Bullying in the Workplace, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Introduction

The concept of ‘bullying’ can take on a number of different forms from that of bullying at school, bullying in the workplace, cyber bullying etc.  A bully is essentially someone who tries to enforce his / her will over another person by means of coercion.  This can be by means of intimidation, threat or even physical violence.  People engaging this activity often have psychological issues i.e. control freak, loss of self-esteem, inferiority complex, troubled home life etc.  This paper examines the motivation factors of bullying in the workplace  and what causes people to respond in this way. (Healthforce Ontario, 2011).

Workplace Bullying

Surveys carried out in the USA during 2010 illustrated that over 53 million Americans or some 35% of the workplace have been victims of bullying.  It has been nicknamed as the ‘silent epidemic’ and considered to be more of an issue than that of illegal harassment. (Doolittle, J. 2012).  Early forms of bullying often start in childhood at school days.  Some people have attributed bullying as a part of a child’s natural development. Nevertheless, this is not the case for the victims who can be terrified, feel unsafe and end up being socially insecure. The child bullies often carry these tendencies into adulthood and as such this makes them more prone to criminal behaviour and developing predatory tendencies.

Bullying starting at school can also impact the victim’s ability to learn and places them under conditions of stress that lead towards illness and more time off school.  This often transcends into adulthood and the workplace. Overall this can lead to serious psychological concerns for the victim and in worst case scenarios can lead to suicidal tendencies of the victims.  (Pellegrine, A.D. 2002).

Bullying From the Boss

The film Disclosure, starring Demi Moore and Michael Douglas illustrates how a boss can bully a worker who they have power over.  There are many instances in US employment where bosses are seen to threaten and intimidate employees.  The bullying boss is one that essentially harasses you to the point of impacting both your health and well-being.  Victims have a tendency not to say anything about such events and feel embarrassed. Hence this is often unreported to Human Resources. Another factor is fear and the feeling that the retribution will be worse than the bullying if it goes reported.  This makes it difficult for remedial action to take place.  Another issue relates to the management style of the bully; on the one hand you could argue that the Manager is being assertive in getting the job done,  hence the boss is either demanding or trying to be a perfectionist.  Certain industry types adopt a tough stance and advocate for this management style, hence it can blur the true realities of the situation.  (Petrecca, L. 2012).

Profile of the Bully

In general terms such a person tends to have low self-esteem, has poor communication skills and incapable of resolving problems or taking decisions.  In addition, there are cases where this takes on more of a psychological profile and involves such attributes as sadism, racism and intimidation.  This is often to hide personal insecurities and weaknesses.  Repeated patterns illustrate the bully may be in need of medical psychological attention. (Healthforce Ontario, 2011)

Conclusion

There is adequate legal protection to provide you from this behaviour at work and all instances of bullying should be reported to the Personnel or Human Resources Manager.  This in not just for your protection but also more vulnerable staff where the consequences might become more serious.

References

Doolittle, J. (2012, 10 5). Workplace Bullying: US Employers progress on this epidemic problem. Retrieved from Employment Practice Solution: http://www.epspros.com/NewsResources/Newsletters?find=12205

Healthforce Ontario. (2011). Bullying in the workplace: A handbook for the workplace. Toronto ON: Healthforce Ontario.

Pellegrine, A. (2002). Bullying, victimization and sexual harrasment during transition to middle school. Educational Psychologist Vol 37(3), 151-163.

Petrecca, L. (2012, 10 6). Bullying by the boss is common but hard to fix. Retrieved from USA Today: http://workplacebullyting.org/2010/12/28/usa-today/

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