullying, the prevalence of this issue is cause for great concern, even as initial data about this issue are reviewed.

[edit] Gender

In terms of gender, the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007)[7] states that women appear to be at greater risk of becoming a bullying target, as 57% of those who reported being targeted for abuse were women. Men are more likely to participate in aggressive bullying behavior (60%), however if the bully is a woman, her target is more likely to be a woman as well (71%) .

[edit] Race

Race also may play a role in the experience of workplace bullying. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007)[7], the comparison of combined bullying (current + ever bullied) prevalence percentages reveals the pattern from most to least:

  1. Hispanics (52.1%)
  2. African-Americans (46%)
  3. Whites (33.5%)
  4. Asian-Americans (30.6%)

The reported rates of witnessing bullying were:

  1. African-Americans (21.1%)
  2. Hispanics (14%)
  3. Whites (10.8%)
  4. Asian-Americans (8.5%)

The percentages of those claiming to have neither experienced nor witnessed mistreatment were among

  1. Asian-Americans (57.3%)
  2. Whites (49.7%)
  3. Hispanics (32.2%)
  4. African-Americans (23.4%)

[edit] Health effects of bullying

According to Gary and Ruth Namie, as well as Tracy, et al.[8], workplace bullying can harm the health of the targets of bullying. Organizations are beginning to take note of workplace bullying because of the costs the organization in terms of the health of their employees.

According to scholars at the The Project for Wellness and Work-Life at Arizona State University, “workplace bullying is linked to a host of physical, psychological, organizational, and social costs.” Stress is the most predominant health effect associated with bullying in the workplace. Research indicates that workplace stress has significant negative effects that are correlated to poor mental health and poor physical health, resulting in an increase in the use of “sick days” or time off from work (Farrell & Geist-Martin, 2005).

In addition, co-workers who witness workplace bullying can also have negative effects, such as fear, stress, and emotional exhaustion[3]. Those who witness repetitive workplace abuse often choose to leave the place of employment where the abuse took place. Workplace bullying can also hinder the organizational dynamics such as group cohesion, peer communication, and overall performance. Bullying is not a good thing, it can scar people for life.

[edit] Financial cost of bullying to a company

Several studies have attempted to quantify the cost of bullying to an organization.

  • According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) mental illness among the workforce leads to a loss in employment amounting to $19 billion and a drop in productivity of $3 billion (Sauter, et al., 1990).
  • In a report commissioned by the ILO, Hoel, Sparks, & Cooper did a comprehensive analysis of the costs involved in bullying.[9] They estimated a cost 1.88 Billion Pounds plus the cost of lost productivity.
  • Based on replacement cost of those who leave as a result of being or witnessing bullying, Rayner and Keashly (2004) estimated that for an organization of 1000 people, the cost would be $1.2 million US. This estimate did not include the cost of litigation should victims bring suit against the organization.
  • A recent Finnish study of more than 5,000 hospital staff found that those who had been bullied had 26% more certified sickness absence than those who were not bullied, when figures were adjusted for base-line measures one year prior to the survey (Kivimaki et al., 2000). According to the researchers these figures are probably an underestimation as many of the targets are likely to have been bullied already at the time the base-line measures were obtained.

Research by Dr Dan Dana has shown organizations suffer a large financial cost by not accurately managing conflict and bullying type behaviors. He has developed a tool to assist with calculating the cost of conflict.[10] In addition, researcher Tamara Parris discusses how employers need to be more attentive in managing various discordant behaviors in the workplace, such as, bullying, as it not only creates a financial cost to the organization, but also erodes the company’s human resources assets. [11]

[edit] Types of workplace bullying

Tim Field suggested that workplace bullying takes these forms[12]:

  • Serial bullying – the source of all dysfunction can be traced to one individual, who picks on one employee after another and destroys them, then moves on. Probably the most common type of bullying.
  • Secondary bullying – the pressure of having to deal with a serial bully causes the general behavior to decline and sink to the lowest level.
  • Pair bullying – this takes place with two people, one active and verbal, the other often watching and listening. The quiet one does more damage.
  • Gang bullying or group bullying – is a serial bully with colleagues. Gangs can occur anywhere, but flourish in corporate bullying climates. It is often called mobbing and usually involves scapegoating and victimisation.
  • Vicarious bullying – two parties are encouraged to fight. This is the typical “Triangulation” where the aggression gets passed around.
  • Regulation bullying – where a serial bully forces their target to comply with rules, regulations, procedures or laws regardless of their appropriateness, applicability or necessity.
  • Residual bullying – after the serial bully has left or been fired, the behavior continues. It can go on for years.
  • Legal bullying – the bringing of a vexatious legal action to control and punish a person. It is one of the nastiest forms of bullying.
  • Pressure bullying or unwitting bullying – having to work to unrealistic time scales and/or inadequate resources.
  • Corporate bullying – where an employee abuses an employee with impunity, knowing the law is weak and the job market is soft.
  • Organizational bullying – a combination of pressure bullying and corporate bullying. Occurs when an organization struggles to adapt to changing markets, reduced income, cuts in budgets, imposed expectations and other extreme pressures.
  • Institutional bullying – entrenched and is accepted as part of the culture.
  • Client bullying – an employee is bullied by those they serve, for instance subway attendants or public servants.
  • Cyber bullying – the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.

[edit] Workplace bullying tactics

Research by the Workplace Bullying Institute, see[13], suggests that the following are the most common 25 tactics used by workplace bullies.

  1. Falsely accused someone of “errors” not actually made (71 percent).
  2. Stared, glared, was nonverbally intimidating and was clearly showing hostility (68 percent).
  3. Discounted the person’s thoughts or feelings (“oh, that’s silly”) in meetings (64 percent).
  4. Used the “silent treatment” to “ice out” and separate from others (64 percent).
  5. Exhibited presumably uncontrollable mood swings in front of the group (61 percent).
  6. Made up own rules on the fly that even she/he did not follow (61 percent).
  7. Disregarded satisfactory or exemplary quality of completed work despite evidence (58 percent).
  8. Harshly and constantly criticized having a different standard for the target (57 percent).
  9. Started, or failed to stop, destructive rumors or gossip about the person (56 percent).
  10. Encouraged people to turn against the person being tormented (55 percent).
  11. Singled out and isolated one person from coworkers, either socially or physically (54 percent).
  12. Publicly displayed gross, undignified, but not illegal, behavior (53 percent).
  13. Yelled, screamed, threw tantrums in front of others to humiliate a person (53 percent).
  14. Stole credit for work done by others (plagiarism) (47 percent).
  15. Abused the evaluation process by lying about the person’s performance (46 percent).
  16. Declared target “insubordinate” for failing to follow arbitrary commands (46 percent).
  17. Used confidential information about a person to humiliate privately or publicly (45 percent).
  18. Retaliated against the person after a complaint was filed (45 percent).
  19. Made verbal put-downs/insults based on gender, race, accent or language, disability (44 percent).Age is another factor.
  20. Assigned undesirable work as punishment (44 percent).
  21. Created unrealistic demands (workload, deadlines, duties) for person singled out (44 percent).
  22. Launched a baseless campaign to oust the person; effort not stopped by the employer (43 percent).
  23. Encouraged the person to quit or transfer rather than to face more mistreatment (43 percent).
  24. Sabotaged the person’s contribution to a team goal and reward (41 percent).
  25. Ensured failure of person’s project by not performing required tasks, such as sign-offs, taking calls, working with collaborators (40 percent)

[edit] Bullying and personality disorders

[edit] Personality disorders and executives

In 2005, psychologists Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon at the University of Surrey, UK, interviewed and gave personality tests to high-level British executives and compared their profiles with those of criminal psychiatric patients at Broadmoor Hospital in the UK. They found that three out of eleven personality disorders were actually more common in executives than in the disturbed criminals, they were:

They described the business people as successful psychopaths and the criminals as unsuccessful psychopaths. [14]

[edit] Psychopathy and workplace bullying

Robert Hare and Paul Babiak discuss psychopathy and workplace bullying thus[15]:

“Bullies react aggressively in response to provocation or perceived insults or slights. It is unclear whether their acts of bullying give them pleasure or are just the most effective way they have learned to get what they want from others. Similar to manipulators, however, psychopathic bullies do not feel remorse, guilt or empathy. They lack insight into their own behaviour, and seem unwilling or unable to moderate it, even when it is to their own advantage. Not being able to understand the harm they do to themselves (let alone their victims), psychopathic bullies are particularly dangerous.”

“Of course, not all bullies are psychopathic, though this may be of little concern to their victims. Bullies come in many psychological and physical sizes and shapes. In many cases, “garden variety” bullies have deep seated psychological problems, including feelings of inferiority or inadequacy and difficulty in relating to others. Some may simply have learned at an early stage that their size, strength, or verbal talent was the only effective tool they had for social behaviour. Some of these individuals may be context-specific bullies, behaving badly at work but more or less normally in other contexts. But the psychopathic bully is what he is: a callous, vindictive, controlling individual with little or no empathy or concern for the rights and feelings of the victim, no matter what the context.”

[edit] Narcissism and workplace bullying

In 2007, researchers Catherine Mattice and Brian Spitzberg at San Diego State University, USA, also found that: “Narcissism revealed a small significant positive relationship with bullying and was found to be significantly related to indirect bullying tactics rather than direct tactics. Narcissism also revealed a strong relationship with overall bullying motivation and a moderate relationship with bullying satisfaction.”[16].

[edit] Workplace bullying and the law

[edit] Australia

Each state has its own legislation.

In Queensland there is no law against workplace bullying although anti-discrimination and stalking laws could be used to prosecute if appropriate.

In Victoria, legislation comes from Worksafe Victoria. If bullying endangers a worker’s health causing stress or any other physical harm, a corporation can be found liable for not providing a safe place for their employees to work.[17]

[edit] Canada

The Canadian Province of Quebec introduced legislation addressing workplace bullying on 1 June 2004. In its Act representing Labour Standards “psychological harassment” is prohibited. The Commission des normes du travail is the organization responsible for the application of this act.[18]

Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979, “all employers must take every precautions reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of their workers in the workplace. This includes protecting them against the risk of workplace violence “[19]. The Act requires establishment of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees for larger employers.

Under the act, workplace violence is defined as “…the attempted or actual exercise of any intentional physical force that causes or may cause physical injury to a worker. It also includes any threats which give a worker reasonable grounds to believe he or she is at risk of physical injury”[19][20]. Currently, as the Act is written, the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act does not specifically cover the issue of psychological harassment [19].

On Dec 13, 2007 MPP Andrea Horwath introduced for first reading a new Bill, Bill-29, to make an amendment to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. This Bill-29 is proposing “to protect workers from harassment and violence in the workplace” and will include protection from psychological abuse and bullying behaviors in the workplace in Ontario. [21]

The Canadian Province of Saskatchewan made workplace bullying illegal in 2007 by passing The Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007. The act broadened the definition of harassment, as defined in the The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993, to include psychological harassment.[22]

[edit] Ireland

In Ireland, there is a Code of Practice for employers and employees on the prevention and resolution of bullying at work.[23] The Code notes the provision in the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 requiring employers to manage work activities to prevent improper conduct or behaviour at work. The Code of Practice provides both employer and employee with the means and the machinery to identify and to stamp out bullying in the workplace in a way which benefits all sides.

[edit] Sweden

Workplace bullying in Sweden is covered by the Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work, which defines victimisation as “…recurrent reprehensible or distinctly negative actions which are directed against individual employees in an offensive manner and can result in those employees being placed outside the workplace community.”[24]

The act places the onus on employers to plan and organise work so as to prevent victimisation and to make it clear to employees that victimisation is not acceptable. The employer is also responsible for the early detection of signs of victimisation, prompt counter measures to deal with victimisation and making support available to employees who have been targeted.

[edit] United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, although bullying is not specifically mentioned in workplace legislation, there are means to obtain legal redress for bullying. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997[25] is a recent addition to the more traditional approaches using employment-only legislation. Notable cases include Majrowski v Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust wherein it was held that an employer is vicariously liable for one employee’s harassment of another, and Green v DB Group Services (UK) Ltd, where a bullied worker was awarded over £800,000 in damages. In the latter case, at paragraph 99, the judge Mr Justice Owen said:

“…I am satisfied that the behaviour amounted to a deliberate and concerted campaign of bullying within the ordinary meaning of that term.”

Bullying behaviour breaches other UK laws. An implied term of every employment contract in the UK is that parties to the contract have a (legal) duty of trust and confidence to each other. Bullying, or an employer tolerating bullying, typically breaches that contractual term. Such a breach creates circumstances entitling an employee to terminate his or her contract of employment without notice, which can lead to a finding by an Employment Tribunal of unfair dismissal, colloquially called constructive dismissal. An employee bullied in response to asserting a statutory right can be compensated for the detriment under Part V of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and if dismissed, Part X of the same Act provides that the dismissal is automatically unfair. Where a person is bullied on grounds of sex, race or disability et al., it is outlawed under anti-discrimination laws.

It was argued, following the obiter comments of Lord Hoffman in Johnson v. Unisys in March 2001,[26][27] that claims could be made before an Employment Tribunal for injury to feelings arising from unfair dismissal. It was re-established that this was not what the law provided, in Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council, July 2004 [28] wherein the Lords confirmed that the position established in Norton Tool v Tewson in 1972, that compensation for unfair dismissal was limited to financial loss alone. Unfair dismissal compensation is subject to a statutory cap set at £60600 from Feb 2006. Discriminatory dismissal continues to attract compensation for injury to feelings and financial loss, and there is no statutory cap.

[edit] United States

In the United States, comprehensive workplace bullying legislation has yet to be passed by the federal government or by any U.S. state government, but since 2003, many state legislatures have considered bills.[29] As of February 2009, 15 U.S. states have proposed legislation; these are:[30]

  • Illinois (2009)
  • Utah (2009)
  • New Jersey (2007)
  • Washington (2007, 2005)
  • New York (2006)
  • Vermont (2007)
  • Oregon (2007, 2005)
  • Montana (2007)
  • Connecticut (2007)
  • Hawaii (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004)
  • Oklahoma (2007, 2004)
  • Kansas (2006)
  • Missouri (2006)
  • Massachusetts (2005)
  • California (2003)

These workplace bullying bills have typically allowed employees to sue their employers for creating an “abusive work environment,” and most have been supported by the notion that laws against workplace bullying are necessary to protect public health.

Although most U.S. states operate under the 19th Century doctrine of at-will employment (which, in theory, allows an employer to fire an employee for any reason or no reason), American workers have gained significant legal leverage through discrimination and harassment laws, workplace safety laws, union-protection laws. etc., such that it would be illegal under federal and the laws of most states to fire employees for a whole host of reasons. These employment laws typically forbid retaliation for good faith complaints or exercising legal rights, such as organizing a union. Discrimination and harassment laws enable employees to sue for creating a “hostile work environment,” which can include bullying, but the bullying/hostility must be tied in some way to a characteristic protected under the discrimination/harassment law, such as race, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.

[edit] Leading pioneers in the understanding of workplace bullying

The following pioneers made particularly important contributions to the understanding of workplace bullying.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts Nightmares, Demons and Slaves, Exploring the Painful Metaphors of Workplace Bullying, 2006
  2. ^ Namie, Gary and Ruth Workplace Bullying Institute Definition
  3. ^ a b Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela Take This Job and . . . : Quitting and Other Forms of Resistance to Workplace Bullying
  4. ^ Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace; Noa Davenport, Ph.D.; Ruth Distler Schwartz; and Gail Pursell Elliot; Civil Society Publishing; 1999, 2002; ISBN 0-9671803-0-9
  5. ^ Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Boss? How to Survive 13 Types of Dysfunctional, Disrespectful, Dishonest Little Dictators; Marilyn Haight; Worded Write Publishing; 2005, 2008; ISBN 978-0-9800390-1-6
  6. ^ Lutgin-Sandvik, Pamela, The Communicative Cycle of Employee Emotional Abuse, 2003
  7. ^ a b c Namie, Gary and Ruth The 2007 WBI-Zogby Survey
  8. ^ Namie, Gary and Ruth The WBI 2003 Report on Abusive Workplaces
  9. ^ “The cost of violence and bullying at work”. International Labour Organization (ILO). http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework/violence/costof.htm. Retrieved on February 13, 2009.
  10. ^ Dan Dana
  11. ^ Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
  12. ^ Field, Tim, Bullying: what is it?
  13. ^ Workplace Bullying Institute Harper Collins, 2006
  14. ^ Board, B.J. & Fritzon, Katarina, F. (2005). Disordered personalities at work. Psychology, Crime and Law, 11, 17-32
  15. ^ Hare, Robert and Babiak, Paul, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work Harper Collins, 2006
  16. ^ Catherine Mattice, MA & Brian Spitzberg, Ph.D. Bullies in Business: Self-Reports of Tactics and Motives San Diego State University, 2007
  17. ^ Worksafe, Victorian Workcover Authority
  18. ^ Commission des normes du travail
  19. ^ a b c Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979 Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada
  20. ^ Workplace Violence Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada
  21. ^ Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada
  22. ^ The Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007 in Saskatchewan
  23. ^ Republic of Ireland – 2007 Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work
  24. ^ Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work AFS 1993:17 Official English translation
  25. ^ Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  26. ^ Judgments – Johnson (A.P.) v. Unisys Limited, Uk Parliament – Publications
  27. ^ Johnson v Unisys Ltd [2001 IRLR 279 House of Lords], Case Summaries, Equal Opportunities Commission, UK
  28. ^ Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council 2004
  29. ^ Said, Caroline (2007-01-21). “Bullying bosses could be busted: Movement against worst workplace abusers gains momentum with proposed laws”. San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/21/BUG7DNKKN61.DTL. Retrieved on 2007-10-19.
  30. ^ Workplace Bullying Institute Legislative Campaign

[edit] External links

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_bullying

Categories: Bullying | Sociology | Social psychology | Business ethics | Employment | Organizational studies and human resource management | Persecution

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Workplace bullying

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Workplace bullying, like childhood bullying, is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker. Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. This type of aggression is particularly difficult because unlike the typical forms of school bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace therefore takes a wide variety of forms such as:

Bullying can be covert (in the form of passive-aggressive behaviour) or overt.

