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

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

19

Bullying from a risk management perspective

Anne Spurgeon


Introduction

During the last decade bullying has become the legitimate concern of a number of different professional groups involved in the welfare of people at work. One such profession is that of occupational health, comprising in particular occupational health nurses and physicians, but also a range of other specialist practitioners with expertise in health and safety management.

In the past, occupational health professionals have been concerned primarily with ensuring that workers are protected from harmful exposure to a range of physical, chemical and biological hazards which might be encountered in the workplace. With modern reductions in occupational disease, however, the focus has shifted from these more traditional concerns towards problems which may involve a range of psychosocial as well as physical determinants (Crawford and Bolas, 1996; Spurgeon et al., 1997; Devereux et al., 1999). Improvements in physical conditions at work, as well as in society as a whole, have meant that health expectations have risen beyond those which consist simply of an absence of disease. Instead there is now more frequent expression of the need for a more general sense of 'well-being', a concept which recognises both the psychological and physical components of health.

The role of the occupational health professional has thus become much wider than hitherto, and certainly now encompasses a remit to tackle problems which come under the broad heading of 'occupationally-related stress'. Included in this would be issues relating to various types of harassment.

Given their increasing involvement in this field, it is important to recognise the particular perspective which occupational health practitioners bring to psychosocial issues in general, and the problem of workplace bullying in particular. Modern health and safety practice, both in occupational settings and in the wider community environment, is carried out within a well-defined framework known as risk management, of which risk assessment is an essential component (Rampal and Sadhra, 1999). This approach has been applied successfully over many years to a wide

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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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