Instituto de Psicoterapia e Investigación Psicosomática

A UNIFIED THEORY OF WORKPLACE HARASSMENT

A UNIFIED THEORY OF WORKPLACE HARASSMENT

Work place harassment is referred to as “adult bullying” in the U.K. and in the U.S.A. and as “mobbing” in the European mainland and in Canada. Although many authors tend to use both terms interchangeably, there is a fine distinction to be made: Bullying, the adult version of school harassment, implies the action of a bully, an agent more powerful than the victim, who may act alone or with willing accomplices. Bossing is a specific instance of bullying, in which the direct superior is the bully. Mobbing is a collective activity, in which the harassment is sustained by peers and even inferiors. Institutional harassment is a specific instance of mobbing, in which the whole of the organization gangs up or shuns upon a target. Bullying seems to be more prevalent in individualistic cultures or subcultures, while mobbing is so in more socialistic ones (Westhues, 2004)

 

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