« How does workplace bullying differ from incivility? | Main | Most bullies in the workplace are opportunists and workplace politicians »

How widespread is workplace bullying in the United States?

28% of U.S. workers are bullied but only slightly over one-third self-identify as targets of bullies.
Respondents were asked how often they experienced 22 (behaviorally defined) negative acts over the past six months. They defined bullying as “at least two negative acts, weekly or more often, for six or more months in situations where targets find it difficult to defend against and stop abuse.” They speculated that 35% to 50% of U.S. workers experience one negative act at least weekly in any six to 12 month period.

--Nov. 2006, Lutgen-Sandvik, P., Tracy, S.J., & Alberts, J.K. Burned by Bullying in the American Workplace: Prevalence, Perception, Degree, and Impact. Journal of Management Studies
The researchers are from the University of New Mexico and Arizona State University. The survey had 469 respondents. http://bullyinginstitute.org/res/Burned.pdf

37% of U.S. workers have been bullied at work, 49% were targets or witnessed bullying.

In 62% of the cases, when employers were made aware of bullying, they escalated or ignored the problem. When the targets were asked, ‘What stopped the mistreatment?’, 40% replied they voluntarily left the organization. That represents 21.6 million workers in the United States.

--Sept. 2007, Namie, G. & Namie, R., U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, The Workplace Bullying Institute, survey conducted by Zogby International. 7,740 respondents.

The silence of bullying
We live in an aggressive and competitive culture where the bullied person is perceived as being weak. The targeted person is shamed by being controlled and humiliated. Coworkers suffer, living in fear of being the next target. Bullying negatively impacts the entire workgroup.

Oct. 14-20 is Freedom from Bullies Week.