Results of Workplace Bullying
In her doctoral dissertation Workplace Bullying: Aggressive Behavior And Its Effect On Job Satisfaction And Productivity(2008) Judith Lynn Fisher-Blando* researched the effects of workplace bullying on those who endure it, and the productivity in general of a workplace in which this type of behavior is occuring.
Fisher-Blando first defined bullying as being “intentionally malicious, persistent and consistent, and meant to gain control.” You’ve all seen this kind of behavior – if not in real life, then at least in popular media. Hopefully, you haven’t been the perpetrator of bullying. At any rate, I think we all can agree that bullying isn’t particularly good for anyone involved.
Analysis of study findings identified that workplace bullying is unhealthy for not only those bullied but also for the organizations that allow bullying to continue. This study provided evidence that bullying behavior creates an unhealthy working environment for all employees and contributes to job dissatisfaction and loss of productivity for employees and loss of profitability for an organization. (Fisher-Blando)
Fully 1/2 of all workers have at some time been the victim of bullying at work. If this is you, you may have developed all kinds of signs of stress leading to physical health issues. The initial symptoms might just cause some more mild results like indigestion or a headache, but as the bullying progresses, the victim can develop a variety of extreme health issues, including depression or anxiety. **
Let’s back up here a bit though – how does one end up becoming the target of a bully?
Most targets have demonstrated many positive qualities throughout theirprofessional careers, including competence, intelligence, creativity, integrity, camaraderie, accomplishment, and dedication. Targets are mostly people Goleman (2005) described as emotionally intelligent. In general, those who may become targets have learned to work things out; they examine their own behaviors and correct their behaviors when they have made a mistake. Targets are often high achievers, which makes the bullyfeel inadequate and jealous. (Fisher-Blando)
*University of Phoenix
** Williams, K.D., Forgás, J.P. & von Hippel, W. (Eds.) (2005). The Social Outcast: Ostracism, Social Exclusion, Rejection, & Bullying. Psychology Press: New York, NY.