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Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Conflict Escalation and the Management of Workplace Bullying Dieter Zapf Universidad del Pais Vasco Cursos de Verano San.

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Presentation on theme: "Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Conflict Escalation and the Management of Workplace Bullying Dieter Zapf Universidad del Pais Vasco Cursos de Verano San."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Conflict Escalation and the Management of Workplace Bullying Dieter Zapf Universidad del Pais Vasco Cursos de Verano San Sebastian June 2013 Dieter Zapf

2 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Content 1.The Problem of Early Intervention 2.Trust and the Importance of Success Stories 3.Formal and Informal Procedures Dieter Zapf 2

3 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 1. The Problem of Early Intervention Dieter Zapf 3 Early intervention is complicated because there is no unique definition of bullying

4 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 4 Definition of Mobbing/Bullying Mobbing/Bullying at work means  harassing, offending, socially excluding someone or negatively affecting someone's work tasks. In order for the label bullying (or mobbing) to be applied to a particular activity, interaction or process it  has to occur repeatedly and  regularly (e.g. weekly) and  over a period of time (e.g. at least six months).  Bullying is an escalating process in the course of which the person confronted ends up in an inferior position and  becomes the target of systematic negative social acts.  A conflict cannot be called bullying if the incident is an isolated event  or if two parties of approximately equal ‘strength’ are in conflict (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf & Cooper, 2003, p.15). Dieter Zapf

5 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 55 Severe and Less Severe Bullying Nielsen, Mathiesen & Einarsen (2009) Nielsen, Notelaars & Einarsen (2011) Zapf, Escartín, Einarsen, Hoel & Vartia (2011) Results based on a meta-analysis Behavioural experience method Administering a questionnaire; response to items: e.g. happens at least once a week, and for at least 6 months mean prevalence rate: 4.5% bullying 10% without specific criteria Self-labelling method„Victim“ 1)Self-labelling without definition (e.g., Have you been bullied during the last 6 months?) mean prevalence rate: 19.8% bullying Severe Bullying Less Severe Bullying included Dieter Zapf

6 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 66 Severe and Less Severe Bullying Nielsen, Mathiesen & Einarsen (2009) Nielsen, Notelaars & Einarsen (2011) Zapf, Escartín, Einarsen, Hoel & Vartia (2011) Results based on a meta-analysis Behavioural experience method Administering a questionnaire; response to items: e.g. happens at least once a week, and for at least 6 months mean prevalence rate: 4.5% bullying Self-labelling method„Victim“ 1)Self-labelling without definition (e.g., Have you been bullied during the last 6 months?) mean prevalence rate: 19.8% bullying Severe Bullying Less Severe Bullying included Dieter Zapf Some definitions address severe bullying, others also include less severe forms These results suggest that lay people will quite frequently call a situation bullying which is not according to most scientific definitions Supported by qualitative study of Saam (2010) carried out in Germany who interviewed bullying counsellors Bullying management systems have to deal with this issue

7 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 7 From Zapf & Gross (2001). European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Rationality & Severing Aggression & Control Relationships Destruction Glasl‘s (1982) Model of Conflict Escalation Dieter Zapf

8 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 8 Severe and less Severe Bullying Restrictive definition  Prolonged harassment  at least 6 months,  at least once a week  self-labelling  Systematically aimed at a particular person  Powerlessness – Inferior position Wider definition  repeated harassment No definition  Use of a negative behaviour scale without a cut off point Or  Question: “Have you been bullied?” Dieter Zapf

9 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit The Problem with Early Intervention Several speakers have emphasised that that bullying procedure should be initiated as early as possible What is an early stage? Bullying as an escalated conflict is by definition not in an early stage On the other hand: people will come up with complaints that are personal conflicts rather than bullying conflicts. Dieter Zapf 9

10 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 10 Conflict Behaviour of Bullying Victims Qualitative Study From Zapf & Gross (2001). European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology refers to individuals' attempts to raise the alarm within the organization or air grievance Doing nothing with regard to the conflict but actively demon- strating one's commit- ment points to removal or withdrawal of commitment person decides to leave the organization Dieter Zapf