Contents

[hide]

o    2.1 Gender

o    2.2 Race

o    7.1 Personality disorders and executives

o    7.2 Psychopathy and workplace bullying

o    7.3 Narcissism and workplace bullying

o    8.1 Australia

o    8.2 Canada

o    8.3 Ireland

o    8.4 Sweden

o    8.5 United Kingdom

o    8.6 United States

[edit] Definition

While there is no single formal definition of workplace bullying, several researchers have endeavoured to define it. Some categorize all harmful boss-behavior and actions of malintent directed at employees as bullying. Bullying behaviours may be couched in humiliation and hazing rites and iterative programs or protocols framed as being in the best interests of employee development and coaching. Others separate behaviors into different patterns, labeling a subset of those behaviors as bullying, explaining that there are different ways to deal effectively with specific patterns of behavior. Some workplace bullying is defined as involving an employee’s immediate supervisor, manager or boss in conjunction with other employees as complicit, while other workplace bullying is defined as involving only an employee’s immediate supervisor, manager or boss.

  • According to Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts[1], researchers associated with the Project for Wellness and Work-Life, workplace bullying is most often “a combination of tactics in which numerous types of hostile communication and behavior are used” (p. 152).
  • Gary and Ruth Namie[2] define workplace bullying as “repeated, health-harming mistreatment, verbal abuse, or conduct which is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or sabotage that interferes with work or some combination of the three.”
  • Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik[3] expands this definition, stating that workplace bullying is “persistent verbal and nonverbal aggression at work, that includes personal attacks, social ostracism, and a multitude of other painful messages and hostile interactions.
  • Noa Davenport, Ruth Distler-Schwartz and Gail Pursell-Elliot identify “mobbing” as a particular type of bullying that is not as apparent as most, defining it as “…an emotional assault. It begins when an individual becomes the target of disrespectful and harmful behavior. Through innuendo, rumors, and public discrediting, a hostile environment is created in which one individual gathers others to willingly, or unwillingly, participate in continuous malevolent actions to force a person out of the workplace.”[4]
  • Marilyn Haight identifies thirteen patterns of bad-boss-behavior, with workplace bullying being only one of those patterns: “Bully bosses try to intimidate the people who report to them. They insult, taunt, harass and threaten employees. They snap, shout, ridicule, and/or curse at them. While abusing people, both verbally and psychologically, bullying bosses have that cat-that-swallowed-the-canary, satirical expression on their faces. They appear to be out of control while attacking, but they are very much in control and keenly aware of the emotional reactions of the people around them.”[5]

Because it can occur in a variety of contexts and forms, it is also useful to define workplace bullying by the key features that these behaviors possess. Bullying is characterized by (Einarsen, 1999; Keashly & Harvey 2004; Lutgen-Sandvik, 2006):

  • repetition (occurs regularly)
  • duration (is enduring)
  • escalation (increasing aggression)
  • power disparity (the target lacks the power to successfully defend themself).
  • attributed intent.

This distinguishes bullying from isolated behaviors and other forms of job stress and allows the term workplace bullying to be applied in various contexts and to behaviors that meet these characteristics.

According to Pamela Lutgin-Sandvik[6], the lack of unifying language to name the phenomenon of workplace bullying is a problem because without a unifying term or phrase, individuals have difficulty naming their experiences of abuse, and therefore have trouble pursuing justice against the bully. Unlike the term “sexual harassment,” which named a specific problem and is now recognized in U.S. law (and many international laws), workplace bullying is still being established as a relevant social problem and is in need of a specific vernacular. Marilyn Haight has taken a step toward isolating and naming thirteen specific behavioral patterns which are typically lumped together under the generic term of bullying.

[edit] Statistics

Statistics[7] from the 2007 WBI-Zogby survey show that 13% of U.S. employees are currently bullied, 24% have been bullied in the past and 12% witness workplace bullying. Nearly half of all American workers (49%) have been affected by workplace bullying, either being a target themselves or having witnessed abusive behavior against a co-worker.

Although socio-economic factors may play a role in the abuse, researchers from the Project for Wellness and Work-Life[1] suggest that “workplace bullying, by definition, is not explicitly connected to demographic markers such as sex and ethnicity” (p. 151). Because 1 in 10 employees experiences workplace bullying, the prevalence of this issue is cause for great concern, even as initial data about this issue are reviewed.

[edit] Gender

In terms of gender, the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007)[7] states that women appear to be at greater risk of becoming a bullying target, as 57% of those who reported being targeted for abuse were women. Men are more likely to participate in aggressive bullying behavior (60%), however if the bully is a woman, her target is more likely to be a woman as well (71%) .

[edit] Race

Race also may play a role in the experience of workplace bullying. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007)[7], the comparison of combined bullying (current + ever bullied) prevalence percentages reveals the pattern from most to least:

  1. Hispanics (52.1%)
  2. African-Americans (46%)
  3. Whites (33.5%)
  4. Asian-Americans (30.6%)

The reported rates of witnessing bullying were:

  1. African-Americans (21.1%)
  2. Hispanics (14%)
  3. Whites (10.8%)
  4. Asian-Americans (8.5%)

The percentages of those claiming to have neither experienced nor witnessed mistreatment were among

  1. Asian-Americans (57.3%)
  2. Whites (49.7%)
  3. Hispanics (32.2%)
  4. African-Americans (23.4%)

[edit] Health effects of bullying

According to Gary and Ruth Namie, as well as Tracy, et al.[8], workplace bullying can harm the health of the targets of bullying. Organizations are beginning to take note of workplace bullying because of the costs the organization in terms of the health of their employees.

According to scholars at the The Project for Wellness and Work-Life at Arizona State University, “workplace bullying is linked to a host of physical, psychological, organizational, and social costs.” Stress is the most predominant health effect associated with bullying in the workplace. Research indicates that workplace stress has significant negative effects that are correlated to poor mental health and poor physical health, resulting in an increase in the use of “sick days” or time off from work (Farrell & Geist-Martin, 2005).

In addition, co-workers who witness workplace bullying can also have negative effects, such as fear, stress, and emotional exhaustion[3]. Those who witness repetitive workplace abuse often choose to leave the place of employment where the abuse took place. Workplace bullying can also hinder the organizational dynamics such as group cohesion, peer communication, and overall performance. Bullying is not a good thing, it can scar people for life.

[edit] Financial cost of bullying to a company

Several studies have attempted to quantify the cost of bullying to an organization.

  • According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) mental illness among the workforce leads to a loss in employment amounting to $19 billion and a drop in productivity of $3 billion (Sauter, et al., 1990).
  • In a report commissioned by the ILO, Hoel, Sparks, & Cooper did a comprehensive analysis of the costs involved in bullying.[9] They estimated a cost 1.88 Billion Pounds plus the cost of lost productivity.
  • Based on replacement cost of those who leave as a result of being or witnessing bullying, Rayner and Keashly (2004) estimated that for an organization of 1000 people, the cost would be $1.2 million US. This estimate did not include the cost of litigation should victims bring suit against the organization.
  • A recent Finnish study of more than 5,000 hospital staff found that those who had been bullied had 26% more certified sickness absence than those who were not bullied, when figures were adjusted for base-line measures one year prior to the survey (Kivimaki et al., 2000). According to the researchers these figures are probably an underestimation as many of the targets are likely to have been bullied already at the time the base-line measures were obtained.

Research by Dr Dan Dana has shown organizations suffer a large financial cost by not accurately managing conflict and bullying type behaviors. He has developed a tool to assist with calculating the cost of conflict.[10] In addition, researcher Tamara Parris discusses how employers need to be more attentive in managing various discordant behaviors in the workplace, such as, bullying, as it not only creates a financial cost to the organization, but also erodes the company’s human resources assets. [11]

[edit] Types of workplace bullying

Tim Field suggested that workplace bullying takes these forms[12]:

  • Serial bullying – the source of all dysfunction can be traced to one individual, who picks on one employee after another and destroys them, then moves on. Probably the most common type of bullying.
  • Secondary bullying – the pressure of having to deal with a serial bully causes the general behavior to decline and sink to the lowest level.
  • Pair bullying – this takes place with two people, one active and verbal, the other often watching and listening. The quiet one does more damage.
  • Gang bullying or group bullying – is a serial bully with colleagues. Gangs can occur anywhere, but flourish in corporate bullying climates. It is often called mobbing and usually involves scapegoating and victimisation.
  • Vicarious bullying – two parties are encouraged to fight. This is the typical “Triangulation” where the aggression gets passed around.
  • Regulation bullying – where a serial bully forces their target to comply with rules, regulations, procedures or laws regardless of their appropriateness, applicability or necessity.
  • Residual bullying – after the serial bully has left or been fired, the behavior continues. It can go on for years.
  • Legal bullying – the bringing of a vexatious legal action to control and punish a person. It is one of the nastiest forms of bullying.
  • Pressure bullying or unwitting bullying – having to work to unrealistic time scales and/or inadequate resources.
  • Corporate bullying – where an employee abuses an employee with impunity, knowing the law is weak and the job market is soft.
  • Organizational bullying – a combination of pressure bullying and corporate bullying. Occurs when an organization struggles to adapt to changing markets, reduced income, cuts in budgets, imposed expectations and other extreme pressures.
  • Institutional bullying – entrenched and is accepted as part of the culture.
  • Client bullying – an employee is bullied by those they serve, for instance subway attendants or public servants.
  • Cyber bullying – the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.

[edit] Workplace bullying tactics

Research by the Workplace Bullying Institute, see[13], suggests that the following are the most common 25 tactics used by workplace bullies.

  1. Falsely accused someone of “errors” not actually made (71 percent).
  2. Stared, glared, was nonverbally intimidating and was clearly showing hostility (68 percent).
  3. Discounted the person’s thoughts or feelings (“oh, that’s silly”) in meetings (64 percent).
  4. Used the “silent treatment” to “ice out” and separate from others (64 percent).
  5. Exhibited presumably uncontrollable mood swings in front of the group (61 percent).
  6. Made up own rules on the fly that even she/he did not follow (61 percent).
  7. Disregarded satisfactory or exemplary quality of completed work despite evidence (58 percent).
  8. Harshly and constantly criticized having a different standard for the target (57 percent).
  9. Started, or failed to stop, destructive rumors or gossip about the person (56 percent).
  10. Encouraged people to turn against the person being tormented (55 percent).
  11. Singled out and isolated one person from coworkers, either socially or physically (54 percent).
  12. Publicly displayed gross, undignified, but not illegal, behavior (53 percent).
  13. Yelled, screamed, threw tantrums in front of others to humiliate a person (53 percent).
  14. Stole credit for work done by others (plagiarism) (47 percent).
  15. Abused the evaluation process by lying about the person’s performance (46 percent).
  16. Declared target “insubordinate” for failing to follow arbitrary commands (46 percent).
  17. Used confidential information about a person to humiliate privately or publicly (45 percent).
  18. Retaliated against the person after a complaint was filed (45 percent).
  19. Made verbal put-downs/insults based on gender, race, accent or language, disability (44 percent).Age is another factor.
  20. Assigned undesirable work as punishment (44 percent).
  21. Created unrealistic demands (workload, deadlines, duties) for person singled out (44 percent).
  22. Launched a baseless campaign to oust the person; effort not stopped by the employer (43 percent).
  23. Encouraged the person to quit or transfer rather than to face more mistreatment (43 percent).
  24. Sabotaged the person’s contribution to a team goal and reward (41 percent).
  25. Ensured failure of person’s project by not performing required tasks, such as sign-offs, taking calls, working with collaborators (40 percent)

[edit] Bullying and personality disorders

[edit] Personality disorders and executives

In 2005, psychologists Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon at the University of Surrey, UK, interviewed and gave personality tests to high-level British executives and compared their profiles with those of criminal psychiatric patients at Broadmoor Hospital in the UK. They found that three out of eleven personality disorders were actually more common in executives than in the disturbed criminals, they were:

They described the business people as successful psychopaths and the criminals as unsuccessful psychopaths. [14]

[edit] Psychopathy and workplace bullying

Robert Hare and Paul Babiak discuss psychopathy and workplace bullying thus[15]:

“Bullies react aggressively in response to provocation or perceived insults or slights. It is unclear whether their acts of bullying give them pleasure or are just the most effective way they have learned to get what they want from others. Similar to manipulators, however, psychopathic bullies do not feel remorse, guilt or empathy. They lack insight into their own behaviour, and seem unwilling or unable to moderate it, even when it is to their own advantage. Not being able to understand the harm they do to themselves (let alone their victims), psychopathic bullies are particularly dangerous.”

“Of course, not all bullies are psychopathic, though this may be of little concern to their victims. Bullies come in many psychological and physical sizes and shapes. In many cases, “garden variety” bullies have deep seated psychological problems, including feelings of inferiority or inadequacy and difficulty in relating to others. Some may simply have learned at an early stage that their size, strength, or verbal talent was the only effective tool they had for social behaviour. Some of these individuals may be context-specific bullies, behaving badly at work but more or less normally in other contexts. But the psychopathic bully is what he is: a callous, vindictive, controlling individual with little or no empathy or concern for the rights and feelings of the victim, no matter what the context.”

[edit] Narcissism and workplace bullying

In 2007, researchers Catherine Mattice and Brian Spitzberg at San Diego State University, USA, also found that: “Narcissism revealed a small significant positive relationship with bullying and was found to be significantly related to indirect bullying tactics rather than direct tactics. Narcissism also revealed a strong relationship with overall bullying motivation and a moderate relationship with bullying satisfaction.”[16].

[edit] Workplace bullying and the law

[edit] Australia

Each state has its own legislation.

In Queensland there is no law against workplace bullying although anti-discrimination and stalking laws could be used to prosecute if appropriate.

In Victoria, legislation comes from Worksafe Victoria. If bullying endangers a worker’s health causing stress or any other physical harm, a corporation can be found liable for not providing a safe place for their employees to work.[17]

[edit] Canada

The Canadian Province of Quebec introduced legislation addressing workplace bullying on 1 June 2004. In its Act representing Labour Standards “psychological harassment” is prohibited. The Commission des normes du travail is the organization responsible for the application of this act.[18]

Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979, “all employers must take every precautions reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of their workers in the workplace. This includes protecting them against the risk of workplace violence “[19]. The Act requires establishment of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees for larger employers.

Under the act, workplace violence is defined as “…the attempted or actual exercise of any intentional physical force that causes or may cause physical injury to a worker. It also includes any threats which give a worker reasonable grounds to believe he or she is at risk of physical injury”[19][20]. Currently, as the Act is written, the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act does not specifically cover the issue of psychological harassment [19].

On Dec 13, 2007 MPP Andrea Horwath introduced for first reading a new Bill, Bill-29, to make an amendment to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. This Bill-29 is proposing “to protect workers from harassment and violence in the workplace” and will include protection from psychological abuse and bullying behaviors in the workplace in Ontario. [21]

The Canadian Province of Saskatchewan made workplace bullying illegal in 2007 by passing The Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007. The act broadened the definition of harassment, as defined in the The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993, to include psychological harassment.[22]

[edit] Ireland

In Ireland, there is a Code of Practice for employers and employees on the prevention and resolution of bullying at work.[23] The Code notes the provision in the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 requiring employers to manage work activities to prevent improper conduct or behaviour at work. The Code of Practice provides both employer and employee with the means and the machinery to identify and to stamp out bullying in the workplace in a way which benefits all sides.

[edit] Sweden

Workplace bullying in Sweden is covered by the Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work, which defines victimisation as “…recurrent reprehensible or distinctly negative actions which are directed against individual employees in an offensive manner and can result in those employees being placed outside the workplace community.”[24]

The act places the onus on employers to plan and organise work so as to prevent victimisation and to make it clear to employees that victimisation is not acceptable. The employer is also responsible for the early detection of signs of victimisation, prompt counter measures to deal with victimisation and making support available to employees who have been targeted.

[edit] United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, although bullying is not specifically mentioned in workplace legislation, there are means to obtain legal redress for bullying. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997[25] is a recent addition to the more traditional approaches using employment-only legislation. Notable cases include Majrowski v Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust wherein it was held that an employer is vicariously liable for one employee’s harassment of another, and Green v DB Group Services (UK) Ltd, where a bullied worker was awarded over £800,000 in damages. In the latter case, at paragraph 99, the judge Mr Justice Owen said:

“…I am satisfied that the behaviour amounted to a deliberate and concerted campaign of bullying within the ordinary meaning of that term.”

Bullying behaviour breaches other UK laws. An implied term of every employment contract in the UK is that parties to the contract have a (legal) duty of trust and confidence to each other. Bullying, or an employer tolerating bullying, typically breaches that contractual term. Such a breach creates circumstances entitling an employee to terminate his or her contract of employment without notice, which can lead to a finding by an Employment Tribunal of unfair dismissal, colloquially called constructive dismissal. An employee bullied in response to asserting a statutory right can be compensated for the detriment under Part V of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and if dismissed, Part X of the same Act provides that the dismissal is automatically unfair. Where a person is bullied on grounds of sex, race or disability et al., it is outlawed under anti-discrimination laws.

It was argued, following the obiter comments of Lord Hoffman in Johnson v. Unisys in March 2001,[26][27] that claims could be made before an Employment Tribunal for injury to feelings arising from unfair dismissal. It was re-established that this was not what the law provided, in Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council, July 2004 [28] wherein the Lords confirmed that the position established in Norton Tool v Tewson in 1972, that compensation for unfair dismissal was limited to financial loss alone. Unfair dismissal compensation is subject to a statutory cap set at £60600 from Feb 2006. Discriminatory dismissal continues to attract compensation for injury to feelings and financial loss, and there is no statutory cap.

[edit] United States

In the United States, comprehensive workplace bullying legislation has yet to be passed by the federal government or by any U.S. state government, but since 2003, many state legislatures have considered bills.[29] As of February 2009, 15 U.S. states have proposed legislation; these are:[30]

  • Illinois (2009)
  • Utah (2009)
  • New Jersey (2007)
  • Washington (2007, 2005)
  • New York (2006)
  • Vermont (2007)
  • Oregon (2007, 2005)
  • Montana (2007)
  • Connecticut (2007)
  • Hawaii (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004)
  • Oklahoma (2007, 2004)
  • Kansas (2006)
  • Missouri (2006)
  • Massachusetts (2005)
  • California (2003)

These workplace bullying bills have typically allowed employees to sue their employers for creating an “abusive work environment,” and most have been supported by the notion that laws against workplace bullying are necessary to protect public health.

