How does workplace bullying differ from incivility?
Bullying is health-harming
Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards an employee, or group of employees, that creates a risk to health and safety. Bullying often involves a misuse or abuse of power where the targets can experience difficulties in defending themselves. -- European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
A bully destroys a person’s sense of security and stability. Bullying can cause various stress-related problems including severe anxiety, disrupted sleep, loss of concentration, post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression and panic attacks. With prolonged exposure, bullying can contribute to high blood pressure and skin disorders, immune system and other health problems.
Workplace bullying by other names
The term workplace bullying was coined in Great Britain.
Mobbing, originating from a term in animal sciences literally means “to form a crowd around someone to attack him or her”, the behavior of some animal species of expelling one member from a group. Mobbing was used by Heinz Leymann, German psychologist and doctor, who conducted the original research in Sweden in the 1980s.
Psychological harassment is the term used in Quebec law and by the World Health Organization.
Workplace aggression (used in academe), emotional abuse and status-blind harassment are additional terms.
Raising Awareness of Psychological Harassment at Work
World Health Organization publication Protecting Workers’ Health Series No. 4---
Psychological harassment is a form of employee abuse arising from unethical behaviour and leading to victimization of the worker. It is an increasing worldwide problem which is still largely unknown and underestimated. It can produce serious negative consequences on the quality of life and on individuals’ health, mainly in the emotional, psychosomatic and behavioural areas. In addition, society as a whole becomes a victim because of increased pressure on social services and welfare.
Psychological harassment is an old phenomenon present in many workplaces, caused by deterioration of interpersonal relations as well as organizational dysfunctions.
A Week dedicated to Courage, Support, Inspiration and Peace in the American Workplace
Oct. 14-20 is Freedom from Bullies Week, a project of the Workplace Bullying Institute headquartered in Bellingham, Washington. http://bullyinginstitute.org/studies9.html