PHOENIX--Kimberly Underwood, Ph.D., MBA, chair, Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Research (CWDIR) with the University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies, joined the proceedings of the JFF Horizons conference on June 7-8, 2022, in New Orleans, LA. Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit driving transformation in the American workforce and education systems, earlier this year announced a partnership with University of Phoenix Career Institute® to support Black learners and workers in building professional social capital to advance their careers.
Workplace Bullying and Mobbing
Workplace Bullying and Mobbing
Workplace bullying and mobbing are global issues and complex worldwide problems (Horvat & Pagon, 2012; Carnero, Martinez, & Sanchez-Mangas, 2012). No uniform definition exists for bullying (Branch, Ramsay, & Barker, 2013), but many researchers explain bullying as violence where the abuser is on the organizational payroll (Indvik & Johnson, 2012). Studies showed that approximately 37% of the United Stated workforce reported being bullied at the workplace (Indvik & Johnson; Lovell & Lee, 2011).
Human beings have the animalistic roots (Arnautovic, 2013). Human race could be characterized by animal instincts (Arnautovic). Animals use mobbing to preserve a species, and humans use mobbing to retain power (Arnautovic). Scientists warned the community about neglected or tolerated mobbing and bullying. Mobbing and bullying could be harmful for victims and for the entire working environment (Arnautovic).
Bullying and mobbing at workplace have an impact on employees’ health and well-being (Glaso & Notelaers, 2012; Lovell & Lee, 2011). Bullying and mobbing are the most stressful events (Jenkins, 2011). Emotional abuse, social undermining, bias, and aggression at the workplace could present serious consequences for victims and organizations (Jenkins). The organizational status of the perpetrator plays a role in a target’s perception of the severity of bullying. Bullying may cause potential psychological injury to a target (Jenkins).
Mobbing does not happen overnight (Constantinescu, 2014). Four stages of the gradual evolution of mobbing were identified by Constantinescu. The first stage manifests through differences in opinion and competitiveness. Healthy competitiveness is beneficial for an organization (Constantinescu). In the second stage, the situations trigger occurrences of mobbing. Management has to be involved in the third stage of mobbing. A victim is often removed from the workplace in the final stage (Constantinescu). The third and the fourth stages usually do not happen at all, since a victim is removed or legal actions might take place (Constantinescu).
Workplace bullying is complex because victims often do not fall into a protected class or category. Namie (2003) pointed out that not all employers offer counseling to complainants who experienced psychological damage and reported bullying. Civil rights laws protect workers from discriminatory mistreatment, but there is no federal law yet that can protect people from bullying and mobbing at workplace (Namie). Employers do not face sanctions for ignoring bullying at workplace (Namie).
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Carnero, M. A., Martinez, B., & Sa’nchez-Mangas, R. (2012). Mobbing and workers’ health:
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