Although most U.S. states operate under the 19th Century doctrine of at-will employment (which, in theory, allows an employer to fire an employee for any reason or no reason), American workers have gained significant legal leverage through discrimination and harassment laws, workplace safety laws, union-protection laws. etc., such that it would be illegal under federal and the laws of most states to fire employees for a whole host of reasons. These employment laws typically forbid retaliation for good faith complaints or exercising legal rights, such as organizing a union. Discrimination and harassment laws enable employees to sue for creating a “hostile work environment,” which can include bullying, but the bullying/hostility must be tied in some way to a characteristic protected under the discrimination/harassment law, such as race, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.

[edit] Leading pioneers in the understanding of workplace bullying

The following pioneers made particularly important contributions to the understanding of workplace bullying.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts Nightmares, Demons and Slaves, Exploring the Painful Metaphors of Workplace Bullying, 2006
  2. ^ Namie, Gary and Ruth Workplace Bullying Institute Definition
  3. ^ a b Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela Take This Job and . . . : Quitting and Other Forms of Resistance to Workplace Bullying
  4. ^ Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace; Noa Davenport, Ph.D.; Ruth Distler Schwartz; and Gail Pursell Elliot; Civil Society Publishing; 1999, 2002; ISBN 0-9671803-0-9
  5. ^ Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Boss? How to Survive 13 Types of Dysfunctional, Disrespectful, Dishonest Little Dictators; Marilyn Haight; Worded Write Publishing; 2005, 2008; ISBN 978-0-9800390-1-6
  6. ^ Lutgin-Sandvik, Pamela, The Communicative Cycle of Employee Emotional Abuse, 2003
  7. ^ a b c Namie, Gary and Ruth The 2007 WBI-Zogby Survey
  8. ^ Namie, Gary and Ruth The WBI 2003 Report on Abusive Workplaces
  9. ^ “The cost of violence and bullying at work”. International Labour Organization (ILO). http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework/violence/costof.htm. Retrieved on February 13, 2009.
  10. ^ Dan Dana
  11. ^ Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
  12. ^ Field, Tim, Bullying: what is it?
  13. ^ Workplace Bullying Institute Harper Collins, 2006
  14. ^ Board, B.J. & Fritzon, Katarina, F. (2005). Disordered personalities at work. Psychology, Crime and Law, 11, 17-32
  15. ^ Hare, Robert and Babiak, Paul, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work Harper Collins, 2006
  16. ^ Catherine Mattice, MA & Brian Spitzberg, Ph.D. Bullies in Business: Self-Reports of Tactics and Motives San Diego State University, 2007
  17. ^ Worksafe, Victorian Workcover Authority
  18. ^ Commission des normes du travail
  19. ^ a b c Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979 Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada
  20. ^ Workplace Violence Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada
  21. ^ Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada
  22. ^ The Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007 in Saskatchewan
  23. ^ Republic of Ireland – 2007 Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work
  24. ^ Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work AFS 1993:17 Official English translation
  25. ^ Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  26. ^ Judgments – Johnson (A.P.) v. Unisys Limited, Uk Parliament – Publications
  27. ^ Johnson v Unisys Ltd [2001 IRLR 279 House of Lords], Case Summaries, Equal Opportunities Commission, UK
  28. ^ Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council 2004
  29. ^ Said, Caroline (2007-01-21). “Bullying bosses could be busted: Movement against worst workplace abusers gains momentum with proposed laws”. San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/21/BUG7DNKKN61.DTL. Retrieved on 2007-10-19.
  30. ^ Workplace Bullying Institute Legislative Campaign

[edit] External links

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_bullying

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Sexual harassment

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Sexual harassment is unwelcome attention of a sexual nature and is a form of illegal and social harassment. It includes a range of behavior from seemingly mild transgressions and annoyances to actual sexual abuse or sexual assault. (Dziech et al 1990, Boland 2002) Sexual harassment is considered a form of illegal discrimination in many countries, and is a form of abuse (sexual and psychological) and bullying.

The term sexual harassment began coming to public attention in the 1970s, starting at a “Speak Out” in 1975 in Ithaca New York, USA. For many businesses, preventing sexual harassment, and defending its managerial employees from sexual harassment charges, have become key goals of legal decision-making. In contrast, many scholars complain that sexual harassment in education remains a “forgotten secret,” with educators and administrators refusing to admit the problem exists in their schools, or accept their legal and ethical responsibilities to deal with it. (Dziech, 1990)

Contents

[hide]

o    6.1 Common effects on the victims

o    6.2 Effects of sexual harassment on organizations

o    7.1 United States

o    7.2 Evolution of sexual harassment law in other jurisdictions

o    8.1 United States

o    8.2 New Jersey

o    8.3 Other jurisdictions

[edit] Harassment situations

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances. Often, but not always, the harasser is in a position of power or authority over the victim (due to differences in age, or social, political, educational or employment relationships). Forms of harassment relationships include:

  • The harasser can be anyone, such as a client, a co-worker, a teacher or professor, a student, a friend, or a stranger.
  • The victim does not have to be the person directly harassed but can be anyone who finds the behavior offensive and is affected by it.
  • While adverse effects on the victim are common, this does not have to be the case for the behavior to be unlawful.
  • The victim can be male or female. The harasser can be male or female.
  • The harasser does not have to be of the opposite sex.
  • The harasser may be completely unaware that his or her behavior is offensive or constitutes sexual harassment or may be completely unaware that his or her actions could be unlawful.

[edit] Varied behaviors

One of the difficulties in understanding sexual harassment is that it involves a range of behavior, and is often difficult for the recipient to describe to themselves, and to others, exactly what they are experiencing. Moreover, behavior and motives vary between individual harassers.

[edit] Behavioral classes

It has divided harassers into two broad classes:

o    Public harassers are flagrant in their seductive or sexist attitudes towards colleagues, subordinates, students, etc.

o    Private harassers carefully cultivate a restrained and respectable image on the surface, but when alone with their target, their demeanor changes completely.

Langelan describes three different classes of harassers.

o    Predatory harasser who gets sexual thrills from humiliating others. This harasser may become involved in sexual extortion, and may frequently harass just to see how targets respond–those who don’t resist may even become targets for rape.

o    Dominance harasser the most common type, who engages in harassing behaviour as an ego boost.

o    strategic or **territorial harassers who seek to maintain privilege in jobs or physical locations, for example a man’s harassing female employees in a predominantly male occupation.

 

[edit] Types of harassment

o    Sexual Harassment: Causes, Consequences and Cures. There is usually more than one type of harassing behavior present, so a single harasser will often fit more than one category. These are brief summations of each type.

o    Power-player Legally termed “quid pro quo” harassment, these harassers insist on sexual favors in exchange for benefits they can dispense because of their positions in hierarchies: getting or keeping a job, favorable grades, recommendations, credentials, projects, promotion, orders, and other types of opportunities.

o    Mother/Father Figure(a.k.a. The Counselor-Helper)- These harassers will try to create mentor-like relationships with their targets, all the while masking their sexual intentions with pretenses towards personal, professional, or academic attention.

o    One-of-the-Gang- harassment occurs when groups of men or women embarrass others with lewd comments, physical evaluations, or other unwanted sexual attention. Harassers may act individually in order to belong or impress the others, or groups may gang up on a particular target.

o    Third Party sexual harassment- describes sexual harassment of employees or peers who are not themselves the target of the harassment; this includes groping. Third-party sexual harassment may be either quid pro quo or hostile environment.

o    Serial Harasser- Harassers of this type carefully build up an image so that people would find it hard to believe they would do anyone any harm. They plan their approaches carefully, and strike in private so that it is their word against that of their victims.

o    Groping|Groper- Whenever the opportunity presents itself, these harassers’ eyes and hands begin to wander.

o    Opportunist- Opportunist use physical settings and circumstances, or infrequently occurring opportunities, to mask premeditated or intentional sexual behavior towards targets. This will often involve changing the environment in order to minimize inhibitory effects of the workplace or school

o    Bully- In this case, sexual harassment is used to punish the victim for some transgression, such as rejection of the harasser’s interest or advances, or making the harasser feel insecure about himself or herself or his or her abilities. The bully uses sexual harassment to put the victim in his or her “proper place.”

o    Confidante – Harassers of this type approach subordinates, or students, as equals or friends, sharing about their own life experiences and difficulties, sharing stories to win admiration and sympathy, and inviting subordinates to share theirs so as to make them feel valued and trusted. Soon these relationships move into an intimate domain.

o    Situational Harasser – Harassing behavior begins when the perpetrator endures a traumatic event (psychological), or begins to experience very stressful life situations, such as psychological or medical problems, marital problems, or divorce. The harassment will usually stop if the situation changes or the pressures are removed.

o    Pest – This is the stereotypical “won’t take ‘no’ for an answer” harasser who persists in hounding a target for attention and dates even after persistent rejections. This behavior is usually misguided, with no malicious intent.

o    Great Gallant – This mostly verbal harassment involves excessive compliments and personal comments that focus on appearance and gender, and are out of place or embarrassing to the recipient. Such comments are sometimes accompanied by leering looks.

o    Intellectual Seducer – Most often found in educational settings, these harassers will try to use their knowledge and skills as an avenue to gain access to students, or information about students, for sexual purposes. They may require students participate in exercises or “studies” that reveal information about their sexual experiences, preferences, and habits.

o    Incompetent – These are socially inept individuals who desire the attentions of their targets, who do not reciprocate these feelings. They may display a sense of entitlement, believing their targets should feel flattered by their attentions. When rejected, this type of harasser may use bullying methods as a form of revenge.

o    Unintentional – Acts or comments of a sexual nature, not intended to harass, talking about sex when a person feels uncomfortable about it may be called sexual harassment.

o    Stalking – can also be a method of sexual harassment.

o    Sexualized environments (aka environmental harassment)

Sexualized environments are environments where obscenities, sexual joking, sexually explicit graffiti, viewing Internet pornography, sexually degrading posters and objects, etc., are common. None of these behaviors or objects may necessarily be directed at anyone in particular. However, they can create an offensive environment, and one that is consistent with “hostile environment sexual harassment”.

o    Rituals and initiations

Sexual harassment can also occur in group settings as part of rituals or ceremonies, such as when members engage newcomers in abusive or sexually explicit rites as part of hazing or initiation. While such traditions have historically remained in arenas of male bonding or female bonding, such as[team sports, fraternities, and sororities, it is becoming increasingly common for girls/women’s groups to engage in similar ceremonies.

[edit] Retaliation and backlash

Retaliation and backlash against a victim are very common, particularly a complainant. Victims who speak out against sexual harassment are often labeled troublemakers who are on their own power trips, or who are looking for attention. Similar to cases of rape or sexual assault, the victim often becomes the accused, with their appearance, private life, and character likely to fall under intrusive scrutiny and attack. [1] They risk hostility and isolation from colleagues, supervisors, teachers, fellow students, and even friends. They may become the targets of mobbing or relational aggression.[2]

Women are not necessarily sympathetic to female complainants who have been sexually harassed. If the harasser was male, internalized sexism, and/or jealousy over the sexual attention towards the victim, may encourage some women to react with as much hostility towards the complainant as some male colleagues.[3] Fear of being targeted for harassment or retaliation themselves may also cause some women to respond with hostility.[4] For example, when Lois Jenson filed her lawsuit against Eveleth Taconite Co., the women placed a hangman’s noose above her workplace, and shunned her both at work and in the community–many of these women later joined her suit.(Bingham et al 2002) Women may even project hostility onto the victim in order to bond with their male coworkers and build trust.[4]

Retaliation has occurred when a sexual harassment victim suffers a negative action as a result of the harassment. For example, a complainant be given poor evaluations or low grades, have their projects sabotaged, be denied work or academic opportunities, have their work hours cut back, and other actions against them which undermine their productivity, or their ability to advance at work or school. They may be suspended, asked to resign, or be fired from their jobs altogether. Moreover, a professor or employer accused of sexual harassment, or who is the colleague of a perpetrator, can use their power to see that a victim is never hired again, or never accepted to another school. Retaliation can even involve further sexual harassment, and also stalking and cyberstalking of the victim. [4][3]

Of the women who have approached her to share their own experiences of being sexually harassed by their teachers, feminist and writer Naomi Wolf writes,

“I am ashamed of what I tell them: that they should indeed worry about making an accusation because what they fear is likely to come true. Not one of the women I have heard from had an outcome that was not worse for her than silence. One, I recall, was drummed out of the school by peer pressure. Many faced bureaucratic stonewalling. Some women said they lost their academic status as golden girls overnight; grants dried up, letters of recommendation were no longer forthcoming. No one was met with a coherent process that was not weighted against them. Usually, the key decision-makers in the college or university—especially if it was a private university—joined forces to, in effect, collude with the faculty member accused; to protect not him necessarily but the reputation of the university, and to keep information from surfacing in a way that could protect other women. The goal seemed to be not to provide a balanced forum, but damage control.”[5]

Another woman who was interviewed by Helen Watson, a sociologist, reported that, “Facing up to the crime and having to deal with it in public is probably worse than suffering in silence. I found it to be a lot worse than the harassment itself.” (Watson, 1994)

[edit] Effects of sexual harassment and the (often) accompanying retaliation:

Effects of sexual harassment can vary depending on the individual, and the severity and duration of the harassment. Often, sexual harassment incidents fall into the category of the “merely annoying.” However, many situations can, and do, have life-altering effects particularly when they involve severe/chronic abuses, and/or retaliation against a victim who does not submit to the harassment, or who complains about it openly. Indeed, psychologists and social workers report that severe/chronic sexual harassment can have the same psychological effects as rape or sexual assault. (Koss, 1987) For example, in 1995, Judith Coflin committed suicide after chronic sexual harassment by her bosses and coworkers. (Her family was later awarded 6 million dollars in punitive and compensatory damages.) Backlash and victim-blaming can further aggravate the effects. Moreover, every year, sexual harassment costs hundreds of millions of dollars in lost educational and professional opportunities, mostly for girls and women. (Boland, 2002)

[edit] Common effects on the victims

Common professional, academic, financial, and social effects of sexual harassment:

  • Decreased work or school performance; increased absenteeism
  • Loss of job or career, loss of income
  • Having to drop courses, change academic plans, or leave school (loss of tuition)
  • Having one’s personal life offered up for public scrutiny — the victim becomes the “accused,” and his or her dress, lifestyle, and private life will often come under attack. (Note: this rarely occurs for the perpetrator.)
  • Being objectified and humiliated by scrutiny and gossip
  • Becoming publicly sexualized (i.e. groups of people “evaluate” the victim to establish if he or she is “worth” the sexual attention or the risk to the harasser’s career)
  • Defamation of character and reputation
  • Loss of trust in environments similar to where the harassment occurred
  • Loss of trust in the types of people that occupy similar positions as the harasser or his or her colleagues
  • Extreme stress upon relationships with significant others, sometimes resulting in divorce; extreme stress on peer relationships, or relationships with colleagues
  • Weakening of support network, or being ostracized from professional or academic circles (friends, colleagues, or family may distance themselves from the victim, or shun him or her altogether)
  • Having to relocate to another city, another job, or another school
  • Loss of references/recommendations

Some of the psychological and health effects that can occur in someone who has been sexually harassed: depression, anxiety and/or panic attacks, sleeplessness and/or nightmares, shame and guilt, difficulty concentrating, headaches, fatigue or loss of motivation, stomach problems, eating disorders (weight loss or gain), alcoholism, feeling betrayed and/or violated, feeling angry or violent towards the perpetrator, feeling powerless or out of control, increased blood pressure, loss of confidence and self esteem, withdrawal and isolation, overall loss of trust in people, traumatic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts or attempts, suicide.[2][6][7][8][9]

[edit] Effects of sexual harassment on organizations

  • Decreased productivity and increased team conflict
  • Decrease in success at meeting financial goals (because of team conflict)
  • Decreased job satisfaction
  • Loss of staff and expertise from resignations to avoid harassment or resignations/firings of alleged harassers; loss of students who leave school to avoid harassment
  • Decreased productivity and/or increased absenteeism by staff or students experiencing harassment
  • Increased health care costs and sick pay costs because of the health consequences of harassment
  • The knowledge that harassment is permitted can undermine ethical standards and discipline in the organization in general, as staff and/or students lose respect for, and trust in, their seniors who indulge in, or turn a blind eye to, sexual harassment
  • If the problem is ignored, a company’s or school’s image can suffer
  • Legal costs if the problem is ignored and complainants take the issue to court.(Boland 1990)[10][9][11][12][8]

[edit] Evolution of sexual harassment law

[edit] United States

[edit] Workplace

In the US, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin or religion. The prohibition of sex discrimination covers both females and males. This discrimination occurs when the sex of the worker is made as a condition of employment (i.e. all female waitpersons or male carpenters) or where this is a job requirement that does not mention sex but ends up barring many more persons of one sex than the other from the job (such as height and weight limits).

Barnes v. Train (1974) is commonly viewed as the first sexual harassment case in America, even though the term “sexual harassment” was not used.[13] In 1976, Williams v. Saxbe established sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination when sexual advances by a male supervisor towards a female employee, if proven, would be deemed an artificial barrier to employment placed before one gender and not another. In 1980 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued regulations defining sexual harassment and stating it was a form of sex discrimination prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the 1986 case of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, the Supreme Court first recognized “sexual harassment” as a violation of Title VII, established the standards for analyzing whether the conduct was welcome and levels of employer liability, and that speech or conduct in itself can create a “hostile environment.” The Civil Rights Act of 1991 added provisions to Title VII protections including expanding the rights of women to sue and collect compensatory and punitive damages for sexual discrimination or harassment, and the case of Ellison v. Brady resulted in rejecting the reasonable person standard in favor of the “reasonable woman standard” which allowed for cases to be analyzed from the perspective of the complainant and not the defendant. Also in 1991, Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. became the first sexual harassment case to be given class action status, paving the way for others. Seven years later, in 1998, this case would establish new precedents for setting limits on the “discovery” process in sexual harassment cases, and allowing psychological injuries from the litigation process to be included in assessing damages awards. In the same year, the courts concluded in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, Florida, and Burlington v. Ellerth, that employers are liable for harassment by their employees. Moreover, Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services set the precedent for same-sex harassment, and sexual harassment without motivation of “sexual desire”, stating that any discrimination based on sex is actionable so long as it places the victim in an objectively disadvantageous working condition, regardless of the gender of either the victim, or the harasser.

