workplace bullying

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Is any behaviour that intimidates an employee, leading to feelings of humiliation, lack of self-worth, or inadequacy. It can take various forms, including verbal abuse, shouting, swearing, and publicly belittling a person; ignoring or excluding someone from a group; persistent criticism; setting unrealistic targets; and blocking developmental opportunities (such as training or chances of taking responsibility). Bullying behaviour usually persists over a long period, gradually wearing down its victim, with the result that the workplace becomes a stressful environment for the employee. It can occur between different levels in the hierarchy (e.g. a senior manager bullying a junior manager) or between employees on the same or similar level. In the former case, bullying is underpinned by an imbalance of formal power and status, whilst in the latter case, it can stem from social differences (such as belonging to a minority group). Progressive organizations recognize the dysfunctional effects of workplace bullying, so they establish policies that identify bullying as a form of harassment, and set up procedures to provide victims with a channel through which they can complain and seek redress. [See also dignity at work policy and grievances.]

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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