The Negative Effects of Bullying and the Mission of Workplace Bullying Institute

About this essay

It is the right of everyone to be able to live and work without being targeted or singled out for negative attention by others. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, “The British called it workplace Bullying; the Scandinavians called it mobbing” (Namie). One of the key sources utilized for this project was the Workplace Bullying Institute; founded in 1997 by Ruth and Gary Namie. For over two years while on an assignment for VSAGO, I experienced WP bullying and can easily relate with insight gained during researching this project.

Having experienced workplace bullying myself while on an assignment for over two years at the Virginia State Attorney General’s Office, much of what was learned while creating this project was easily related to personal experiences during my time there.

In order to understand what this act is, we should look at the commonly used term common term used “Workplace Bullying is defined as a situation where an individual, repeatedly over a prolonged period of time, is exposed to negative acts from one or several others, and where the target finds it difficult to defend him-or herself against those actions”.

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Additionally, we should look at how Workplace Bullying is handled here in America as opposed to other modern nations. Dr. Gary Nemie specifically mentions the steps taken in Europe and Canada to recognize Workplace Bullying as an occupational hazard, unfortunately in the United States no such legislation has been passed.

This activity continues but little is done to address the problem and protect those victimized.

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The act of bullying can take on many forms depending on the individual committing the act and the work environment. Throughout this project, each source had common ground with the person being bullied or the victim. Most often the bullying has nothing to do with race or any faults with the victim; quite often it was the strengths and capabilities of that individual which made them the target. Bullies will target people simply because they pose a perceived threat.

Less than six months into my new assignment, I observed a strange occurrence within our group an unusual sense of seclusion from regular office activity. Unlike past work experiences, this position left me to suspect I was being isolated or singled out from routine work group activity. For instance, email traffic which was so prevalent in most people’s daily office routine was unusually low in volume and devoid of any personal or sidebar content.

Throughout this assignment, I sensed an underlying feeling of being isolated from routine office activities. In a paper written for the Journal of Individual Psychology, the act of separating an employee from the work group is key in creating a hostile work environment “an individual cannot be separated from the social system, because personality and lifestyle are products of the social context and the creative power of the individual” (par. 16). This isolation may not be merely social in nature but professional as well.

The Workplace Bully might have a say about deadlines and workload. The victim may suffer false or unrealistic Prevalence of workplace bullying experience. The amount of work delegated to the victim will not be the same as that of others in the group. This discrepancy may not relate to an overload of work either; the bully might keep the victim from some of the more challenging or rewarding task. In regards to the personal experience described above; the perpetrator was really not a trained supervisor but an analyst merely paced in charge of another employee or in this case a contract employee. This task of supervision afforded this person unfair advantages. “Bullying is about having unequal power and being exposed to negative acts over and over again without being able to defend oneself in the actual situation”.

The Bully may be the evil in this situation but there is still a supervisor in the background that to answer to, in addition it is the supervisor that has to be held accountable. In some cases, it is the boss that plays the part of being the Bully, but more often it is just another one of the office personnel. Dr. Gary identifies or characterizes four types of Bullies in a video The Four Workplace Bullies; Screaming Mimi, Constant Critic, The Two Headed Snake, The Gatekeeper.

In the workplace situation mentioned earlier, this person most likely took on the role of the Gatekeeper, having the knowledge and enough authority to deadlock or sidetrack any attempts by the victim to be a productive member of the group. The supervisor supervision had a hand in all of this as well since a hands off approach left a void of direction and supervision in the group which that permitted the Bullying to go on unchecked. The opposite would be the presence of a strong positive leadership presence. “The trans formal leader creates and supports team spirit and shared vision among employees on the organization.” (Torok, par. 1). This activity is a problem because it is so wide spread and little or nothing is being done about it in America.

All of this activity is not limited to the workplace, everything experienced in an unfriendly work environment will be brought home to the victim’s family. During a television interview Curry Lynn describes how “the victim typically allows the bully to live rent free in their mind” (Curry). The coworker exposed to bullying will have no outlet to express his or her anger. Workplace Bullying might creep into every aspect of the victim’s personal life, diet, sleep, recreational activities are all impacted.

The Workplace Bullying Institute provides many examples of what the victim takes home from the office and how this baggage can control a person’s life “The most obvious and direct impact is displacement of the target’s anger and shame about being bullied at work onto the family at home” (Namie). The frustration and shame of being harassed at the workplace is next to impossible to, just leave at the office. Speaking from experience the victim’s family suffers to and in multiple ways.

By the way, displacement could occur on the way home. Pity other drivers on the commute home or wait staff at restaurants at lunchtime who might be in harm’s way. Nevertheless, most workers exposed to abusive supervision tend to bring it home. Violence at work begets violence at home.

The bully can impact home life just as much as the office environment. The economic environment is a factor also; people are more reluctant to leave one job for another. The feeling of being trapped in a job that is unhealthy or to risk possible financial hardship and find employment elsewhere is too much for some people. Felicity Fleming noted that “Stress caused by bullying can result in profound damage to an individual’s psychological health and wellbeing” (Fleming).

Another aspect of bullying is its effect on the work environment and its overall cost. All of this activity might have a negative impact on other employees as well not just the victim. Productivity and high turnover will cut into a company’s profit. In an article related to harassment in the healthcare industry “Bullying related stress, poor health and possible turnover threaten both organizational productivity and the sustainability of a stable healthy workforce” (Laschinger, Nosko par. 1).

The effects of Workplace Bullying are damaging to the victim and the group, this activity goes a long way in disrupting productivity and the wellbeing of everyone in the office. Why is this allowed to continue on such a scale here in America while in other countries it is being addressed? So far there is wide spread data that this is a real issue but no real legislation has been passed that addresses this problem. From a Human resource standpoint, you will see that in most cases the wagons are circled and nothing is being done. The Workplace Bullying institute is part of a group that is pushing for the laws to be changed but this is an uphill battle.

Cite this page

The Negative Effects of Bullying and the Mission of Workplace Bullying Institute. (2023, Apr 05). Retrieved from

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