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date: 25 February 2024

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplacelocked

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplacelocked

  • Ståle Valvatne EinarsenStåle Valvatne EinarsenUniversity of Bergen
  •  and Kari Wik ÅgotnesKari Wik ÅgotnesUniversity of Bergen

Summary

Workplace bullying and harassment is prevalent in contemporary workplaces with detrimental negative outcomes for targets as well as for bystanders and the organization itself. At any one time, some 3%–20% of the working population is targeted, suffering reduced motivation and productivity, severe mental and physical health problems, and a risk of exclusion from the organization and even working life altogether. Bullying and harassment is about the systematic and ongoing mistreatment of an employee by other organization members, mostly of a psychological and social nature and often involving a gradually escalating process that may end in severe victimization of those targeted if not properly managed and handled in its early phases. In early phases, by some denoted incivility, the behaviors involved are often subtle, indirect, and discrete, while in later phases they become ever more prevalent and direct—even involving threats and open verbal abuse. Bullying may involve work-related behaviors creating a difficult and even dangerous working situation for the target, personally demeaning behavior, acts of social exclusion and non-inclusion, and physically intimidation behaviors. Hence, bullying comes in many shades and forms, as well as at many levels of intensity. Although risk factors and antecedents of this complex problem may be found on many levels, factors in the immediate working environment and the design and management of work are particularly important. Furthermore, bullying is particularly prevalent in working environments characterized by a hostile working climate and in organizations where such behaviors are permitted or even rewarded.

Subjects

  • Organizational and Institutional Psychology
  • Social Psychology

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