Managing bullying and harassment in the workplace
When most of us hear the term ‘bullying’ we seem to reflect back on childhood memories of the schoolyard bully tormenting others for self-amusement, much to the distain of others around them. Unfortunately this seems not to be the only time such behaviour occurs. Workplace bullying and harassment can be defined as ‘Offending, socially excluding someone or negatively affecting someone’s work tasks. It can occur repeatedly and regularly over a period of time where the confronted ends up in an inferior position and becomes the target of systematic negative social acts’ (Einarsen et al, 2007). This essay will explain the significance of bullying and harassment in the workplace by exploring, with the use of current literature, the forms of bullying and harassment, how they differ and the costs of this behaviour to a diverse workplace physically, psychologically and financially. This information can be used to inform management how to best mitigate the damage of bullying and harassment in the workplace and extinguish behaviours that can damage the culture of the organisation Bullying and harassment has become a sad reality in a large majority of workplaces. It is estimated that one-fifth of all employees have experienced bullying and harassment (Crawford, 2005). Forms of bullying and harassment for many years have been through face-to-face communication. However, the increased use of the internet has seen more instances of cyber-bullying and harassment through the use of emails, text messages and social networking sites (Query & Hanley, 2010). Bullying and harassment in itself are quite different in nature. Bullying is decribed as being ‘Almost exclusively psychological that tends to be targeted at anyone who is competent, popular and vulnerable’ (Query & Hanley, 2010). Although bullies are deeply prejudiced, diversity based on sex or race is generally unnoticed, mainly discriminating on the basis of competence....
References: CIPD 2006, Bullying at Work beyond Policies to a Culture of Respect, CIPD, viewed 24 August 2010.
Crawford, N, 2005, ‘Organisational Responses to Workplace Bullying’, Building a Culture of Respect: Managing Bullying at Work, pp.21-31, EBSCOhost, viewed 26 August 2010
Dawn, J., Cowie, H., & Anandiou, K., 2007, ‘Perceptions and experience of workplace bullying in five different working populations’, Aggressive Behaviour, pp.489-496, EBSCOhost, viewed 30 August 2010
Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D.,& Cooper, C.L.,2007, ‘Bullying and emotional abuse in the workplace’, International perspectives in research and practice, 34(2), pp. 16-27, EBSCOhost, viewed 26 August 2010
Pate, J.,& Beaumont, P., 2009, ‘Bullying and Harassment: a case of success?’, Bullying and harassment, September 2009, pp.171-183, EBSCOhost, viewed 25 August 2010
Poilpot-Rocaboy, G., 2007, ‘Bullying in the Workplace: A Proposed Model for Understanding the Psychological Harassment Process’, Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 14(2), pp.1-17, EBSCOhost, viewed 2 September 2010
Query T., & Hanley G., 2010, ‘Recognizing and Managing Risks Associated with Workplace Bullying’, CPCU Journal, July 2010, pp. 1-6, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 August 2010.
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