In the 2006 case of Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White, the standard for retaliation against a sexual harassment complainant was revised to include any adverse employment decision or treatment that would be likely to dissuade a “reasonable worker” from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.

During 2007 alone, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and related state agencies received 12,510 new charges of sexual harassment on the job [14]

[edit] Education

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (United States) states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

In Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools (1992), the U.S. Supreme Court held that private citizens could collect damage awards when teachers sexually harassed their students. In Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser (1986) the courts ruled that schools have the power to discipline students if they use “obscene, profane language or gestures” which could be viewed as substantially interfering with the educational process, and inconsistent with the “fundamental values of public school education.” Under regulations issued in 1997 by the U.S. Department of Education, which administers Title IX, school districts should be held responsible for harassment by educators if the harasser “was aided in carrying out the sexual harassment of students by his or her position of authority with the institution.”[15] In Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, and Murrell v. School Dist. No. 1, 1999, schools were assigned liability for peer-to-peer sexual harassment if the plaintiff sufficiently demonstrated that the administration’s response shows “deliberate indifference” to “actual knowledge” of discrimination.

[edit] Evolution of sexual harassment law in other jurisdictions

In India, the case of Vishaka Vs. State of Rajasthan in 1997 has been credited with establishing sexual harassment as illegal.[16] In Israel, the 1988 Equal Employment Opportunity Law made it a crime for an employer to retaliate against an employee who had rejected sexual advances, but it wasn’t until 1998 that the Israeli Sexual Harassment Law made such behavior illegal. (Kamir, 2005)

In May 2002, the European Union Council and Parliament amended a 1976 Council Directive on the equal treatment of men and women in employment to prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace, naming it a form of sex discrimination and violation of dignity. This Directive required all Member States of the European Union to adopt laws on sexual harassment, or amend existing laws to comply with the Directive by October 2005. [17]

In 2005, China added new provisions to the Law on Women’s Right Protection to include sexual harassment.[18] In 2006 “The Shanghai Supplement” was drafted to help further define sexual harassment in China. [19]

[edit] Varied legal guidelines and definitions

The United Nations General Recommendation 19 to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women defines sexual harassment of women to include:

“such unwelcome sexually determined behavior as physical contact and advances, sexually colored remarks, showing pornography and sexual demands, whether by words or actions. Such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem; it is discriminatory when the woman has reasonable ground to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment, including recruitment or promotion, or when it creates a hostile working environment.”

While such conduct can be harassment of women by men, many laws around the world which prohibit sexual harassment are more enlightened and recognize that both men and women may be harassers or victims of sexual harassment. It is important to note, most claims of sexual harassment are made by women.

[edit] United States

There are a number of legal options for a complainant in the U.S.: mediation, filing with the EEOC or filing a claim under a state Fair Employment Practices (FEP) statute (both are for workplace sexual harassment), filing a common law tort, etc.[20] Not all sexual harassment will be considered severe enough to form the basis for a legal claim. However, most often there are several types of harassing behaviors present, and there is no minimum level for harassing conduct under the law.(Boland, 2002) Many experienced sexual harassment than have a solid legal case against the accused. Because of this, and the common preference for settling, few cases ever make it to federal court.[20] The section below describes the legal definitions that have been created for sexual harassment in the workplace. Similar definitions have been created for academic environments in the U.S. Department of Education Sexual Harassment Guidance.

[edit] New Jersey

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) was initially enacted in 1945. The LAD prohibits sexual harassment. Under the LAD, sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual relations or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. There are generally two types of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employer, or an employer’s agent, implicitly or explicitly attempts to make submission to sexual demands a condition of employment. Thus, an employee may perceive that he or she must tolerate sexual advances or engage in a sexual relationship in order to continue employment, to achieve advancement, or to avoid adverse employment consequences such as poor evaluations or demotions. Similarly, it is unlawful for an employer or an employer’s agent to condition favorable treatment such as promotions, salary increases, or preferred assignments, on an employee’s acceptance of sexual advances or relations. Castronovo & McKinney, LLC can provide additional information regarding sexual harassment by an employer.

[edit] EEOC definition

In 1980 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission produced a set of guidelines for defining and enforcing Title VII (in 1984 it was expanded to include educational institutions). The EEOC defines sexual harassment as:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1. Submission to such conduct was made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment,

2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual was used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or

3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

1. and 2. are called “quid pro quo” (Latin for “this for that” or “something for something”). They are essentially “sexual bribery”, or promising of benefits, and “sexual coercion”.

Type 3. known as “hostile work environment,” is by far the most common form. This form is less clear cut and is more subjective.[3]

Note: a workplace harassment complainant must file with the EEOC and receive a “right to sue” clearance, before they can file a lawsuit against a company in federal court. (Boland, 2002)

[edit] Quid pro quo sexual harassment

Quid pro quo means “this for that”. In the workplace, this occurs when a job benefit is directly tied to an employee submitting to unwelcome sexual advances. For example, a supervisor promises an employee a raise if he or she will go out on a date with him or her, or tells an employee he or she will be fired if he or she doesn’t sleep with him or her.[21] Quid pro quo harassment also occurs when an employee makes an evaluative decision, or provides or withholds professional opportunities based on another employee’s submission to verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Quid pro quo harassment is equally unlawful whether the victim resists and suffers the threatened harm or submits and thus avoids the threatened harm.[22]

[edit] Hostile environment sexual harassment

This occurs when an employee is subjected to comments of a sexual nature, unwelcome physical contact, or offensive sexual materials as a regular part of the work environment. For the most part, a single isolated incident will not be enough to prove hostile environment harassment unless it involves extremely outrageous and egregious conduct. The courts will try to decide whether the conduct is both “serious” and “frequent.” Supervisors, managers, co-workers and even customers can be responsible for creating a hostile environment.[23] Probably the most famous hostile environment sexual harassment case to date is Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. which inspired the movie North Country. (See Hostile environment sexual harassment)

The line between “quid pro quo” and “hostile environment” harassment is not always clear and the two forms of harassment often occur together. For example, an employee’s job conditions are affected when a sexually hostile work environment results in a constructive discharge. At the same time, a supervisor who makes sexual advances toward a subordinate employee may communicate an implicit threat to retaliate against her if she does not comply.[24]

“Hostile environment” harassment may acquire characteristics of “quid pro quo” harassment if the offending supervisor abuses his authority over employment decisions to force the victim to endure or participate in the sexual conduct. Sexual harassment may culminate in a retaliatory discharge if a victim tells the harasser or her employer she will no longer submit to the harassment, and is then fired in retaliation for this protest. Under these circumstances it would be appropriate to conclude that both harassment and retaliation in violation of section 704(a) of Title VII have occurred.”

[edit] Retaliation

Retaliation has occurred when an employee suffers a negative action after he or she has made a report of sexual harassment, file a grievance, assist someone else with a complaint, or participate in discrimination prevention activities. Negative actions can include being fired, demotion, suspension, denial of promotion, poor evaluation, unfavorable job re-assignment–any adverse employment decision or treatment that would be likely to dissuade a “reasonable worker” from making or supporting a charge of discrimination. (See Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White) Retaliation is as illegal as the sexual harassment itself, but also as difficult to prove. Also, retaliation is illegal even if the original charge of sexual harassment was not proven.

[edit] Other jurisdictions

Many jurisdictions outside the United States have adopted their own definitions of sexual harassment, intended to cover essentially the same forms of undesirable conduct. However, if a country has officially outlawed sexual harassment, most define the behavior similarly to that of the U.S., some examples below:

  • Czech Republic: Undesirable behavior of a sexual nature at the workplace if such conduct is unwelcome, unsuitable or insulting, or if it can be justifiably perceived by the party concerned as a condition for decisions affecting the exercise of rights and obligations ensuring from labor relations.[25]
  • Denmark: Sexual harassment is defined as, when any verbal, non-verbal or physical action is used to change a victim’s sexual status against the will of the victim and resulting in the victim feeling inferior or hurting the victim’s dignity. Man and woman are looked upon as equal, and any action trying to change the balance in status with the differences in sex as a tool, is also sexual harassment. In the workplace, jokes, remarks, etc., are only deemed discriminatory if the employer has stated so in their written policy. Women are viewed as being responsible for confronting harassment themselves, such as by slapping the harasser in the face. Law number 1385 of December 21, 2005 regulates this area. [26]
  • France: Article 222-33 of the French Criminal Code describes sexual harassment as, “The fact of harassing anyone using orders, threats or constraint, in order to obtain favors of a sexual nature, by a person abusing the authority that functions confer on him…” This means the harasser can only be someone with authority on the harassed (basically, there can’t be sexual harassment between coworkers of the same rank). However, moral harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to repeated acts (one is not enough) the aim or effect of which may result in a degradation (deterioration) of his conditions of employment that might undermine his rights and his dignity, affect his physical or mental health or jeopardize his professional future. Sexual as well as the moral harassment is recognized by the law.[27]
  • India: Sexual harassment in India (and Pakistan)is termed “Eve teasing” and is described as: unwelcome sexual gesture or behaviour whether directly or indirectly as sexually coloured remarks; physical contact and advances; showing pornography; a demand or request for sexual favours; any other unwelcome physical, verbal/non-verbal conduct being sexual in nature. The critical factor is the unwelcomeness of the behaviour, thereby making the impact of such actions on the recipient more relevant rather than intent of the perpetrator.[16]
  • Israel: The 1998 Israeli Sexual Harassment Law interprets sexual harassment broadly, and prohibits the behavior as a discriminatory practice, a restriction of liberty, an offence to human dignity, a violation of every person’s right to elementary respect, and an infringement of the right to privacy. Additionally, the law prohibits intimidation or retaliation that accommodates sexual harassment. Intimidation or retaliation thus related to sexual harassment are defined by the law as “prejudicial treatment”. (Kamir, 2005)
  • Pakistan: Pakistan has adopted a Code of Conduct for Gender Justice in the Workplace that will deal with cases of sexual harassment. The Alliance Against Sexual Harassment (AASH) announced they would be working with the committee to establish guidelines for the proceedings. AASH defines sexual harassment much the same as it is defined in the U.S. and other cultures.[28]
  • Philippines: The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 was enacted “primarily to protect and respect the dignity of workers, employees, and applicants for employment as well as students in educational institutions or training centers. This law, consisting of ten (10) sections, provides for a clear definition of work, education or training-related sexual harassment and specifies the acts constituting sexual harassment. It likewise provides for the duties and liabilities of the employer in cases of sexual harassment, and sets penalties for violations of its provisions. It is to be noted that a victim of sexual harassment is not barred from filing a separate and independent action for damages and other relief aside from filing the charge for sexual harassment.” [29]
  • Poland: There is no special provision in the employment law that provides for moral or sexual harassment; however it is commonly accepted by the jurisprudence, that sexual harassment occurs when the employee is subjected to acts of another person in order to obtain favours of a sexual nature. Moral harassment occurs when en employee is subjected to acts which may result in a deterioration of his conditions of employment or undermine his rights and dignity as well as affect his physical or moral health. These definitions are not legal ones, but definitions accepted by the jurisprudence.[25]
  • Russia: In the Criminal Code, Russian Federation, (CC RF), there exists a law which prohibits utilization of an office position and material dependence for coercion of sexual interactions (Article 118, current CC RF). However, according to the Moscow Center for Gender Studies, in practice, the courts do not examine these issues.[30]
  • United Kingdom: The Discrimination Act of 1975, was modified to establish sexual harassment as a form of discrimination in 1986. [31] It states that harassment occurs where there is unwanted conduct on the ground of a person’s sex or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature and that conduct has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. If an employer treats someone less favourably because they have rejected, or submitted to, either form of harassment described above, this is also harassment.[32]
  • Australia: The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 defines sexual harassment as ” … unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.”

[edit] Debates

Though the phrase “sexual harassment” is generally acknowledged[by whom?] to include clearly damaging and morally deplorable behavior, its boundaries can be broad and controversial. Accordingly, misunderstandings can abound. Moreover, sexual harassment law has been highly criticized by experts, such as Alan Dershowitz and Eugene Volokh, for imposing on the right to free speech.[33] Some feminist groups criticize sexual harassment policy as helping maintain archaic stereotypes of women as “delicate, asexual creatures” who require special protection.[34] Camille Paglia, for example says that young girls can end up acting in such ways as to make sexual harassment easier, such that for example, by acting “nice” they can become a target. Paglia commented in an interview with Playboy, “Realize the degree to which your niceness may invoke people to say lewd and pornographic things to you–sometimes to violate your niceness. The more you blush, the more people want to do it.”[35]

Sexual harassment policy and legislation have been criticized as attempts to “regulate romance” which goes against human urges.[36] Other critics assert that sexual harassment is a very serious problem, but current views focus too heavily on sexuality rather than on the type of conduct that undermines the ability of women or men to work together effectively. Viki Shultz, a law professor at Yale University comments, “Many of the most prevalent forms of harassment are designed to maintain work-particularly the more highly rewarded lines of work-as bastions of male competence and authority.”[37] Feminist Jane Gallop sees this evolution of the definition of sexual harassment as coming from a “split” between what she calls “power feminists” who are pro-sex (like herself) and what she calls “victim feminists,” who are not. She argues that the split has helped lead to a perversion of the definition of sexual harassment, which used to be about sexism but has come to be about anything that’s sexual. (Gallop, 1997)

There is also concern over abuses of sexual harassment policy, and employers and administrators using accusations as a way of expelling employees they want to eliminate for other reasons. (Westhues, 1998).

There is also discussion of whether some recent trends towards more revealing clothing and permissive habits have created a more sexualized general environment, in which some forms of communication are unfairly labeled harassment, but are simply a reaction to greater sexualization in everyday environments. [38]

There are many debates about how organizations should deal with sexual harassment. Some observers feel strongly that organizations should be held to a zero tolerance standard of “Must report – must investigate – must punish.”

Others write that those who feel harassed should in most circumstances have a choice of options. See “Workplace Justice, Zero Tolerance, and Zero Barriers,” 2001, by Mary Rowe and Corinne Bendersky, in Negotiations and Change, From the Workplace to Society, Thomas Kochan and Richard Locke (editors), Cornell University Press, 2002; Mary Rowe in “Dealing with Harassment: A Systems Approach,” in Sexual Harassment: Perspectives, Frontiers, and Response Strategies, Women & Work, Vol. 5, Margaret Stockdale, editor, Sage Publications, 1996, pp. 241-271; Mary Rowe, “People Who Feel Harassed Need a Complaint System with both Formal and Informal Options,” in Negotiation Journal, April, 1990, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 161-172. Sexual harassment, by definition, is unwanted and not to be tolerated but there often are a number of effective ways for offended and injured people to deal with harassment.

[edit] References

  • American Association of University Women. Hostile Hallways: Bullying, Teasing, and Sexual Harassment in School. AAUW, 2002.
  • American Association of University Women. Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus. AAUW,2006.
  • Bingham, Clara, Gansler, Laura Leedy. Class Action: The Landmark Case that Changed Sexual Harassment Law. New York, Anchor Books, 2002.
  • Boland, Mary L. Sexual Harassment: Your Guide to Legal Action. Naperville, Illinois: Sphinx Publishing, 2002.
  • Dziech, Billie Wright, Weiner, Linda. The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus. Chicago Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1990.
  • Gallop, Jane. Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment. Duke University Press, 1997.
  • Harper, Colin. My Uncontrollable Urges. Bridge Publications, 1998.
  • Harper, Colin. Why I can’t take ‘no’ for an answer… Bridge Publications, 2001
  • Kamir, Orit. “Israel’s 1998 Sexual Harassment Law: Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Stalking, and Degradation Based on Sexual Orientation in the Workplace and in all Social Settings.” International Journal of Discrimination and Law, 2005, 7 , 315-336.
  • Koss, Mary P. “Changed Lives: The Psychological Impact of Sexual Harassment.” in Paludi, Michele A. ed. Ivory Power: Sexual Harassment On Campus. Albany, NY, State University of New York Press, 1987.
  • Langelan, Martha. Back Off: How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers. Fireside, 1993
  • Patai, Daphne. Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999.
  • Rowe,Mary “People Who Feel Harassed Need a Complaint System with both Formal and Informal Options,” in Negotiation Journal, April, 1990, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 161-172.
  • Rowe,Mary, “Dealing with Harassment: A Systems Approach,” in Sexual Harassment: Perspectives, Frontiers, and Response Strategies, Women & Work, Vol. 5, Margaret Stockdale, editor, Sage Publications, 1996, pp. 241-271.
  • Rowe, Mary & Corinne Bendersky, “Workplace Justice, Zero Tolerance, and Zero Barriers,” 2001, in Negotiations and Change, From the Workplace to Society, Thomas Kochan and Richard Locke (editors), Cornell University Press, 2002
  • Watson, Helen. “Red herrings and mystifications: Conflicting perceptions of sexual harassment,” in Brant, Clare, and Too, Yun Lee, eds., Rethinking Sexual Harassment. Boulder, Colorado, Pluto Press, 1994.
  • Westhues, Kenneth. Eliminating Professors: A Guide to the Dismissal Process. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1998.
  • Directions in Sexual Harassment Law. R. B. Siegel, co-editor. MacKinnon, Catherine. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 2004.
  • Ivory Power: Sexual Harassment On Campus. Paludi, Michele A. ed. Albany, NY, State University of New York Press, 1987.
  • Sexual Harassment : A Practical Guide to the Law, Your Rights, and Your Options for Taking Action. O’Shea, Tracy, and LaLonde, Jane. St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998.
  • Sexual Harassment of Working Women : A Case of Sex Discrimination. MacKinnon, Catherine. Yale University Press, 1979
  • Sexual Harassment on the Job: What It Is and How to Stop it. Petrocelli, William, and Repa, Barbara Kate. NOLO, 1998
  • The Updated and Expanded 9to5 Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment : Candid Advice from 9to5, the National Association of Working Women. Bravo, Ellen, and Cassedy, Ellen. The 9to5 Fund, 1999.

