Whatever the reasons behind the current furore over alleged bullying at No. 10, bullying in the workplace remains a very real problem in the UK. It’s an expensive problem too, costing an estimated £2 billion a year (Hoel, Sparks & Cooper, 2001). It’s a tough one to define precisely, and often difficult to detect. Some researchers on bullying focus on the characteristics of the individual bully, while others point to the workplace environment and culture which permit bullying to take place. It’s likely that both factors play a part. It seems there is a significant association between bullying and periods of organisational change (Hoel & Cooper, 2000).
The longer the bullying behaviour persists, the harder it becomes to challenge and report it, as the victim increasingly becomes psychologically less able to deal with the intimidation. The Andrea Adams Trust has useful advice for both employers and employees. With bullying hitting the headlines, now might be a great time to get the issue out in the open in every organisation. http://www.andreaadamstrust.org/live/home.html