University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
International interest in workplace bullying has flourished, particularly over the latter part of the past decade. Concerned community groups, government agencies, and workplaces have tried to discern how best to manage it; research indicates that the problem is complex and widespread. The first text on workplace bullying, The Harassed Worker (Brodsky, 1976), described both the work situations of workers who sought compensation for ill treatment at work and the adverse effects of their work. Almost a decade later, in 1984, Scandinavian researchers Leymann and Gustavsson (1996) described mobbing as a serious work problem, but their research was not published in English at that time. The Scandinavian and European researchers published a series of papers on the topic of workplace bullying in English in 1996 for the first time. In their editorial, Zapf and Leymann (1996) referred to the different terminology used to describe the same phenomenon: harassment, mobbing, and workplace bullying. The latter term is used throughout this chapter.
Establishing an operational definition of workplace bullying is an issue of discussion in Australia (Victorian WorkCover Authority, 2001). The Queensland Work-
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Publication information: Book title: Handbook of Conflict Management. Contributors: William J. Pammer Jr. - Editor, Jerri Killian - Editor. Publisher: Marcel Dekker. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 149.
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