[edit] For further reading

See also: SIECUS annotated bibliography of books on sexual harassment and sexual violence

[edit] Sexual harassment in media and literature

  • The Ballad of Little Jo: film based on the true story of a woman living in the frontier west who disguises herself as a man to protect herself from the sexual harassment and abuse of women all too common in that environment.
  • Disclosure: a film starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore in which a man is sexually harassed by his female superior, who tries to use the situation to destroy his career by claiming that he was the sexual harasser.
  • Disgrace: a novel about a South African literature professor whose career is ruined after he has an affair with a student.
  • Hostile Advances: The Kerry Ellison Story: television movie about Ellison v. Brady, the case that set the “reasonable woman” precedent in sexual harassment law.
  • In the Company of Men: film about two male coworkers who, angry at women, plot to seduce and maliciously toy with the emotions of a deaf subordinate who works at the same company.
  • Les Miserables: a novel by Victor Hugo, and later several film adaptations. During the early stages of the story, Fantine is fired from her job after refusing to have sex with her boss.
  • The Magdalene Sisters: film based on the true stories of young women imprisoned for “bringing shame upon their families” by being raped, sexually abused, flirting, or simply being pretty, and subsequently subjected to sexual harassment and abuse by the nuns and priests in the Magdalene asylums in Ireland.
  • Nine to Five: film comedy starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton, about three women who are subjected to constant bullying and sexual harassment by their boss.
  • North Country: film depicting a fictionalized account of Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co., the first sexual harassment class action lawsuit in the U.S.
  • Oleanna: an American play by David Mamet, later a film starring William H. Macy. A college professor is accused of sexual harassment by a student. The film deals with the moral controversy as it never becomes clear which character is correct.
  • Pretty Persuasion: film starring Evan Rachel Wood and James Woods in which students turn the tables on a lecherous and bigoted teacher. A scathingly satirical film of sexual harassment and discrimination in schools, and attitudes towards females in media and society.
  • War Zone: documentary about street harassment.
  • Sexual Harassment Panda, an episode of South Park, parodies sexual harassment in schools and the lawsuits which result from lawyers and children using the vague definition of sexual harassment in order to win their lawsuits.
  • Sexual Harassment In The Workplace, an instrumental minor-key blues by Frank Zappa, from the album Guitar
  • Catharine MacKinnon
  • Hostile environment sexual harassment
  • Micro-inequities
  • Sexism
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual harassment in education
  • Workplace bullying
  • Disciplinary counseling

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Sexual harassment too often leads to humiliation for victims
  2. ^ a b Effects of Sexual Harassment
  3. ^ a b c Dealing With Sexual Harassment
  4. ^ a b c Sexual harassment retaliation, backlash, and victim blaming
  5. ^ The Silent Treatment
  6. ^ Common Effects of Sexual Harassment
  7. ^ Sexual Harassment: Myths and Realities
  8. ^ a b StopVAW: Effects of Sexual Harassment
  9. ^ a b Psychosocial and Organizational Factors: Sexual Harassment
  10. ^ Sexual harassment bad for victims and for business June 22, 2005
  11. ^ Sexual harassment: Poisoning profit prospects August 10, 2005
  12. ^ For Help with the Handling of Harassment
  13. ^ The Sad Evolution of Sexual Harassment October 27, 2004
  14. ^ Sexual Harassment Law: A Brief IntroductionKMB Legal
  15. ^ Sexual Harassment Guidance
  16. ^ a b Sexual Harassment and Rape Laws in India
  17. ^ Domestic Legal Framework November 1, 2003
  18. ^ China to outlaw sexual harassment
  19. ^ China Daily
  20. ^ a b What to Do if You or Someone You Know is Sexually Harassed
  21. ^ The Law & Your Job: What is quid pro quo harassment?
  22. ^ Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
  23. ^ The Law & Your Job: What is hostile environment harassment?
  24. ^ Policy Guidance on Current Issues of Sexual Harassment 03/19/90
  25. ^ a b Employment Law in Each Country
  26. ^ Denmark Law
  27. ^ Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in France and in the United States Spring 1997
  28. ^ AASHA – (Pakistan) Alliance Against Sexual Harassment
  29. ^ Full text of the Philippine Anti Sexual Harassment Law
  30. ^ Sexual Harassment in Russian Workplaces – Sexual Harassment Support Forum
  31. ^ Strathclyde Regional Council v Porcelli [1986 IRLR 134 Court of Session]
  32. ^ Sexual Harassment: what the law says
  33. ^ Freedom of Speech vs. Workplace Harassment Law
  34. ^ Feminism and Free Speech
  35. ^ Playboy interview, Camille Paglia May 1995
  36. ^ Sexual Harassment: The employer’s role in prevention
  37. ^ Love, Lust, and the Law Sexual Harassment in the Academy
  38. ^ ‘Save the males’: Ho culture lights fuses, but confuses, By KATHLEEN PARKER, NY Daily News, June 30th 2008. Based on “Save the Males” by Kathleen Parker, Copyright 2008, Random House, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group.

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DisclaimersFILMS ABOUT GANGING UP

Kenneth Westhues, 2005, 2006, 2007

In the winter and spring of 1998, while finalizing the manuscript published later that year as Eliminating Professors, I compiled a list of films that had deepened my understanding of social elimination or mobbing, the process of ganging up on somebody and getting rid of him or her. I included the list of films as an appendix to the book, and have expanded and updated it for publication here. Thanks to all the colleagues and students who have suggested additions to the list. Click on the title to see reviews on rottentomatoes or elsewhere.

Many of the films recommended below depict collusion, intentional or not, between people in positions of authority and an angry clique or crowd of ordinary people. The coming together of parties with contrasting interests for the common purpose of cutting somebody out of respectable circles is among the most fascinating aspects of the cases of workplace mobbing described and analyzed in my books.


IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER —
FILMS ROUTINELY AVAILABLE IN RENTAL OUTLETS
 

Amadeus (Milos Forman, 1984). F. Murray Abraham won best actor for his portrayal of Salieri, a dutiful but mediocre composer upstaged by the obnoxious but more talented Mozart (Tom Hulce), and determined to get rid of him. Salieri is depicted as a one-man mob, compelled by envy to destroy the one he most admires.

Beyond the Gates of Splendor (Jim Hanon, 2004). This mind-boggling documentary begins with news from 1956. A violent tribe in Ecuador’s Amazon jungle resolves internal conflict about who will marry whom by ganging up on five incomprehensible foreign missionaries and murdering them. Being Christian, the dead men’s wives forgive and embrace the killers. An incredible story, especially to cynical viewers, nonbelievers in Christianity, and believers in myths about noble savages.

Breaker Morant (Bruce Beresford, 1979). A case of administrative mobbing in the British army during its war against the Boers. Lord Kitchener and his brass scapegoat three officers from Australia. Morant’s requested epitaph (from Matthew 10: 30) captures the special horror of being mobbed in one’s workplace: “A man’s foes will be they of his own household.” Arguably the best Australian film ever made.

Bully (Larry Clark, 2001). Based (whether loosely or closely is a matter of debate) on true events in Florida, this film is useful for illustrating the difference between bullying and mobbing, as these terms are used in research on abusive human relations. The character of Bobby (Nick Stahl) is a genuine bully, swaggering with pleasure in his domination of other members of a clique of teenagers. The others then form themselves into a mob for eliminating Bobby once and for all. A very harsh film.

Butterfly (Jose Luis Cuerda, 1999). Amidst the fear, danger, and ambiguity of Spain on the eve of civil war, Don Gregorio (Fernan Gomez) is a veteran schoolteacher who embodies what education ought to mean. Events conspire to make him an enemy of the state, and even those who love the teacher join in eliminating him. This film sparkles with insight and irony.

Caine Mutiny, The (Columbia, Edward Dmytryk, 1954). The tight ship – isolated, hierarchical, vulnerable, with little room for individual rights – is a classic setting for elimination processes. In this case Captain Queeg (Humphrey Bogart) is eliminated. The question is how much of Queeg’s lunacy is personal pathology, and how much is situational, originating in Fred McMurray’s and others’ insidious undermining of the captain’s leadership.

Capturing the Friedmans (Magnolia, Andrew Jarecki, 2003). Police and community hysteria multiply Arnold Friedman’s one crime into dozens of worse crimes. His and his son Jesse’s guilty pleas are probably false. A haunting documentary that uses footage from the Friedmans’ own home movies to chronicle the family’s destruction. One feels shame to have watched this truthful tale of torture, but its memory lingers.

Carrie(Brian De Palma, 1976). Classic horror of two kinds. The first is believable: ostracization and humiliation of a classmate (Sissy Spacek) by high-school seniors who have in this respect formed themselves into a mob. The classmate’s telekinetic response is less believable but even more horrific, and it appeals deliciously to the common human hunger for revenge. Rent the original, not the 2002 remake.

Children’s Hour, The (William Wyler’s 1962 adaptation of Lillian Hellman’s 1934 stageplay). Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, friends since high school, run a girl’s boarding school. One of their charges starts a rumor that they are lesbians. It is one community against two women. “What is happening here?” laments MacLaine. “Has everybody gone insane?” A heartbreaking tale that shows the force of collective opprobrium: how stigma gets inside the heads of the stigmatized.

Count of Monte Cristo, The (Kevin Reynolds, 2002). This is the latest of many screen versions of Alexandre Dumas’s timeless story of the vengefulness induced by being ganged up on and wrongly punished. Anybody mobbed at work and cut off from ties of love and career can identify with Edmond Dantes (Jim Caviezel) and his quest for revenge. Thankfully, the film is faithful to the moral Dumas suggested a century and a half ago: revenge is not the answer.

Crucible, The (Twentieth Century Fox, Nicholas Hytner, 1996). Paul Scofield, best known for playing the heroically good Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons, is cast in this film as John Danforth, the evil-doing judge of the witches at Salem. Explaining (in his preface to the Penguin filmscript) why he cast Scofield in the role, director Hytner wrote: “It would have been easy enough to find one of those actors who specialize in the sinister, but Danforth’s particular danger is that his convictions are genuine and his commitment to rooting out the Devil is deeply felt.” Arthur Miller’s play focuses on John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his accuser, Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder). Hytner thought the story as timely in the 1990s, amidst “rigid intellectual orthodoxies of college campuses,” as when it was staged in 1952, in the era of McCarthyism and anticommunist witch hunts.

Dead Poets Society (Peter Weir, 1989). In a traditional, button-down New England prep school, Robin Williams plays an English teacher enamoured of Whitman and Thoreau. A tragic incident demonstrates what a threat he is. An indictment with multiple signatures is arranged, and a great teacher bites the dust.

Devils, The (Ken Russell, 1971). Based on Aldous Huxley’s account in The Devils of Loudon (1952), this is the true story of Urbain Grandier, a priest and pastor who was the target of a collective discreditation campaign in his parish in France, and who was ultimately burned at stake as a witch in 1634. Like Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004), this film fastens on the gore of torture and physical killing, to the point of obscuring its social and moral meaning. I would sooner recommend Huxley’s book or the more recent and even better one by Robert Rapley, A Case of Witchcraft: the Trial of Urbain Grandier (1998).

Disclosure (Warner Bros., Barry Levinson, 1994) This exposé of jockeying for power in a large software company nicely illustrates how organizational mechanisms, in this case the company’s sexual harassment tribunal, can be seized upon by resourceful employees and deployed as weapons against enemies. Demi Moore plays an upwardly mobile executive who uses the tribunal for her advancement. Michael Douglas tries to use it to save his neck. Physical evidence helps one side win, but neither side gives up.

Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2004). A settled community, whether of chickens or humans, has a devil of a time accepting and integrating into itself an outsider, a come-from-away, a new kid on the block. Among humans, hypocritical patronizing of the newcomer easily gives way to undisguised hate. The three hours of watching Nicole Kidman progress from welcome to unwelcome guest pass quickly. A stark, absorbing work by a brilliant Danish filmmaker.

Few Good Men, A (Columbia, Bob Reiner, 1992). The tight ship that spawns a mobbing is in this case on land: the isolated, threatened, groupthink-saturated U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. An undesirable Marine is eliminated with more finality than intended. Two soldiers are on trial for the murder, but their lawyers (Tom Cruise and Demi Moore) hold the commanding officer (Jack Nicholson) responsible.

From Here to Eternity (Columbia, Fred Zinnemann, 1953). In Pearl Harbor just before Japan’s attack, a U.S. army private (Montgomery Clift) is mobbed by fellow soldiers for declining to join his regiment’s boxing team. The captain approves. “if a man don’t go his own way,” Clift’s character insists, “he’s nothin.” The brass eventually bust the captain, but not before loves and lives are lost. Oscars for best picture and best supporting actor (Frank Sinatra), with nominations also for Clift, Burt Lancaster, and Deborah Kerr. Zinneman said his goal was just to tell the truth.

Gaslight (George Cukor, 1944) For reasons of her own, the maid (Angela Lansbury) helps the husband (Charles Boyer) convince the wife (Ingrid Bergman) that she is losing her mind, but the gang in this classic thriller is really just one man. The film’s relevance here is Bergman’s Oscar-winning portrayal of how it feels when just about everybody you interact with tells you you’ve gone mad.

Guilty by Suspicion (Irwin Winkler, 1990). The year is 1952. Filmmaker David Merrill (Robert De Niro) has been reported to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Word has gotten around. The doors on his career are closing fast—all except the exit-door. He has only to purge himself and name his friends. Ruth Merrill (Annette Bening) stands by him. The film builds to a chilling display of the committee’s hysteria in the closing scene.

Human Stain, The (Robert Benton, 2003). Powerful screen adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel, about an aging professor in a New England College (Anthony Hopkins) who is ganged up on by colleagues, charged with racism, and run out of his job. The story appears too bizarre to be believed, except by people with personal experience of life on North American college campuses in the closing decade of the twentieth century.

I Like to Work — Mobbing (Francesca Comencini, 2004; original title is “Mi Piace Lavorare”). Intentional dramatization of workplace mobbing in white-collar bureaucracies, based on cases reported to labour unions in Italy. Nicoletta Braschi plays Anna, a woman humiliated at work and eventually forced to resign. Released in the UK and chosen for the Chicago International Film Festival in late 2004.

Indictment: the McMartin Trial (Abby and Myra Mann, 1991). HBO dramatization of the prosecution, 1983-89, of seven staff members of a California preschool on charges of child sexual abuse. From the longest and costliest trial in U.S. history, no convictions were obtained. This film depicts a terrible evil, and it is not child abuse.

Joan of Arc (Victor Fleming, 1948). Probably still the best film on the Maid of Orleans. Ingrid Bergman’s portrayal of the fifteenth-century peasant girl won her an Oscar nomination. It ably dramatizes the transition from hero to villain, the functioning of tribunals, and the social importance of humiliation. Joan confesses, then recants, much as John Proctor does three centuries later in The Crucible. Rome canonized her in 1920.

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). This film won Maximilian Schell an Oscar. Spencer Tracy also starred. By the time the film begins, six million Jews have been murdered, and there are 30 million war dead. The defeated Nazi leaders have been put on trial. The question is whether the obvious evil in which they have taken part is excused by the legal and political pressures to which they were subject.

Les miserables (Columbia, 1997, Bille August). The third major film version of Victor Hugo’s novel, superseding those of 1935 and 1978. Liam Neeson plays Valjean, an ex-convict in postrevolutionary France who is trying to “become honest and good again.” Police Inspector Javert (Geoffrey Rush), with the law on his side, devotes his life to destroying Valjean. Who does more evil and less good, less evil and more good, Valjean or Javert?

Lord of the Flies (Harry Hook, 1990). An Americanized dramatization of William Golding’s novel about 25 schoolboys lost and on their own on a tropical island after a plane crash. An autocratic leader emerges, using collective anxiety and fear to fuel a panic for bolstering his power. Group cohesion is reinforced by the group’s murder of undesirables.

Lords of Discipline, The (Paramount, Herb Jaffe and Gabriel Katzka 1983). A story not unlike Lord of the Flies, but more formalized. David Keith stars as the friend of a black cadet in a military academy of the American South.

Malena (Giuseppe Tornatore, 2000) Malena (Monica Bellucci) and Nino marry, but then comes World War II, Nino goes off to fight and die, and Malena struggles to survive in her village in Sicily. She is a woman so beautiful as to arouse lust in the men, envy in the women, and gossip among all of them. She eventually becomes what the villagers want her to be, and when the war ends, they join to humiliate her utterly. Malena’s character resembles that of the young widow in Zorba the Greek.

Man for all Seasons, A (Columbia, Fred Zinnemann, 1966). This is the story of Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, who went from hero to villain in the space of six years, for resisting the centralization of power under Henry VIII. More was beheaded for treason in 1535. Rome canonized him exactly 400 years later.

Map of the World, A (1999, stars Signourney Weaver). A city couple with two children move to the country. He farms, she works as a school nurse. A tragic accident leads to her being accused of child sexual abuse, and all the good people of the community join in condemning her. Painful to watch for its realistic portrayal of panic-induced persecution. Film concludes with a poignant moment of human connectedness.

Mean Girls(Mark Waters, 2004). Lindsay Lohan stars as Cady Heron, a girl stepping out of Africa into a clique-laden American high school. Vivid portrayal of peer pressure, the pain of exclusion, and subtle techniques of dominance in the culture of teenaged girls. Humour throughout and a worthwhile moral at the end.

Mean Creek(Jacob Estes, 2004). You’ve seen all the kids in this film in your local corner store. Their performances are amazingly believable. None is an angel. All evoke sympathy, including the bully whom the others decide to teach a lesson. Realistic depiction of the misgivings and reconsiderings that are often part of mob formation. Nobody intends for things to go so far. A beautifully sad film.

Mr. Holland’s Opus(1995). A low-brow version of Dead Poets Society, easier for people of non-elite backgrounds to relate to. The school in this case is public, the students are from the hoi polloi, and the ostensive reason for eliminating an unbureaucratized romantic is budget cuts. The film presents Richard Dreyfuss as a genuinely good music teacher.

