Workplace bullying is a widespread issue in which people need to be educated on in order to put an end to it. Its causes are complex and multi-faceted and yet preventable. Workplace bullying puts unnecessary strain on the employees It is the employer and organizations responsibility to provide a bully free environment for their employees. Employees should have the right to feel safe in their work environment and be free from workplace bullying. Employers need to be held accountable and have a plan in place to protect the employees from this type of violence. Unfortunately that is not always the case, in some instances the employer is the one doing the bullying. Workplace bullying carries many definitions in which will be discussed in greater detail further within this paper. To better understand and help prevent workplace bullying one must have a clear understanding of the causes as well as what can be done to both stop and prevent bullying. This paper is intended to provide a broad array of information in order to provoke more interest into this serious issue.
Defining Workplace Bullying
Workplace bullying has many definitions. Some define it as repeated, health harming mistreatment of one or more persons by one or more persons that can include verbal abuse, offensive conduct, and work interference (Workplace Bullying Institute, n.d.). Others define it as a repeated, unreasonable action of an individual and or a group that is directed towards an employee (s) which is intended to intimidate, degrade, humiliate or undermine (Sharp, 2011). While there are many other definitions, they all tend to have a few key elements in common. These key elements are: workplace bullying is a workplace conflict, it is enduring and repetitive in nature, it is inappropriate and possibly aggressive, and bullying results in a level of physical and or psychological distress (Gregor, 2004).
Causes of Workplace Bullying
As stated above, the causes of workplace bullying are complex and multi-faceted. Research has shown that stress within the workplace and exposure to bullying is two causes of workplace bullying (Hauge, Skogstad, Anders, & Einarsen, 2009). There is a higher proportion of bullying in any size organization when there is a culture that does not promote social and human values (Baillien, Neyens, & Dewitte, 2011). Other common causes are emphasizing a competitive work environment by managers, also setting unreasonable demands, and goals and lack of authority from management, these factors can all lead to bullying within the workplace (Alsever, 2008). “There is good research available to suggest that strongly hierarchical or feudal organizations are more likely to have an inherent structure which invites, tolerates and supports bullying behaviors” (McCulloch, 2010). These are just a few examples of the many causes of workplace bullying.
Prevention of Workplace Bullying
Employees should have the right to feel safe in their...