Workplace Bullying: Symptoms and Solutions

Workplace Bullying: Symptoms and Solutions

Workplace Bullying: Symptoms and Solutions

Workplace Bullying: Symptoms and Solutions


Is bullying really that bad? Why do some people just watch it happening? How do you know if it is bullying or strong management? What kind of leaders are able to create positive working environments?

The effects of bullying on organisations and individuals can be devastating and can adversely affect both the workers themselves and the productivity of the organisation that they work for. This book explores the impact of bullying from the perspective of both the employee and the organisation in which they work. In addition to describing the negative outcome of bullying, Workplace Bullying also looks at ways to promote resilience and the opportunity for growth and learning to take place.

Divided into four sections, this book covers:

  • the impact and symptoms of workplace bullying
  • individual interventions
  • organisational interventions
  • underlying causes and future considerations.

Workplace Bullying is essential reading for anyone with responsibility to help and support workers involved in bullying as a victim, supporter, or investigator. It offers organisations a chance to create an environment that will not only build a more resilient workforce, providing appropriate and effective interventions, but also provides solutions that will lead to the possibility of individual and organisational growth and development.


Noreen Tehrani

Human beings have the potential to abuse one another with physical violence, verbal abuse, threats of violence, back-stabbing, undermining and a range of other bad behaviours. History is littered with examples of the individual and group cruelty meted out on unfortunate victims by victorious armies, vicious leaders, violent masters and vindictive family members. However, attitudes and responses to these behaviours are strongly influenced by the culture, social climate and meaning of the behaviour to the target. In this chapter we look at the names that people have used to describe negative interpersonal behaviours, the history and development of the construct of bullying in the workplace, the features of individual, group and organisational bullying and ways to differentiate between healthy conflict, strong management and workplace bullying.

What’s in a name?

‘When I use a word,’ said Humpty Dumpty in a rather scornful tone,
‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’

(Carroll, 1998)

Harmful interpersonal behaviours have largely been defined by people who perceive themselves as targets or victims of this behaviour. Adjectives such as abused, victimised, coerced, harassed, terrorised, mobbed, undermined and bullied are everyday descriptions of how these negative behaviours are experienced by victims. The phenomenon of workplace abuse has been give a number of names. Generally these negative behaviours are divided into two groups: (a) harassment for . . .

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