Murder on a Sunday Morning (Jean-Savier De Lestrade, 2001; Oscar for best documentary). Positively but mistakenly identified by an eye witness, black teenager Brenton Butler is wrongly charged with the murder of a tourist in Florida. Police and prosecutors are sure of his guilt. Public defender Patrick McGuiness successfully exposes the wrongness of the prosecution’s case. This film by a talented French crew deserved its Academy Award.

Nasty Girl, The (Miramax, Michael Verhoeven, 1990). Lena Stolze plays a precocious girl who becomes the town superstar when she wins an essay prize. Then, as she uses her writing and investigative skills to dig up the town’s Nazi past, she becomes a public enemy. In a threatened group, the line between hero and villain is thin. German with English subtitles.

Odd Girl Out (Tom McLoughlin, 2004). Made-for-TV film adaptation of Rachel Simmons’s perceptive book of the same title, about mobbing among adolescent girls. Alexa Vega stars as a girl so pretty, smart, talented and popular that she arouses in her peers a collective urge to destroy. Painful to watch. Similar to Carrie and Mean Girls (see above) but more truthful and therefore more horrifying, and with the best ending of the three, this film and/or the book belongs in the core curriculum of every high school.

On the Waterfront(Elia Kazan, 1954). In Kazan’s classic, a good man (Marlon Brando), along with the police, courts, organized religion, and a beautiful girl, defeat the mob, represented here by the corrupt leadership of a longeshoremen’s union. This film is valuable for its contrast to The Crucible (see above), based on the play by Arthur Miller (Kazan’s adversary in 1950s US politics), wherein the police, courts, organized religion, and a beautiful girl are themselves the mob, coalescing to defeat a good man.

Pretty Persuasion (Marcos Siega, Skander Halim, 2005). The main mobbers are three teenage girls who target their English teacher with false charges of sexual assault. Evan Rachel Wood gives a believable performance as conscienceless Kimberley, the clique leader. Despite funny moments, this is a basically repulsive portrayal of the duplicitous, narcissistic, hypersexualized culture in which the girls hatch their plot.

Ridicule (PolyGram Video, 1996). In prerevolutionary France, verbal and sexual weapons are deployed to humiliate a witty, civic-minded nobleman (Charles Berling), and expel him from the court of Louis XVI. The ending is happier for him than for the king. Oscar nominee for best foreign-language film. French with English subtitles.

River’s Edge (Tim Hunter, 1987). In a clique of half a dozen teenagers estranged from the adult world, a psychopathic boy murders a girl. The film shows how the group accepts and conceals the crime. Here is groupthink in the extreme, bolstered by mind-altering drugs, and exposed by an adult loner consumed by guilt for a crime of his own. Based on a true story.

Scarlet Letter, The (Roland Jaffe, 1995). Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel shows how identifying somebody as evil and humiliating her serves to purge the prosecutors of their own guilt. It also shows that ritual degradation of a miscreant can strengthen social cohesion just as effectively as putting her to death. This film adaptation has a happier ending than the book. Demi Moore is Hester Prynne.

School Ties (Paramount, Stanley Jaffe and Sherry Lansing, 1992). Brendan Fraser plays a working class Jewish kid enrolled in an elite prep school on a football scholarship. Class, ethnicity and religion make him an outsider. An occasion arises for his classmates to get rid of him.

Stalin (HBO, Ivan Passer, 1992). Robert Duvall plays the dictator in this biography, which shows how his frequent purges of undesirables in the party elite reinforced group solidarity and helped keep him in power. The higher the position of a newly unmasked enemy of the people, the more effectively his elimination encourages conformity. Made for TV, this three-hour film won several Golden Globe awards.

Swept from the Sea (Phoenix Tristar, 1997). Based on Joseph Conrad’s short story, “Amy Foster.” In a Cornish village in the late nineteenth century, the love of two pariahs (Rachel Weisz and Vincent Perez) for each other tempers the pain of exclusion. A physician (Ian McKellen) separates himself from the herd enough to embrace as his brother the stranger who comes from afar. “And bear in mind,” he lectures the eliminators, “as you swill your ale and tell your filthy tales, that to take part in the violence of the mob is as low as a man who calls himself a man can fall.” Yet the physician fails to recognize as his sister the stranger who is native-born. The end celebrates repentance, forgiveness, and hope.

Zorba the Greek (Michael Cacoyannis, 1964). “They all want her and they hate her because they cannot have her” — and so the beautiful young widow is humiliated and eventually put to death. Her spineless English lover dares not intervene, but sends for Zorba (Anthony Quinn), whose attempt at rescue fails. Even beyond the one scene of mob violence, the movie showcases the herd mentality, the power of the group, in a Cretan village. The film won several academy awards.

 Mobbing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Mobbing is a term referring to a type of animal behaviour. A newer use refers to a group behavioural phenomenon in workplaces. In a different sense, it is a criminal offence in Scotland.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Antipredatory behavior

Main article: Mobbing behavior

A longer-established technical use of mobbing is in the study of animal behaviour, especially in ornithology, where it refers to the antipredatory mobbing behavior harassing something that represents a threat to them.

From the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, RSPB, website [1]:

Mobbing is a noisy, obvious form of behaviour that birds engage in to defend themselves or their offspring from predators. When a predator is discovered, the birds start to emit alarm calls and fly at the predator, diverting its attention and harassing it. Sometimes they make physical contact. Mobbing usually starts with just one or two birds, but may attract a large number of birds, often of many species. For example, a chorus of different alarm calls coming from the same tree is often a good sign of a roosting owl or a cat.

Mobbing behaviour has been recorded in a wide range of species, but it is particularly well developed in gulls and terns, while crows are amongst the most frequent mobbers. In addition to flying at the predator and emitting alarm calls, some birds, such as fieldfares and gulls, add to the effectiveness by defaecating or even vomiting on the predator with amazing accuracy…

From the book “Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 2005, page 21″[2]:

“In the sixties, the eminent Austrian ethologist Konrad Lorenz used the English term mobbing to describe the behaviour that animals use to scare away a stronger, preying enemy. A number of weaker individuals crowd together and display attacking behavior, such as geese scaring away a fox.”

[edit] In the workplace

Though the English word mob denotes a crowd, often in a destructive or hostile mood, German, Polish and several other European languages have adopted mobbing as a loanword to describe all forms of bullying including that by single persons. The resultant German verb mobben can also be used for physical attacks, calumny against teachers on the internet and intimidation by superiors, with an emphasis on the victims’ continuous fear rather than the perpetrators’ will to exclude them. The word may thus be a false friend in translation back into English, where mobbing in its primary sense denotes a disorderly gathering by a crowd and in workplace psychology narrowly refers to “ganging up” by others to harass and intimidate an individual.

Research into the phenomenon was pioneered in the 1980s by German-born Swedish scientist Heinz Leymann, who borrowed the term from animal behavior due to it describing perfectly how a group can attack an individual based only the negative covert communications from the group”.[3].

Mobbing is also found in school systems and this too was discovered by Dr. Heinz Leymann. Although he preferred the term bullying in the context of school children, some have come to regard mobbing as a form of group bullying. It is interesting to note that a German born doctor practicing in Sweden chose the English term “Mobbing” to describe this social phenomenon. As professor and practicing psychologist, Dr. Leymann also noted one of the side-effects of Mobbing is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is frequently misdiagnosed. After making this discovery he successfully treated thousands of mobbing victims at his clinic in Sweden.

In the book MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, the authors say that mobbing is typically found in work environments that have poorly organized production and/or working methods and incapable or inattentive management and that mobbing victims are usually “exceptional individuals who demonstrated intelligence, competence, creativity, integrity, accomplishment and dedication”.[4]

UK Anti-bully pioneers Andrea Adams and Tim Field used the expression workplace bullying instead of what Leymann called “mobbing” although workplace bullying nearly always involves mobbing in its other meaning of group bullying.

[edit] Mobbing in Scots law

Under the law of Scotland, mobbing, also known as mobbing and rioting, is the formation of a mob engaged in disorderly and criminal behaviour. The crime occurs when a group combines to the alarm of the public “for an illegal purpose, or in order to carry out a legal purpose by illegal means, e.g. violence or intimidation”.[5] This common purpose distinguishes it from a breach of the peace.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Mobbing Royal Society for Protection of Birds, UK, website
  2. ^ Davenport, Noa, Distler Schwartz, Ruth, Pursell Elliott, Gail, Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 3rd Edition 2005, Civil Society Publishing. Ames, IA, Page 21
  3. ^ [1] Heinz Leyman’s personal website kept live since his death
  4. ^ Davenport, Noa, Distler Schwartz, Ruth, Pursell Elliott, Gail, Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 3rd Edition 2005, Civil Society Publishing. Ames, IA,
  5. ^ Index of legal terms and offences libelled – The National Archives of Scotland

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobbing

Categories: Abuse | Aggression | Interpersonal conflict | Sociology | Injustice | Persecution

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Mob Rule

In departmental disputes, professors can act just like animals

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Colloquy: Read the transcript of a live, online discussion about employee “mobbing” — when faculty members gang up on a colleague — with Kenneth Westhues, a professor of sociology at the University of Waterloo.

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By JOHN GRAVOIS

When songbirds perceive some sign of danger — a roosting owl, a hawk, a neighborhood cat — a group of them will often do something bizarre: fly toward the threat. When they reach the enemy, they will swoop down on it again and again, jeering and making a racket, which draws still more birds to the assault. The birds seldom actually touch their target (though reports from the field have it that some species can defecate or vomit on the predator with “amazing accuracy”). The barrage simply continues until the intruder sulks away. Scientists call this behavior “mobbing.”

The impulse to mob is so strong in some birds that humans have learned to use predators as lures. Birders play recordings of screech owls to attract shy songbirds. In England, an ancient duck-hunting technique involved stationing a trained dog at the edge of a pond: First the dog got the ducks’ attention, and then it fled down the mouth of a giant, narrowing wickerwork trap, with the mob of waterfowl hot in pursuit all the way.

Birds mob for a couple of reasons. One of them is educational: Youngsters learn whom to mob, and whom to fear, by watching others do it. But the more immediate purpose of mobbing is to drive the predator away — or, in the words of the eminent Austrian ethologist Konrad Lorenz, to make “the enemy’s life a burden.”

Sometimes, especially in winter, Kenneth Westhues can hear a flock of crows tormenting a great horned owl outside his study in Waterloo, Ontario. It is a fitting soundtrack for his work. Mr. Westhues has made a career out of the study of mobbing. Since the late 1990s, he has written or edited five volumes on the topic. However, the mobbers that most captivate him are not sparrows, fieldfares, or jackdaws. They are modern-day college professors.

Social Syndrome

In the early 1980s, Heinz Leymann, a German psychologist working in Sweden, was conducting clinical studies of workers who had encountered violence on the job. At the time, plenty of research had already been done on the “mental insufficiency” experienced by soldiers after wartime and the survivors of major industrial disasters. So Leymann set out to study some of the less obvious cases of post-traumatic stress. He carried out longitudinal studies of Stockholm subway drivers who had accidentally run over people with their trains. He studied the psychological effects of robberies on bank tellers. But he stumbled upon an even less obvious group that showed the most surprisingly acute measures of stress. These were people whose colleagues had ganged up on them at work.

Inspired by Lorenz’s writings on animal mobbing, Leymann coined the term “workplace mobbing” to name the phenomenon. He defined it as “an impassioned, collective campaign by co-workers to exclude, punish, and humiliate a targeted worker.”

To flesh out the concept, Leymann drew up a list of 45 mobbing indicators. It amounted to an impressive catalog of bureaucratic nastiness: “You are interrupted constantly”; “you are isolated in a room far from others”; “management gives you no possibility to communicate”; “you are given meaningless work tasks”; “you are given dangerous work tasks”; “you are treated as if you are mentally ill.”

Before his own death in 1999, Leymann estimated that about 12 percent of people who committed suicide in Sweden had been mobbed recently at work. (He figured this out by surveying Lutheran pastors in the diocese of Stockholm, who interview bereaved families about the circumstances leading up to deaths.) Leymann and others who joined the study of mobbing estimated that between 2 percent and 5 percent of workers get mobbed some time in their careers.

Though Leymann is relatively unknown in North America, his research on mobbing has been remarkably influential in Europe. Das mobbing is a household term in Germany. France has even passed anti-mobbing laws.

Original Sin

In the thousands of mobbing case studies that Leymann carried out, universities were among the most highly represented workplaces. Mr. Westhues, a sociologist at the University of Waterloo, is not surprised.

Max Weber, a founding father of modern sociology, saw bureaucracy as the living embodiment of cool, procedural rationality. In Mr. Westhues’s view, mobbing is a pathological undercurrent of irrationality in bureaucracies — a crabby ghost in the machine.

According to Mr. Westhues, mobbing occurs most in institutions where workers have high job security, where there are few objective measures of performance, and where there is frequent tension between loyalty to the institution and loyalty to some higher purpose. In other words, the ghost is alive and well in many academic departments.

Tenure is supposed to protect scholars from outside control, but it does a lousy job of protecting them from one another, Mr. Westhues says.

In the hothouse of a department, disputes can easily cascade from individual disagreement and disapproval to widespread revulsion to a concerted effort to get a colleague removed. “Mobbing is a turning inward,” he says. “People lose a sense of purpose and they’re at one another’s throats.”

The purpose of a university, Mr. Westhues contends, is to maintain a spirit of openness, independence of mind, and civil debate. “A university cannot achieve its purpose as a tight ship,” he says. When a mobbing occurs, that spirit of openness gets strangled by groupthink, bent on someone’s elimination.

The Law of Group Polarization, formulated by Cass R. Sunstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago, says that a bunch of people who agree with each other on some point will, given the chance to get together and talk, come away agreeing more strenuously on a more extreme point. If this tendency has a curdling effect on intellectual debates, it can have a downright menacing effect when the point of agreement is that a particular colleague is a repugnant nutjob.

Calling some departmental mess a mobbing does not imply that the victim is wholly innocent, Mr. Westhues says. But it does imply that the campaign against the target has probably been based on fuzzy and unspecific charges, that it has proceeded with a degree of secrecy, that its timing has been hasty, that its rhetoric has been overheated and overwrought, and that it has been backed by an eerie unanimity.

“One of the most painful experiences in my life,” Mr. Westhues says, “has been to go to dismissal hearings where everybody is sitting around a table as if they were embodiments of pure reason.” What’s really going on in many of those settings, he thinks, is just brutish behavior ratified by procedure.

“What we’ve got to do is cultivate an academic culture that is aware of the tendencies in us, of the herd instincts inside of us,” he says. “We have a tendency, especially us pompous academics, to think we’re above all that.”

With his mobbing research, Mr. Westhues joins a tradition of thinkers who present an account of some deep-seated impulse as a plea for pluralism and restraint. And while he says it is possible to take mobbing seriously without believing we all have those herd instincts, that belief helps.

“I have a friend who says that there’s only two kinds of people in the world,” Mr. Westhues says, “those who believe that there’s original sin and those who don’t.”

“I think probably mobbing research as a whole is more on the side of the original-sin folks,” he says.

Panorama of Targets

Mr. Westhues is a solidly built man, a smoker (Benson & Hedges) whose his natural habitat is corduroy.

In his classes at Waterloo, Mr. Westhues addresses his students as Mr. and Ms. and urges them to address him in kind — not as “Dr. Westhues” and, just as importantly, not as “Ken.” He explains to them that he is not there to lord over them, nor to be their friend (friendship being the flip side of enmity), but to engage with them professionally as fellow citizens in the pursuit of truth.

This is an earnest attempt to foster the kind of atmosphere that Mr. Westhues believes is relatively safe from mobbing — one where there is not too much authority, but also not too much familiarity.

Mr. Westhues conducts his research on mobbing mainly by doing case studies — by studying official documentation of disputes and by interviewing people. By now, he has conducted just under 150 full case studies, but he is contacted all the time by people who believe they have been mobbed. The view he has acquired of higher education is a panorama of the academic down and out.

It includes a professor from South Asia working in Texas who, after years of getting sniped at by his colleagues, was eventually drummed out of his position for careless accounting and unauthorized use of a photocopier. It includes a German-accented professor who so unnerved fellow faculty members that during a tirade against her one of them actually had a seizure. (She was soon after served with a petition demanding her physical removal from the department for charges of “creating a hostile work environment” and “unethical behavior.”)

His view includes a brassy New Yorker working in the Midwest who urged her department to hire a consulting psychologist to help resolve years of infighting, only to have the psychologist report that most of her colleagues blamed her for all the trouble. And every now and then, the panorama includes someone whose story about being mobbed fades into an account of life in a mental institution.

Before settling on life as an academic, Mr. Westhues studied for the priesthood. Though he has long since left the church, there is still something almost pastoral in his demeanor. Often, when he interviews people who believe they have been mobbed, he concludes the meeting by looking fixedly at them with smiling eyes, holding their hand in midshake, and saying something like, “I wish you the ability to put your mind back to your research. Thanks for hanging tough.”

A few times a year, Mr. Westhues embarks on research trips to campuses where he has gotten wind of a mobbing. He sometimes combines his research missions with lectures or panels on mobbing, to bring the idea out into the open. Last month one such trip took him to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, just as spring was showing on the trees.

Pattern Recognition

Like the weather, conflict in a well-functioning academic department comes and goes. “People’s stock rises and falls over time,” Mr. Westhues says. “The different factions in departmental politics rearrange themselves over time. That’s healthy.”

A mobbing, he often says, is like a tornado spun off from a spring rainstorm — a fervent collective assault that escalates from an ordinary conflict.

“What happens in a mobbing is that everybody gets lined up on one side,” he says, “with one or a few targets on the other side who are demonized as being beyond the pale.”

Though no two mobbings are alike, Mr. Westhues often describes a kind of stereotypical pattern for the escalation from storm to full-bore twister.

The first stage of a mobbing, as he outlines it, is a period of increasing social isolation. At this point, if you are the target, you might get left off certain guest lists. Colleagues begin to roll their eyes at you during meetings. You get the sense that more people dislike you than you once thought.

The next stage is one of petty harassment. Your administrative requests are repeatedly delayed or misplaced. Your parking space is moved to the outer reaches of the lot. Your classes or meetings get scheduled at odd times.