11 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 11 From Zapf & Gross (2001). European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology refers to individuals' attempts to raise the alarm within the organization or air grievance Doing nothing with regard to the conflict but actively demon- strating one's commit- ment points to removal or withdrawal of commitment person decides to leave the organization Conflict Behaviour of Bullying Victims Qualitative Study Bullying/Mobbing can be characterised as a series of failed conflict management trials There are no simple solutions! Early intervention is more easily said than done Rather a bullying procedure will likely be started when other conflict management trials have failed Keeping a neutral position may be a challenge for the people who manage the bullying procedure Dieter Zapf

12 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 2. Trust and the Importance of Success Stories Dieter Zapf 12 What we know from research on organizational change and development

13 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Interventions – What we Know from Organisational Development OD Research Evidence based knowledge from Organisational Development Research (e.g., Porras & Robertson, 1992; French & Bell, 1973; see Mikkelsen et al., 2008). What is important? 1.Participation in the development and introduction of an intervention. Participation increases knowledge about the measure and commitment to use it 2.Support of top management. If the CEOs do not take the intervention serious, then nobody else will develop trust in the intervention 3.Implementation: Make sure that everybody knows about the measure and that everybody can fulfil his or her role 4.Success story. This will increase trust into the procedures and will encourage people to use it 5.Sustainability (Semmer, 2006): The effects of efforts to introduce an intervention will not last for ever Dieter Zapf 13

14 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Interventions – What we Know from Organisational Development OD Research Evidence based knowledge from Organisational Development Research (e.g., Porras & Robertson, 1992; French & Bell, 1973; see Mikkelsen et al., 2008 ) 1.Participation in the development and introduction of an intervention. Participation increases knowledge about the measure and commitment to use it 2.Support of top management. If the CEOs do not take the intervention serious, then nobody else will develop trust in the intervention 3.Implementation: Make sure that everybody knows about the measure and that everybody can fulfil his or her role 4.Success story. This will increase trust into the procedures and will encourage people to use it 5.Sustainability (Semmer, 2006): The effects of efforts to introduce an intervention will not last for ever Dieter Zapf 14 Mentioned in most bullying procedures

15 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Interventions – What we Know from Organisational Development OD Research Evidence based knowledge from Organisational Development Research (e.g., Porras & Robertson, 1992; French & Bell, 1973; see Mikkelsen et al., 2011 ) 1.Participation in the development and introduction of an intervention. Participation increases knowledge about the measure and commitment to use it 2.Support of top management. If the CEOs do not take the intervention serious, then nobody else will develop trust in the intervention 3.Implementation: Make sure that everybody knows about the measure and that everybody can fulfil his or her role 4.Success story. This will increase trust into the procedures and will encourage people to use it 5.Sustainability (Semmer, 2006): The effects of efforts to introduce an intervention will not last for ever Dieter Zapf 15 Also mentioned in most bullying procedures However difficulties reported by several speakers

16 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Interventions – What we Know from Organisational Development OD Research Evidence based knowledge from Organisational Development Research (e.g., Porras & Robertson, 1992; French & Bell, 1973; see Mikkelsen et al., 2008 ) 1.Participation in the development and introduction of an intervention. Participation increases knowledge about the measure and commitment to use it 2.Support of top management. If the CEOs do not take the intervention serious, then nobody else will develop trust in the intervention 3.Implementation: Make sure that everybody knows about the measure and that everybody can fulfil his or her role 4.Success story. This will increase trust into the procedures and will encourage people to use it 5.Sustainability (Semmer, 2006): The effects of efforts to introduce an intervention will not last for ever Dieter Zapf 16 Also mentioned in most bullying procedures; also the need to inform everybody; However difficult in practice An or otherwise distributed information is not enough

17 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Interventions – What we Know from Organisational Development OD Research Evidence based knowledge from Organisational Development Research (e.g., Porras & Robertson, 1992; French & Bell, 1973; see Mikkelsen et al., 2008 ) 1.Participation in the development and introduction of an intervention. Participation increases knowledge about the measure and commitment to use it 2.Support of top management. If the CEOs do not take the intervention serious, then nobody else will develop trust in the intervention 3.Implementation: Make sure that everybody knows about the measure and that everybody can fulfil his or her role 4.Success story. This will increase trust into the procedures and will encourage people to use it 5.Sustainability (Semmer, 2006): The effects of efforts to introduce an intervention will not last for ever Dieter Zapf 17 Also mentioned in most bullying procedures; also the need to inform everybody; However difficult in practice An or otherwise distributed information is not enough Note: Many interventions fail not because they were badly developed, but rather because they were badly implemented!

