Bullying and Emotional Abuse in the Workplace: International Perspectives in Research and Practice

By Ståle Einarsen; Helge Hoel et al. | Go to book overview

17

To prevent and overcome undesirable interaction

A systematic approach model

Adrienne B. Hubert


Introduction

Since 1994 employers in The Netherlands have been legally obliged through the Working Conditions Act to protect their employees from sexual harassment and (psychological) aggression at the workplace and their negative consequences. Several kinds of undesirable behaviour are covered by this legislation, for example sexual harassment, mobbing/bullying, racism, and aggression from clients, patients and the public towards employees. In 1996 I started the first scientific research on mobbing in The Netherlands at the University of Leiden. The taboo on mobbing being broken, there appeared to be a great need for information on this subject by journalists, victims of mobbing and, somewhat later, by Dutch companies and Occupational Health Services (OHS). In 1999 the Working Conditions Act was changed and now obliged employers to establish a policy concerning sexual harassment and (psychological) aggression. That year I started a company on applied research and consultancy regarding issues such as mobbing, conflicts and undesirable behaviour. On the basis of scientific research, I provide information to organisations and professionals involved with mobbing, discussing the way mobbing is being dealt with at the time.

In order to conform to the legislation, Dutch organisations took several measures. One-third of all organisations (34 per cent), for example, appointed one or more employees as confidential counsellors, where victims of sexual harassment (and evermore frequently of mobbing) could seek support and guidance. Seventeen per cent of Dutch organisations have a grievance committee and have a complaints procedure for sexual harassment established (Soethout and Sloep, 2000). In 2000, my own company, Hubert Consult, together with Research voor Beleid (a Dutch institute for applied research) was invited to participate in a study at the request of the Dutch Federation of trade unionism (FNV). The main questions in the study were how undesirable behaviour in organisations should be tackled and managed, and what the specific responsibilities of the various professional disciplines involved should

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Bullying and Emotional Abuse in the Workplace: International Perspectives in Research and Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Part 1 - The Problem 1
  • 1 - The European Tradition 3
  • 2 - American Perspectives on Workplace Bullying 31
  • 3 - Basic Facts and an Effective Intervention Programme 62
  • 4 - What is Sexual Harassment? 79
  • Part 2 - The Evidence 101
  • 5 - Introduction 103
  • 6 - Introduction 127
  • 7 - Introduction 145
  • Part 3 - Explaining the Problem 163
  • 8 - Victims and Perpetrators 165
  • 9 - A Social Interactionist Perspective 185
  • 10 - Introduction 203
  • 11 - Why Should We Listen to Employee Accounts? 219
  • 12 - A Postmodern Experience 231
  • 13 - Development, Implementation and Monitoring 247
  • 14 - Introduction 259
  • 15 - Introduction 270
  • 16 - The Role of Occupational Health Services 285
  • 17 - A Systematic Approach Model 299
  • 18 - The Example of South Africa 312
  • 19 - Introduction 327
  • 20 - Introduction 339
  • 21 - Introduction 359
  • 22 - A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing? 370
  • 23 - The Collective Dimension 383
  • 24 - Towards a Transnational Consensus? 399
  • 25 - The Way Forward 412
  • Subject Index 417
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