Then matters come to a head — to a “critical incident,” as Mr. Westhues calls the third stage. You are accused of making racially or sexually insensitive remarks. A minor charge of plagiarism surfaces against you. A surprise audit shows you have been careless with expense reports. You have an angry outburst in class (perhaps catalyzed by your long walk across the parking lot, your misplaced request, the insanely early/late time of day). A rumor of some impropriety with a student gets traction.

In the eyes of your colleagues, this “critical incident” demands swift administrative action — and many of them may sign a petition saying so. They may say that the incident confirms what they have always suspected about you. What’s more, it makes them wonder aloud what you’re really capable of.

The next stage is one of adjudication. At this point, the mobbing escalates to the administrative level, where it is either legitimized or stopped short. You may be brought before an ethics tribunal, an ad hoc disciplinary committee, or one of academe’s myriad other quasi-judicial bodies. An outside arbitrator may be brought in. Months pass. A decision is handed down.

And then, Mr. Westhues says, chances are, you leave. Whether you win or lose the proceeding, whether you are dismissed or fully reinstated, whether it is due to exhaustion, disgust, illness, or (God forbid) suicide, you cut your losses and get out.

Who Gets Mobbed?

Jerry Becker, a 69-year-old professor of mathematics education at Carbondale, is the son of a Minnesota truck driver and holds a doctorate from Stanford University. He is a workaholic. In 27 years of teaching at Carbondale, he has never taken a sabbatical, he says. By his estimate, he brings in “hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars” in grant money to the university, and often gets the highest marks on performance evaluations.

In November 2003, 15 of Mr. Becker’s colleagues signed a 12-page complaint against him, charging him with bullying, buttonholing professors to talk about union issues, and multiple other offenses, as well as calling him “toxic” to the work environment. They said they wanted him removed “physically and professionally” from their midst. In response, Mr. Becker spent nearly every evening for more than two months writing a point-by-point rebuttal. The rebuttal persuaded the administration to clear him of all charges. However, just a few months later, Mr. Becker’s colleagues submitted yet another complaint, this one containing several charges of sexual harassment. Once again, Mr. Becker successfully rebutted the charges and was exonerated.

But his colleagues still scored a victory: Mr. Becker’s office was moved far away from theirs, to a part of campus where no other professors work.

Essentially, Mr. Westhues says, anything that can be a basis for bickering can be a basis for mobbing: race, sex, political difference, cultural difference, intellectual style. Professors with foreign accents, he says, often get mobbed, as do professors who frequently file grievances and “make noise.” But perhaps the most common single trait of mobbing targets, he says, is that they excel.

“To calculate the odds of your being mobbed,” Mr. Westhues writes in his most comprehensive book on mobbing, The Envy of Excellence: Administrative Mobbing of High-Achieving Professors, “count the ways you show your workmates up: fame, publications, teaching scores, connections, eloquence, wit, writing skills, athletic ability, computer skills, salary, family money, age, class, pedigree, looks, house, clothes, spouse, children, sex appeal. Any one of these will do.”

In April 2005, Mr. Becker and three other professors at Southern Illinois made a presentation to the Board of Trustees on the problem of faculty mobbing.

Mobbing the Mobbers

With a history of consulting for the tobacco industry, a prominent critique of affirmative action to his name, and a poster that says “I Love Capitalism” hanging over his desk, Jonathan J. Bean is not exactly a shy Republican.

A square-jawed, youthful-looking man in his 40s, Mr. Bean is a professor of history at Carbondale. Last April, during a freshman-level American-history course, he gave his teaching assistants a text he wanted them to use in a discussion section on the aftermath of the civil-rights movement. The text came from FrontPage Magazine, the aggressively conservative online publication run by David Horowitz, and it gave an account of a string of black-on-white murders in San Francisco during the 1970s called the Zebra Killings. Its central argument was that cultural taboos on discussing black-on-white racism had made the murders all but vanish from public memory.

Within days, Mr. Bean discovered that the reading had caused a stir among his teaching assistants and among professors in the department. In response, he first issued a rather sarcastic apology impugning the “timidity” of acceptable debate on campus, but soon after wrote a more straightforward “I’m sorry” and canceled the reading assignment.

A few days later, six of Mr. Bean’s colleagues in the history department published an open letter in the campus newspaper.

“Academic responsibility,” they wrote, “demands that professors promote the free exchange of ideas without creating a hostile environment, running the risk of nurturing racist attitudes among their students, and putting their teaching assistants in an untenable position.

“Moreover,” they continued, “it is our academic responsibility as history professors to disassociate ourselves from this irresponsible use of objectionable and inflammatory material.”

Mr. Bean happened to own a copy of Mr. Westhues’s book, Workplace Mobbing in Academe. When he looked at Mr. Westhues’s indicators of a mobbing, he said to himself, “That’s me all over.”

But then something strange happened: People outside the department turned against the letter signers. FrontPage Magazine published a long, vitriolic article on the incident under the headline “Academic Witch-Hunt.” The campus newspaper also published a story that was largely sympathetic to Mr. Bean. “I had two direct ancestors hung as witches at Salem,” Mr. Bean was prominently quoted as saying. “I don’t plan to be the third.” In the same article, another professor was quoted describing Mr. Bean’s troubles as “a classic case of mobbing.”

Before long, the e-mail in boxes of the letter signers were crammed with hate mail.

Not surprisingly, Robbie Lieberman, one of the letter signers, is not a fan of mobbing rhetoric. “I don’t think it’s accidental that it evokes lynch mobs,” says Ms. Lieberman. “Blaming a lynch mob is one thing. Blaming a department for criticizing a colleague is another.”

“Mobbing is such a colorful term that it tends to pre-empt debate,” says Rich Fedder, Ms. Lieberman’s husband and the chairman of the Southern Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. “It plays into an American love of talking about victims.”

Mr. Fedder and Ms. Lieberman do have a point: Leveling the charge of mobbing can be a quick and easy way to seize the moral high ground in a dispute. And while Mr. Westhues does, in fact, see Mr. Bean’s case as a mobbing, he largely agrees with this argument. “There’s a tendency for anybody who wants some leverage in campus politics to say, You know, I’m being mobbed,” he says, “and the whole thing becomes quite meaningless.” This is one reason why Mr. Westhues, unlike many mobbing researchers, is dead set against anti-mobbing legislation.

At his lecture on mobbing in Carbondale, Mr. Westhues told an audience of about 50 people that, in fact, his best hope for his work on mobbing is that it might have an impact on administrators. (The provost of Southern Illinois sat in the back row, scribbling notes.)

Professors seeking to eliminate one of their colleagues cannot get very far without the backing of the administration, he said. And in cases where many professors are pitted against one, administrators’ first instinct will often be to side with the majority.

But because mobbers tend to be so impassioned and sloppy in their reasoning, Mr. Westhues argued, administrators who side with them may suffer for it later. Mr. Westhues’s research provides numerous examples of mobbing victims who have walked away with fat court settlements, and of administrators who have walked away without their jobs.

“Administrators need to know that it’s in their interests to prevent this,” Mr. Westhues said. “They take a big risk when they encourage the mobbing of a professor.”

He said that universities should wean themselves of the quasi-judicial bodies, like ethics committees, that, in his opinion, simply dignify pettiness and give professors a chance to have power over one another. At his own university, he said, after having been the subject of several ethics committee proceedings himself (of course, he has what he considers to be his own history with mobbing), he worked to persuade the Board of Governors to abolish the committee.

He argued that an ethics committee “lets people play judge” and “brings out the worst in good people.” His arguments succeeded. “If you ask me,” Mr. Westhues told the audience in Carbondale, “we’ve been more ethical without the ethics committee.”

Beyond that, Mr. Westhues said, administrators also have more power to halt a mobbing in its tracks.

“You know what stops mobbings?” he asked. “Somebody saying, ‘Cut it out. Enough of this!'”

Two days after his lecture, Mr. Westhues left town, driving East to catch a flight back to Canada out of Evansville, Ind. Several miles outside of Carbondale, in open country, he passed a farm whose fields were littered with 10-foot sheets of corrugated roofing tin. The top half of the farm’s silo had been sheared off and was lying a stone’s throw from its base, and the barn’s wooden gable sat crumpled in the dirt driveway.

A tornado had blown through two weeks before. Elsewhere on the horizon, the landscape was peaceful.

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Mobbing

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Mobbing is a term referring to a type of animal behaviour. A newer use refers to a group behavioural phenomenon in workplaces. In a different sense, it is a criminal offence in Scotland.

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[edit] Antipredatory behavior

Main article: Mobbing behavior

A longer-established technical use of mobbing is in the study of animal behaviour, especially in ornithology, where it refers to the antipredatory mobbing behavior harassing something that represents a threat to them.

From the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, RSPB, website [1]:

Mobbing is a noisy, obvious form of behaviour that birds engage in to defend themselves or their offspring from predators. When a predator is discovered, the birds start to emit alarm calls and fly at the predator, diverting its attention and harassing it. Sometimes they make physical contact. Mobbing usually starts with just one or two birds, but may attract a large number of birds, often of many species. For example, a chorus of different alarm calls coming from the same tree is often a good sign of a roosting owl or a cat.

Mobbing behaviour has been recorded in a wide range of species, but it is particularly well developed in gulls and terns, while crows are amongst the most frequent mobbers. In addition to flying at the predator and emitting alarm calls, some birds, such as fieldfares and gulls, add to the effectiveness by defaecating or even vomiting on the predator with amazing accuracy…

From the book “Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 2005, page 21″[2]:

“In the sixties, the eminent Austrian ethologist Konrad Lorenz used the English term mobbing to describe the behaviour that animals use to scare away a stronger, preying enemy. A number of weaker individuals crowd together and display attacking behavior, such as geese scaring away a fox.”

[edit] In the workplace

Though the English word mob denotes a crowd, often in a destructive or hostile mood, German, Polish and several other European languages have adopted mobbing as a loanword to describe all forms of bullying including that by single persons. The resultant German verb mobben can also be used for physical attacks, calumny against teachers on the internet and intimidation by superiors, with an emphasis on the victims’ continuous fear rather than the perpetrators’ will to exclude them. The word may thus be a false friend in translation back into English, where mobbing in its primary sense denotes a disorderly gathering by a crowd and in workplace psychology narrowly refers to “ganging up” by others to harass and intimidate an individual.

Research into the phenomenon was pioneered in the 1980s by German-born Swedish scientist Heinz Leymann, who borrowed the term from animal behavior due to it describing perfectly how a group can attack an individual based only the negative covert communications from the group”.[3].

Mobbing is also found in school systems and this too was discovered by Dr. Heinz Leymann. Although he preferred the term bullying in the context of school children, some have come to regard mobbing as a form of group bullying. It is interesting to note that a German born doctor practicing in Sweden chose the English term “Mobbing” to describe this social phenomenon. As professor and practicing psychologist, Dr. Leymann also noted one of the side-effects of Mobbing is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is frequently misdiagnosed. After making this discovery he successfully treated thousands of mobbing victims at his clinic in Sweden.

In the book MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, the authors say that mobbing is typically found in work environments that have poorly organized production and/or working methods and incapable or inattentive management and that mobbing victims are usually “exceptional individuals who demonstrated intelligence, competence, creativity, integrity, accomplishment and dedication”.[4]

UK Anti-bully pioneers Andrea Adams and Tim Field used the expression workplace bullying instead of what Leymann called “mobbing” although workplace bullying nearly always involves mobbing in its other meaning of group bullying.

[edit] Mobbing in Scots law

Under the law of Scotland, mobbing, also known as mobbing and rioting, is the formation of a mob engaged in disorderly and criminal behaviour. The crime occurs when a group combines to the alarm of the public “for an illegal purpose, or in order to carry out a legal purpose by illegal means, e.g. violence or intimidation”.[5] This common purpose distinguishes it from a breach of the peace.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Mobbing Royal Society for Protection of Birds, UK, website
  2. ^ Davenport, Noa, Distler Schwartz, Ruth, Pursell Elliott, Gail, Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 3rd Edition 2005, Civil Society Publishing. Ames, IA, Page 21
  3. ^ [1] Heinz Leyman’s personal website kept live since his death
  4. ^ Davenport, Noa, Distler Schwartz, Ruth, Pursell Elliott, Gail, Mobbing, Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, 3rd Edition 2005, Civil Society Publishing. Ames, IA,
  5. ^ Index of legal terms and offences libelled – The National Archives of Scotland

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobbing

Categories: Abuse | Aggression | Interpersonal conflict | Sociology | Injustice | Persecution

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Ochlocracy

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“Angry mob” redirects here. For the Kaiser Chiefs’ song, see The Angry Mob.

Ochlocracy (Greek: οχλοκρατία or okhlokratía; Latin: ochlocratia) is government by mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities. In English, the word mobocracy is sometimes used as a synonym. As a pejorative for majoritarianism, it’s akin to the Latin phrase mobile vulgus meaning “the easily moveable crowd,” from which the term “mob” originally derives.[1]

As a term in civics it implies that there is no formal authority whatsoever, not even a commonly-accepted view of anarchism, and so disputes are raised, contended and closed by brute forcemight makes right, but only in a very local and temporary way, as another mob or another mood might just as easily sway a decision. It is often associated with demagoguery and the rule of passion over reason.

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[edit] Terminology

The term appears to have been coined by Polybius in his Histories (6.4.6).[2] He uses it to name the ‘pathological’ version of popular rule in opposition to the ‘good’ version, which he refers to as democracy. There are numerous mentions of the word “ochlos” in the Talmud (where “ochlos” refers to anything from “mob,” “populace” to “armed guard”), as well as in Rashi, a Jewish commentary on the Bible. The word is recorded in English since 1584, derived from the French ochlocratie (1568), which stems from the original Greek okhlokratia, from okhlos “mob” and kratos “rule, power, strength”

In ancient Greek political thought ochlocracy was considered as one of the three “bad” forms of government (tyranny, oligarchy and ochlocracy) as opposed to the three “good” forms of government (monarchy, aristocracy and democracy). The distinction between “good” and “bad” was made according to whether the government form would act in the interest of the whole community (“good”) or special interests (“bad”).

An ochlocrat is one who is an advocate or partisan of ochlocracy. It can also be used as an adjective (ochlocratic or ochlocratical).

Whether or not the decisions enforced by a mob are good or bad is another matter entirely. The threat of mob rule (not unlike the term tyranny of the majority) is often invoked -often rhetorically- against a democracy by those who oppose its majoritary decisions, sometimes fearing oppression of the needs or freedoms of minorities if democratic government is not efficiently restrained by protections given to individuals under the rule of law, sometimes concerned that demagogery may manipulate the mob and force popular currents of thought onto minority groups without respect for their or the individual’s rights. There are also some who wish to see more power assigned to a certain ruling minority.

A mob, however massive, and regardless of claims to speak for ‘the people’, may or may not be representative of the (often silent) majority in a large society (which usually practices indirect democracy). It may be composed of a specific segment of the population interested in a specific issue, and drawn from a limited geographical space or it may be a representative popular majority.

[edit] Mobs in history

Historians often comment on mob rule as a factor in the rise of Rome and its maintenance, as the city of Rome itself was large − between 100,000 and 250,000 citizens − while the aristocracy and even military was very small by comparison to the citizenry. With weapons also being crude, the military force did not exist that could have dealt with a revolt from the larger populace. There was a constant need to keep people fed, distracted, and in awe of the power of the state. Those who could do this, ruled not only Rome, but the whole of the Roman Empire.

Lapses in this control often led to loss of power, or even the loss of heads, of officials − most notably in the reign of Commodus when Cleander unwisely used the Praetorian Guard against a mob which had come to call for his head. As Edward Gibbon relates it,

The people… demanded with angry clamors the head of the public enemy. Cleander, who commanded the Praetorian Guards, ordered a body of cavalry to sally forth and disperse the seditious multitude. The multitude fled with precipitation towards the city; several were slain, and many more were trampled to death; but when the cavalry entered the streets their pursuit was checked by a shower of stones and darts from the roofs and windows of the houses. The foot guards, who had long been jealous of the prerogatives and insolence of the Praetorian cavalry, embraced the party of the people. The tumult became a regular engagement and threatened a general massacre. The Praetorians at length gave way, oppressed with numbers; and the tide of popular fury returned with redoubled violence against the gates of the palace, where Commodus lay dissolved in luxury and alone unconscious of the civil war… Commodus started from his dream of pleasure and commanded that the head of Cleander should be thrown out to the people. The desired spectacle instantly appeased the tumult…

This followed a previous incident in which the legions of Britain had demanded and received the death of Perennis, the prior administrator. The mob thus realized that it had every chance of success.

[edit] Mobs used to affect policy

During the French Revolution, the mobs in Paris played a similar function, but were more carefully manipulated by political leaders who sensed that they had the power to dispose of monarchy entirely, as they did, eventually setting up a representative democracy (which in turn fell to Napoleon‘s model of semi-constitutional monarchy).

The modern theories of civil disobedience and satyagraha bear some resemblance to mob rule and its mechanics. Certainly it is quite frightening for large numbers of people, even peaceful ones, to be marching and shouting common demands, if one is charged with the uncomfortable task of refusing them. If Roman guards, facing crucifixion for disobedience, could be swayed by mobs, it is obviously possible also to sway modern police even in a police state. The 1986 EDSA Revolution in the Philippines, the Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia, and the resistance to the attempted military coup in the Soviet Union in 1991 that led to the collapse of that state, are situations where it is possible that it was the “mob” which won the day due to defections by authority.[citation needed]

[edit] Other mobs

The term “mob” is also sometimes used to describe organized crime. Since it is relatively simple for the criminal element to exploit public strife, for example by looting, or grabbing power by means of fraud, there is some resonance in that “mob rule” can be described as having power held by those people who exploit or create mobs by leading them into violence.

In certain places with a dubious record of representative democracy, physical control of polling stations is a form of mob rule that determines who wins: whoever can bring out more supporters to keep the opposing political party out, wins. Political privacy is very often nonexistent in this kind of condition, so retribution against defectors is easy.