18 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Interventions – What we Know from Organisational Development OD Research Evidence based knowledge from Organisational Development Research (e.g., Porras & Robertson, 1992; French & Bell, 1973; see Mikkelsen et al., 2008 ) 1.Participation in the development and introduction of an intervention. Participation increases knowledge about the measure and commitment to use it 2.Support of top management. If the CEOs do not take the intervention serious, then nobody else will develop trust in the intervention 3.Implementation: Make sure that everybody knows about the measure and that everybody can fulfil his or her role 4.Success story. This will increase trust into the procedures and will encourage people to use it 5.Sustainability (Semmer, 2006): The effects of efforts to introduce an intervention will not last for ever Dieter Zapf 18 Not mentioned There are organizations with anti- bullying procedures, but nobody knows of a successful case No trust into the procedure will be developed Clashes with the idea of confidentiality

19 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Evaluation of an Antibullying Policy The Study of Judy Pate and Phillip Beaumont (2010) 1.Support of top management. A new CEO arrived in a company with a high bullying prevalence rate. Tackling the bullying problem became a key initiative 2.Success story. Reported incidents of bullying were pursued and resulted in the dismissal of a number of employees, some of them holding senior positions 3.Implementation: Compulsory training programme for all employees 4.Participation 5.Sustainability Result: “I feel bullying is a problem within the organisation” Before intervention: 52% agreed (T-test, t=6.10, p<.001) After the intervention: 22% agreed Dieter Zapf 19

20 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Interventions – What we Know from Organisational Development OD Research Evidence based knowledge from Organisational Development Research (e.g., Porras & Robertson, 1992; French & Bell, 1973; see Mikkelsen et al., 2011 ) 1.Participation in the development and introduction of an intervention. Participation increases knowledge about the measure and commitment to use it 2.Support of top management. If the CEOs do not take the intervention serious, then nobody else will develop trust in the intervention 3.Implementation: Make sure that everybody knows about the measure and that everybody can fulfil his or her role 4.Success story. This will increase trust into the procedures and will encourage people to use it 5.Sustainability (Semmer, 2006): The effects of efforts to introduce an intervention will not last for ever Dieter Zapf 20 Often underestimated Measures have to be repeated

21 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 3. Formal and Informal Procedures Dieter Zapf 21

22 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Formal and Informal Procedures The procedures suggested to address bullying in the workplace are formal procedures. Results are suggested to be binding for the parties involved Therefore: Disciplinary acts may follow as a result of a case This is a serious thing! Informal procedures are mentioned. I found it only elaborated in the Irish Code of Practice I will contrast the formal bullying procedure with a bullying psychotherapy program Dieter Zapf 22

23 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Tertiary Prevention & Treatment Therapeutic Treatment of Bullying Schwickerath & Zapf (2011) Basic Approach: Cognitive Behaviour+Research Findings on TherapyWorkplace Bullying The setting: 6 weeks stay in the psychosomatic hospital Paid by the patient‘s health insurance Group therapy: 12 patients, by 2 therapists but also Individual therapy sessions A variety of other treatments (sports, relaxation, ergotherapy, etc.) Dieter Zapf 23

24 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Therapeutic Treatment of Bullying Establishing distance Understanding Decision- taking Taking action Therapeutic approach based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (cf. the phase model of F. Kanfer, Reinecker & Schmelzer, 2006) Schwickerath & Zapf (2011) Dieter Zapf 24

25 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Therapeutic Treatment of Bullying Establishing distance Understanding Decision- taking Taking action Therapeutic approach based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (cf. the phase model of F. Kanfer, Reinecker & Schmelzer, 2006)  Establish distance to the bullying situation: Reception in the clinic: Spatial separation;  Emotional stabilization  Development of a working collaboration for the therapy  Delivery of information about bullying Schwickerath & Zapf (2011) Dieter Zapf 25

26 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Therapeutic Treatment of Bullying Establishing distance Understanding Decision- taking Taking action Therapeutic approach based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (cf. the phase model of F. Kanfer, Reinecker & Schmelzer, 2006)  Elaboration of a dysfunctional model to understand the bullying situation  The dysfunctional model comprises the specific behaviours of bullies and victims and the factors that adhere to the bullying behaviours Schwickerath & Zapf (2011) Dieter Zapf 26

