Mobbing Experiences of Instructors: Causes, Results, and Solution Suggestions*

By Celep, Cevat; Konakli, Tugba | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, Winter 2013 | Go to article overview

Mobbing Experiences of Instructors: Causes, Results, and Solution Suggestions*


Celep, Cevat, Konakli, Tugba, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


Abstract

In this study, it was aimed to investigate possible mobbing problems in universities, their causes and results, and to attract attention to precautions that can be taken. Phenomenology as one of the qualitative research methods was used in the study. Sample group of the study was selected through the criteria sampling method and eight instructors with a title of professors, associate and assistant professors and assistants were included. Data were obtained through semi-structured interviews. Study results indicated that instructors were exposed to attacks related to their job performances, communications and relationships with their colleagues, characteristic features and values, threatening and violent behaviors and it was established that various features of the instructors mobbing and being exposed to it and organizational factors led up to the mobbing. It was observed that mobbing affected victims psychologically, physically, and economically and posed problems in terms of job performances and family life. The views on preventing mobbing were examined within the frame of ethics institutions, rectorship election system, authority of rectorship, and training of instructors.

Key Words

Mobbing, University, Instructor, Preventing Mobbing

The pleasure one gets from his job enables him to be happy in his family life and productive in work life (Örücü, Yumuþak, & Bozkýr, 2006, p. 39). Workplace environment is a social place where organization members influence one another and it is possible to have conflicts in such an environment (Asunakutlu & Safran, 2006; Baltaþ, 2006). Mobbing, which is defined as discomforting, galling and adverse beaviours directed systematically at one individual by one or more individuals in the workplace (Cowie, Naylor, Rivers, Smith, & Pereira, 2002, p. 34; Einarsen & Skogstad, 1996, p. 20; Leyman, 1990, p. 120; Rayner, 1997, p. 199) is prevalent in health, education and defense oriented organizations (Bartlett, 2009; Fariaa, Franklin, Mixon, & Salterc, 2012; Farrington, 2010; Leyman, 1996; Twale & De Luca, 2008; Westhues, 2004). Research in Turkey revealed that individuals are exposed to mobbing in primary and secondary education institutions (Cemaloðlu & Ertürk, 2007; Gökçe, 2006; Tanhan & Çam, 2011), higher education institutions (Aktop, 2006; Gül, Ýnce, & Özcan, 2011; Tigrel & Kokalan, 2009; Tüzel, 2009; Yaman, 2007), banking sector (Kök, 2006), health and tourism industry (Picakciefe, Acar, Çolak, & Kýlýç, 2012; Þenturan & Mankan, 2009; Tengilimoðlu & Mansur, 2009). In addition to these studies, some instances of mobbing and following legal attempts are reflected in the press (Öztürk, 2012; Tasçilar, 2012; Tahincioglu, 2012).

Universities have a highly complex structure thanks to their internal and external stakeholders, the nature of decision making mechanisms and their being open systems (Birnbaum, 1988; Sporn, 1996) and this complex structure could lead up to mobbing (Farrington, 2010). Research carried out in universities revealed that mobbing could be triggered by individual rivalry, jealousy towards the accomplishments of colleagues, differences of status and roles at the workplace (Björkqvist, Österman, & Hjelt-Bäck, 1994; Thomas, 2005; Vartia, 1996), the need of managers to prove their power over others (Hartig & Frosch, 2006; McKay, Huberman, Fratzl, & Thomas, 2008), and the organization culture that tolerates mobbing (Baillien, Neyens, Witte, & Cuyper, 2009; Vega & Comer 2005). The main sources of conflicts indicated by university staffare the opressive management (Yaman, 2007), hierarchical segregation (Kesken & Iliç, 2008; Özdemir, Yüksel, & Cemaloglu, 2006), the weakness of democratic management and arbitrary management practices (Dost & Cenkseven, 2007). This leads to mobbing and causes the staff's leaving the university (Ari, 2007; Küçüksüleymanoglu, 2007).

Individuals who are exposed to mobbing suffer from stress caused by high blood pressure, coronary disorders, depression and obsessive behaviors (Gardner & Johnson, 2001; Moayed, Shell, & Salem, 2007; Tuckey, Dollard, Saebel, & Berry, 2009). …

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