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Workplace bullying: What we know and what we can do about it Dr Paul Naylor School of Health & Related Research (ScHARR), University.

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Presentation on theme: "Workplace bullying: What we know and what we can do about it Dr Paul Naylor School of Health & Related Research (ScHARR), University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Workplace bullying: What we know and what we can do about it Dr Paul Naylor p.b.naylor@sheffield.ac.uk School of Health & Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield With grateful thanks to Dr Iain Coyne iain.coyne@nottingham.ac.uk Institute of Work, Health & Organisations (I-WHO), University of Nottingham

2 Bullying - terms BullyingUK, some other European countries, Australia, New Zealand, & increasingly the US MobbingScandinavia HarassmentUS, Canada VictimisationUS, Canada 2

3 Workplace bullying is … threatening professional status (e.g., belittling, humiliation, accusation regarding lack of effort) threatening personal standing (e.g., name-calling, insults, intimidation, ageism/sexism/racism) isolation (e.g., preventing access to opportunities, physical/social isolation, withholding information)

4 overwork (e.g., undue pressure, impossible deadlines, unnecessary disruption) destabilization (e.g., failure to give credit when due, meaningless tasks, removal of responsibility, repeated reminders of blunders, setting-up to fail) WP bullying is (continued) … 4

5 Media: Verbally (face-to-face, ‘phone) In writing: hard-copy (e.g., memo) electronically – cyber-bullying (e.g., e-mail, text message) 5

6 Bullying: often summed-up as … the persistent abuse of power … BUT can one-off events be considered bullying? … ALSO, what is the distinction between ‘strong management’ & ‘bullying’? 6

7 How common is ‘traditional’ bullying? Surveys: 53% of 1137 part-time students (Rayner, 1997) 38% of 1100 workers (Quine, 1999) 10.6% over past 6 months, 1.4% weekly/daily of 5288 workers (Hoel et al, 2001) 37% of 594 workers given definition (Quine, 2004) 39% of 512 managers (CMI, 2005) 7

8 How common is cyber-bullying? Study 19% of 649 UK employees reported receiving abusive e- mail (Baruch, 2005) Study 23% of over 1400 online surveyed teachers reported bullying on the Internet 6% by e-mail 2.5% by mobile phone texts 6% by mobile (& other) phone calls (National Association of Schoolmasters & Union of Women Teachers, 2008) Study 317% of 379 teachers reported bullying by mobile phone, e-mail or the Internet by managers, co-workers, pupils (Association of Teachers & Lecturers, 2007) 8

9 Study of 288 fire-fighters in 36 teams (Coyne et al, 2004): Self-& peer-reported levels of victimisation & bullying Each rank ordered 3 team members most preferred working with & self-reported perceptions of team effectiveness Results: 1. People preferred working with ‘victims’ 2. Bullies were least preferred work mates 3. Bully/targets most isolated group 4. Group cohesion higher but success perceived lower in teams with high levels of victimisation 9

10 But measurement problems: how are victims & non-victims classed? how is bullying defined, & who by? claims usually based on uncorroborated self-report (Cowie, Naylor, Rivers, Smith, & Pereira, 2002) So, Coyne, Chong, Seigne, & Randall (2003) found: victims ranged from 4-40% bullies from 3-19% depending on whether by self-report, peer-report or both! 10

11 What we know about victims … low in independence, extraversion & mental stability (Coyne et al, 2000) lose confidence, physically ill, unable to cope (Edelmann & Woodall, 1997) show high anxiety, depression, job-related stress (Quine, 1999) & PTSD symptoms (e.g., Matthiesen & Einarsen, 2004; Tehrani, 2004) take sick leave (ATL, 2007) cyber-bullying may be psychologically more harmful than traditional bullying (Slonje & Smith, 2008) but know little about their help seeking behaviour (Slonje & Smith, 2008) 11

12 What we know about bullies … Rationale: protect self-esteem - inflated or unstable view of self Characteristics: violent (Leather et al., 1990), tyrannical (Ashforth, 1994), hostile (Baron & Neuman, 1996), aggressive (Seigne et al., in press), lack emotional/self-control & awareness of impact Conversely, highly skilled social manipulators (Sutton) Micro-political behaviour in group/organisation encourages competitiveness, assertiveness, dominance Been suggested that known bullies appointed to ‘get the job done’ 12

13 Effects on the organisation Lower productivity & staff morale (Coyne et al, 2004) Absenteeism: –Hoel & Cooper (2000) – victims took 7 days more sick leave on average than others –Quine (2001) – 8% taken time-off Turnover: –Rayner (1997) – 1 in 4 left job due to bullying Coyne also notes: - risks of litigation & industrial action - costs of finding & training replacement staff 13

14 Work climate Human interaction & conditions in organisations Change (redundancy/position) Work organisation (Role conflict, strained & stressful, lack of autonomy) Culture & Climate Poor Leadership Conflict is inevitable. Can be win-win but win-lose may lead to bullying culture Causes of workplace bullying? 14

15 What can we do about it? PreventionSupport/ interventionReaction Organisation Change work/culture Train leader training Have a policy Bullying surveys Support for change from senior managers Monitor absences Use sanctions Monitor/change culture Group Foster positive group behaviour Train all Regularly meet group Monitor group network Group skills development Team-building Change team Individual Training e.g., assertiveness, social skills for victims & bullies Contact person, buddy/peer support system Informal support (friend) Re-define ‘problem’ Formal ‘counselling’ support for victims & bullies Use grievance procedures 15

16 16 Thanks Any questions? Contact: p.b.naylor@sheffield.ac.uk


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