27 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Therapeutic Treatment of Bullying Establishing distance Understanding Decision- taking Taking action Therapeutic approach based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (cf. the phase model of F. Kanfer, Reinecker & Schmelzer, 2006)  Change of perspective: What do I expect from the rest of my life?  Clarification of the patient’s future professional direction  return to the workplace  transfer within organisation  turnover  retirement  … Schwickerath & Zapf (2011) Dieter Zapf 27

28 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Therapeutic Treatment of Bullying Establishing distance Understanding Decision- taking Taking action Therapeutic approach based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (cf. the phase model of F. Kanfer, Reinecker & Schmelzer, 2006) Learn to put decision into practice  Learn strategies of distancing  Develop problem solving competencies  Coping with stress  Encouragement of assertive communication  Conflict management strategies  Strengthening self confidence and assertiveness Schwickerath & Zapf (2011) Dieter Zapf 28

29 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Evaluation Study: Different Groups of Bullying Victims at T3 (1 year after treatment) N = 55 Schwickerath & Zapf (2011) Dieter Zapf 29

30 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Conclusion Targets are often psychologically in a bad shape. They may feel they cannot stand a confrontation with the perpetrator (in the therapy one goal is to regain resources) Even if a formal bullying procedure is intended to be fair with regard to both sides and even if it intends to support the target if necessary, the target cannot be sure whether this will be so. Therefore, submitting a bullying complaint is a risky endeavour from the victim’s perspective Dieter Zapf 30

31 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Conclusion Because of these reasons, only later in the therapy process a decision is made what the target wants to do: Should I stay in the same organisation or should I leave? Will there be a way of living with the perpetrator or will it be impossible to repair the psychological harm done? Should I use formal or legal means and act against the perpetrator? Will I be able to live with the outcome of these procedures? Can I be sure that I will not be bullied even more afterwards? In practice the difficulty of this decision is often not taken seriously enough Instead, victims are pressured to use formal or legal means Dieter Zapf 31

32 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Conclusion In every organisation there is a strong need for informal procedures Trained counsellor who Is independent. That is, he or she is not obliged to report to the management, HR, workers representatives etc. Listens to the victim will do nothing if the victim wishes so Tries to help the victim to come up with a decision what to do start a mediation process Submit a bullying complaint Seek therapeutic help Talk to perpetrator (again), supervisor, workers representatives Leave the bullying situation Dieter Zapf 32

33 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 33 From Zapf & Gross (2001). European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology Glasl‘s (1982) Model of Conflict Escalation And Conflict Management Strategies Dieter Zapf

34 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Conflict Mediation Definition (Glasl, 1982, p. 134) The mediator is neutral The mediator tries to negotiate between the parties and to help them build up trust with regard to the third party. The mediator selects information, and tries to fulfill those communicative functions the parties can no longer fulfill themselves in direct confrontations. All methods and means of pressure are available to the mediator to the same extent that they are available to the parties. That is, all parties are in a similar power position The result depends on the agreement of the conflict parties Dieter Zapf 34 Conflict Mediation

35 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit Conflict Mediation Mediation is frequently recommended by practitioners (e.g., Hubert, 2003; Saam, 2010). However: Conflict mediation was repeatedly criticised as being not adequate for bullying (e.g., Ferris, 2004; Jenkins, 2011; Keashley & Nowell, 2011; Saam, 2010 ) 1.It takes the power imbalance not into consideration 2.It usually does not address past behaviour 3.No concern for the harm done and for the need for justice (and revenge) 4.There is no follow up intervention Ferris (2004): mediation is often unsuccessful because of the power differentials, the inexperience of the mediator and lack of understanding the difference between (normal) interpersonal conflict and bullying No quantitative evaluation studies for mediation of bullying Dieter Zapf 35

36 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit 36 Glasl‘s (1982) Model of Conflict Escalation And Conflict Management Strategies Dieter Zapf Informal Procedure: Counselling Approach Semi-formal Procedure: Mediation Approach Formal Procedure: Bullying Protocol Role Conflicts Participation Results Counsellor: Side with victim Bullying & other escalated Voluntary Victim decides Conflict Mediator: Neutral Other escalated Equal power Voluntary for both parties Whatever both parties agree Judge: Neutral Bullying & Other escalated Voluntary for victim Voluntary for perpetrator??? binding

37 Hier wird Wissen Wirklichkeit ! Gracias por su atención Thank you for Your Attention! Vielen Dank für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit Dieter Zapf 37


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