A New Milestone of Human Resource Management – Mobbing in a Continuously Changing Work Environment

By Dragomir, Oana Maria | Economics, Management and Financial Markets, September 2018 | Go to article overview

A New Milestone of Human Resource Management – Mobbing in a Continuously Changing Work Environment


Dragomir, Oana Maria, Economics, Management and Financial Markets


1.Introduction

Since the first use of the term mobbing, given by professor Heinz Leymann more than two decades ago, and referred to it as being an act of harassment and rights infringement of people at their workplaces (bullying referring to more threatening and aggressive behaviours), few were the researches undertaken regarding the difference between the mobbing and bullying and what their effects are on the long run.

There was not much concern and it was not extended to the point where some actual management programs would allow the diminishing of this type of behaviour. Unfortunately, due to the lack of clear definitions or legal attributes, mostly around European countries, we are still facing a lot of actions that can be categorised as mobbing/ bullying.

As studies show, the new century's illnesses are not considered to be those of lethal viruses but those who will affect the mind and soul of people and which are more likely to be as incurable as the old ones. Those are considered to be the nerves and mental illnesses such as: stress, depression, stroke, anxiety, diabetes, various addictions and so on.

Considering stress, we must underline that Hans Selye won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1964 for describing the best, in just one word, the main illness of today's workplaces: stress. In other words, some decades after, mobbing is just a more detailed term that emphasises what has been also a concern times ago - a multiplied state of stress.

2.Mobbing - Factors and Consequences

Explaining it, mobbing represents a variety of collective stressors appointed towards a co-worker. The actions undertaken may vary from one person to another, but the idea of showing who possesses the power and who is the victim is always very clear. Some would say that the modern societies and the impact of new technologies would make mobbing fade away, but the reality is that the phenomenon increases more and more mostly because people loose the sense of security in their every day life. And instead of the instability given by the target position, they would rather become hunters; in a metaphorical way almost every time and sometimes without being aware, just following others or just doing what they are expected to do just to fit in. According to Leymann, mobbing is not just about every day quarrels, disputes, frictions, ironic remarks, sarcasm, mocking and so on, but is about doing these over and over, repeatedly, so that they would have a result, eventually becoming disturbing, painful and even destructive.

Mobbing, in its various manifestations: obstructing freedom of expression, isolation, disdain facing other colleagues, disregarding one's work and even health compromising actions, has some starting points and even follows a process that will have some results in the end. The initial and final phases of the process (the installation of mobbing and the isolation or removal of the target) are not as important as the intermediate phase where the management intervention is vital. Most of the times, the managers of all levels pay more attention to undertaking so called motivational and personnel development programs for employees, totally disregarding the fact that there may be people that could not follow all the agenda just because they are too frightened or uncertain of the results. …

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