[edit] See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ochlocracy

[edit] References

  1. ^ “Mob”. Answers.com. http://www.answers.com/mob. Retrieved on 2008-11-01.
  2. ^ “Polybius, Histories, The Rotation of Polities”. www.perseus.tufts.edu. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text.jsp?doc=Plb.+6.4&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0234. Retrieved on 2008-03-29.
  • Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (under pseudonym Francis Stuart Campbell), The Menace of the Herd, The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, 1943. (Note where the term “ochlocracy” is used throughout the book.)
  • Chana Shaffer, outline of presentation on ochlacracies for political science society in Touro College. Available on the Touro website www.touro.edu.)
  • EtymologyOnLine
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The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

The Definition of Mobbing at Workplaces

© Heinz Leymann – 12100e
Psychological terror or mobbing in working life involves hostile and unethical communication which is directed in a systematic manner by one or more individuals, mainly toward one individual, who, due to mobbing, is pushed into a helpless and defenseless position and held there by means of continuingmobbing activities. These actions occur on a very frequent basis (statistical definition: at least once a week) and over a long period of time (statistical definition: at least six months´ duration). Because of the high frequency and long duration of hostile behavior, this maltreatment results in considerable mental, psychosomatic and social misery.

Thus, the definition does not focus too much on the activities themselves, but rather on the heavy mental strain. The origin of this focus on psychological situations in the workplace is found in medical stress research: The researcher attempts to reveal, when a workplace stressor is likely to injure the individual, causing him or her to go on sick leave. The empirical research on mobbing in the workplace has revealed psychosocial stressors that cause extreme impact on the health of the victim, as can be observed by studying the course-of-mobbing sequences.

The definition excludes temporary conflicts and focuses on the breaking point where the psychosocial situation begins to result in psychiatrically or psychosomatically pathological conditions. In other words, the distinction between “conflict” and “mobbing”, to emphasize the concept again, does not focus on what is done or how it is done, but rather on the frequency and duration of whatever is done. This also underlines the fact that basic research carried out in Sweden (Leymann, 1990b, or 1992a, or 1992b; but also Leymann & Tallgren, 1989) has medical research concepts to lean on. Basically, it is a line of research focusing on somatic or mental stress: how intense does mobbing have to be in order to result in mental or psychosomatic illness? The research pursued has mainly focused on the mental and physical stress. The reader must keep in mind, that I do not dealprimarily with psychological behavioral research but rather with research concerning mental and psychosomatic stress of a certain type in the workplace, its results, its pathological conditions and the sick leave that it causes. The scientific definition of the term mobbing thus refers to a social interaction, through which one individual (seldom more than one) is attacked by one or more (seldom more than four) individuals on almost a daily basis and for periods of many months, forcing the person into an almost helpless position with a potentially high risk of expulsion. See also the LIPT-questionnaire (LIPT = Leymann Inventory of Psychological Terrorization) and information about the LIPT-manual.

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The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

Psychological terrorization – the problem of terminology

© Heinz Leymann – file 11130e

Corrected Sue Baxter

Different research groups have chosen – in the English language – different terminology regarding destructive activities at workplaces, in schools among schoolchildren or in military organizations regarding drafted young people. In England and Australia the word “bullying” is preferred for this kind of behavior in all three of these societal settings. In the USA and Europe “bullying” is used regarding school situations and “mobbing” regarding the workplace. Beside of this, certain other terminology exists: Harassment, psychological terrorization, horizontal violence or just conflict.

To my knowledge, the present discussion between these research groups focus onto a win-or-lose position as every research group advocates the use of the terminus they once have chosen for their research. This is quite understandable, as much effort is put into the introduction of new research areas by using just these words to establish the research line. The fight therefore is about not to need to start to use another words as the previous one has been used for decades. My believe is, that a switch to “united” terminology, therefore, will do more harm to the different research areas than it will provide “clarity”.

The most intense discussion is between two research groups, those who study violence between schoolchildren at school (the first publication about “bullying” came in the early 70´s in Scandinavia) and those who study violence between employees at workplaces (the first publications about “mobbing” came in the early 80s, also in Scandinavia). These two research groups attracted colleagues in different countries for cooperation. Soon scholars in England, Australia and Japan cooperated with the original research group in Norway to investigate “bullying” at schools, while scholars in Germany, France, Italy, Hungary, USA and Australia cooperated with the original research group in Sweden to study “mobbing” at work places. At present, the discussion is about whether to chose an unifying terminology for both of these areas, e. g. either “bullying” or “mobbing” or if a third term should be chosen, e. g. “horizontal violence” or “psychological harassment” or “psychological terrorization”.

The discussion between these research groups is understandable as very much, too much effort has been invested during the decades in order to shape and form the research area. The discussion, therefore, does really not meet logical qualities at the moment as scholars are afraid to loose these intellectual investments, which of course would be a problem for many scholars. But let us study what the two most used words “mobbing” and “bullying” are use for. The connotation of bullying is both physical and psychological aggression and threat. In fact, bullying at school is very often strongly characterized by physically aggressive acts. In dictionaries, the physical part in the activity of “bullying” is always noted.

Otherwise with “mobbing” at workplaces. The behavior there, as much as it is a disastrous communication, certainly does not have this noted characteristics of “bullying”, but quite often is done in a very sensitive manner, still having highly stigmatizing effects. In fact, physical violence is extremely seldom, if ever, found in “mobbing behavior” at work. Rather, “mobbing” is characterized by much more sophisticated behaviors. The term “bullying” would here certainly not match the behavior that can be observed.

A comparison of these two research areas exposes, in fact, quite different groups of hostile behavior. My opinion is, that these two research areas should use different terminology because of these very reasons, whatever terminology may be chosen. It would be very confusing to let “mobbing” or “bullying” be the chosen general term as these words really describe quite different social behaviors. My suggestion is, that we in the future talk about “bullying” at schools and “mobbing” at workplaces.

Certain scholars have preferred still other terminology, par example “horizontal violence”. I don’t see any need to interfere with a scholar’s choice of terminology. Sometimes certain qualities in the studied object need to be focused on and another terminology has to be used. Those scholars certainly would know by themselves whether to offer a reference to either mobbing or bullying or not.

Summary: I suggest keeping the word bullying for activities between children and teenagers at school and reserving the word mobbing for adult behavior at workplaces. I also suggested to point out, in articles and books, what other terminology is been used in related research areas in order to serve the reader.

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The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

A Selection of English Literature on Mobbing

with short presentations

© Heinz Leymann – file 61100e

http://www.Leymann.se

 

Adams, Andrea. (1992): Bullying at work. How to confront and overcome it. London: Virago Press.

The late Mrs. Adams is a British journalist, who since the end of the 80ies discussed mobbing/bullying in the workplace in newspapers and television. In England, it was she who brought this subject into the conscience of the nation.

Adams, Andrea. (1992): Holding out against workplace harassment and bullying. Personnel Management 1992/Oct.

Adams, Andrea. (1992): The Standard Guide to confronting bullying at work. Nursing Standard. 7:10. 44-46.

Bachrach, P. & Baratz. M. 1962: The two faces of power. American Political Science review 56: 947-52.

The authors are scholars of political science and have researched in the structure and distribution of power at a macrosociological level in societies. The book is quite a milestone in this area. The empirical background to the book is the civil rights movement in the USA of the 60s. This line of thinking is of interest in our mobbing research, as it brings political avoidance behavior and structure into the open. These avoidance techniques can also be observed in the course of mobbing.

AFS (1993): Victimization at work. Vol. 17. Stockholm: Arbetarskyddsstyrelsen.

This is the Swedish national act against mobbing in the workplace.

Babiak, Paul. 1995: When Psychopaths go to Work: A Case Study of an Industrial Psychopath. Applied Psychology: An International Review. 44(2). 171-188.

An article that describes research on psychopatology in workplaces by means of an interesting case study.

Björkqvist, Kaj & Niemelä, Pirkko. 1992: New Trends in the Study of Female Aggression. In Björkqvist & Niemelä (Eds.): Of Mice and Women. Aspects of Female Aggression. Dan Diego: Academic Press.

Professor Björkqvist of the Åbo Akademi in Finland is internationally well known for his research on aggression. In this book he describes different aggressive behavior that occurs between men and between women, in whom he found remarkable differences.

Björkqvist, Kaj et al. 1992: The Development of Direct and Indirect Aggressive Strategies in Males and Females. In Björkqvist & Niemelä (Eds.): Of Mice and Women. Aspects of Female Aggression. Dan Diego: Academic Press.

Björkqvist, Kaj. et al. (1992): Do girls manipulate and boys fight? Developmental trends in regard to direct and indirect aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 18, 117-27.

Björkqvist, Kaj. et al. (1994): Aggression among University employees. Aggressive Behavior, 20, 173-184.

This article discusses empirical research, in terms of mobbing behavior, done by the Åbo Akademi.

Bray, Frank. (1992): A local authority approach to harassment. Personnel Management 1992/Oct.

Brodsky, C. M. (1976): The harassed worker. Lexington: Lexington Books.

This was the first book ever to deal with mobbing/harassment in the workplace. In 1976, unfortunately, the author was not yet able to differ between what today is called mobbing and other topics, such as industrial accidents, stress due to heavy work loads, chemical pollution in the workplace etc. The author looked at the stressed worker as being a victim of his own powerlessness. Because of poor discrimination between workplace problems of various sorts, this book never made any impression. Nevertheless, this is the first time that some mobbing cases were published.

DeWaal, Frans. (1992): Peacemaking among primates. London: Penguin Books.

A very good popular scientific overview of the research on primates. The book presents very interesting notions on social connections between primates of different gender and on social manipulation. This very central social behavior shows, that the equivalent of the human beings should be regarded of being some millions year old, e. g. also mobbing behavior.

DSM: Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

One of the two official manuals on psychiatric diagnoses, published by the American Society. The other manual, the ICD-10, is published by the World Health Organization.

Einarsen, Stale. & Skogstad, A. (1996): Prevalence and risk groups of bullying and harassment at work. . In: Zapf & Leymann (Eds.): Mobbing and Victimization at Work . A Special Issue of The European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2/1996.

An over view of the Norwegian mobbing research.

Goleman, Daniel. (1996): Emotional Intelligence – Why it Can Matter More than IQ. London: Bloomsbury.

To the scholar of mobbing behavior and its mental effects on the victim, this is one of the more important books. It gives a splendid description of the brain activities that leads to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Groeblinghoff, Dieter. & Becker, Michael. (1996): A case study: Diagnosing the Mobbing Victim. In: Zapf & Leymann (Eds.): Mobbing and Victimization at Work . A Special Issue of The European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2.

A description of the work of Dr. Becker in Germany, together with whom I developed new treatment programs especially designed for victims of mobbing.

Jones, Edvard E. (1984): Social stigma – The psychology of marked relationships. New York: W. H. Freeman.

Still, according to my view, the best informative book on stigmatization.

Karasek, Robert. & Theorell, Töres. (1990): Healthy work: Stress, productivity and the reconstruction of working life. New York: Basic Book.

In my view, this is also still the best scientific overview of the research on work and health. It presents psychological, social and medical research on stress, that shows, that management should recognize the biological and mental limits of the human being, when organizing production and administration. It also shows, that humans have potential, that is – on the other hand – rarely used in the Western industrial world. The problem today is personnel management and leadership that too often treats the human being with disrespect and as being merely a production factor, thereby completely failing to stimulate creativity, motivation and learning skills.

Kaucsek, György. & Simon, Peter. (1995): Psychoterror and risk-management in Hungary. A paper presented at the 7th European Congress of Work and Organizational Psychology, Györ, Hungary.

The first report on mobbing at workplaces in Hungary.

Kolb, D. M. & Bartunek, J. M. (1992): Hidden conflicts in organizations. Newbury Park: Sage.

Conflict research by an American feminist that opens up a very interesting line of thinking.

Lazarus, Richard S. (1966): Psychological stress and the coping process. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Still the standard reading on stress psychology

Lazarus, Richard S. & Folkman, Susan. (1984): Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Lennane, K. Jean. 1993: “Whistleblowing”: a health issue. BMJ 307. 667-670.

Whistleblowing is one of the behaviors that may provoke a mobbing procedure into starting. Most research in this area is being done in Australia. This article gives a good overview.

Leymann, Heinz. (1990): Mobbing and psychological terror at workplaces. Violence and Victims, 5. (2).

The first publication in the USA on mobbing.

Leymann, Heinz. (1993): The Silencing of a Skilled Technician. Stockholm: Working Environment. pg 28-30. (Description of a Swedish case).

A mobbing case description.

Leymann, Heinz. (1996): The Content and Development of Mobbing at Work. In: Zapf & Leymann (Eds.): Mobbing and Victimization at Work . A Special Issue of The European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2.

The leading article in the first English book on mobbing and European mobbing research.

Leymann, Heinz & Kornbluh Hy. (1989): Socialization and Learning at Work. A new approach to the Learning Process in the Workplace and Society. Aldershot Hants: Gower Publishing Avebury.

ãLearningÒ is most often regarded as being a process that brings about a positive outcome in terms of better knowledge, which is good for the learner as well as for society. In this book, learning is treated neutrally: By living, the human being undergoes experiences, some of them being of a social nature. Thus, the human being learns how to survive and how to fit in. Learning in organizations is not only a way towards knowledge it is also “goodÒ and “usefulÒ for the organization. Some of our experiences in organizations teach us how not to be exposed, how not to come into dangerous positions, for example by offering new ideas that may upset management. Human beings “socializeÒ within their own life space. What they socialize into, depends very often on what the circumstances in life, for example in the workplace, have to offer. Some people learn social survival techniques that are quite harmful to organizations. By taking into account human learning processes and offering healthy organizational circumstances, management may can secure engaged and motivated employees.

Leymann, Heinz. & Gustafsson, Anneli.(1996): How ill does one become of victimization at work? In: Zapf & Leymann (Eds.): Mobbing and Victimization at Work . A Special Issue of The European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2.

Statistics on mobbing victims who are in-patients at a Swedish clinic.

Leymann, Heinz & Tallgren, Ulf. (in print): Investigation into the frequency of adult mobbing in a Swedish steel company using the LIPT questionnaire.

This is worldwide the very first mobbing investigation ever in a company – SSAB, the biggest Swedish steel company.

McCarthy, Paul. et al (1995): Managerial styles and their effects on employees health and well-being. Brisbane: School of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management.

An Australian study of the connection between leadership styles in organizations and the health of employees in these organizations.

McCarthy, Paul; Sheehan, Michael & Wilkie, William (Ed.). (1996): Bullying – from backyard to boardroom. Alexandria: Millenium Books.

Fourteen articles from Australia on mobbing/bullying and whistleblowing processes.

Niedl, Klaus. (1996): Mobbing and well-being: Economic and personnel development implications. . In: Zapf & Leymann (Eds.): Mobbing and Victimization at Work . A Special Issue of The European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2.

A short English version of the authors´ doctoral dissertation on mobbing (this was the first dissertation on mobbing processes ever).

Olweus, Dan. (1993): Bullying at school. What we know and what we can do. Oxford: Blackwell.

The autho, whor is Swedish, holds a professorship in Norway. He is the leading world expert on children’s bullying at school.

Toohey, John. (1991): Occupational stress. Managing a metaphor. Sydney: Macquarie University.

A doctoral dissertation that focuses on a sociomedical problem in Australia. The author discusses the misuse of the term “stressÒ as a medical diagnosis, which devertes the attention towards the health of the employee and away from the sources of organizational stress: poor organization of production and administration, and bad treatment of the individual as an employee.

Vartia, Maarit. (1996): The sources of mobbing – work-related factors and leadership behavior. In: Zapf & Leymann (Eds.): Mobbing and Victimization at Work . A Special Issue of The European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2/1996.

An overview of the Finnish research on mobbing in the workplace.

Walton, Richard E. (1969): Interpersonal peacemaking: Confrontations and third party consultation. Reading: Addison- Wesley.

This is the first book on the solving of conflicts by a “third-partyÒ involvement. The social techniques of this method were derived from concepts investigated mainly in California, USA, during the early 60s in the area of family therapy.

Zapf, Dieter, Knorz, Carmen. & Kulla, M. (1996): On the relationship between Mobbing Factors and Job Content, Social Work environment and Health Outcomes. In: Zapf & Leymann (Eds.): Mobbing and Victimization at Work . A Special Issue of The European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2.

Zapf, Dieter & Leymann, Heinz (Ed., 1996): Mobbing and Victimization at Work. A Special Issue of The European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2. (Inhalt: Eine auktoritative Übersicht über die interantionale Mobbingforschung.)

An-over view of the German mobbing research.

 

 

 

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German literature

Swedish literature

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Literature in different languages

The Mobbing Encyclopaedia

Bullying; Whistleblowing

Some Historical Notes:

Research and the Term Mobbing

© Heinz Leymann – file 11120e

Corrected Sue Baxter

Mobbing is a word not previously used in this context in the English language. It was used by the late Konrad Lorenz, an ethologist, in describing animal group behavior. He termed the attacks from a group of smaller animals threatening a single larger animal “mobbing” (Lorenz, 1991). Later, a Swedish physician who happened to become interested in what children could do to each other between their class hours, borrowed this terminology from Lorenz and called the very destructive behavior in small groups of children directed against (most often) a single child, “mobbing” (Heinemann, 1972). The present research on this type of child behavior has been carried out over the past 20 years, one of the most prominent researchers being the Norwegian Dan Olweus (e. g. 1993).

Following this tradition, 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.

Regarding mobbing at work places, a first publication in 1976 referred to “the harassed worker” (Brodsky, 1976). In that book, for the first time, typical cases of (what I later called) mobbing can be studied. Nevertheless, Brodsky was not directly interested in analyzing just these cases as they were presented along with cases of work place accidents, physiological stress and exhaustion by long work hours, monotonous work tasks, etc. This book focused on the hard life of the simple worker and his situation, nowadays known by stress research. Because of it´s socio-medical engagement and a poor discrimination between ever so different stress situations at work places, the book, written under the influence of the social and political left wing climate of the late sixties and early seventies, had no influence at all on society. The Swedish research in the early eighties came about without knowledge of Brodskys work. The reason was instead a new work environment law in Sweden from 1976 and a national research fund, offering great possibilities to enter into new research areas within industrial psychology.

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