Workplace Violence and Bullying at Work

Workplace Violence and Bullying at Work Overview

Bullies tend to be older than their victims. This may simply be because managers tend to be older than their subordinates. A source of power may however be yielded due to age, with victims allowing the older person to go unchallenged. Fewer women than men tend to bully, which may be because there are more men in the workforce and they therefore hold more managerial positions.

Power is the important factor in the bully-victim relationship and not gender. Equal numbers of men and women are bullied but more research needs to be done to see exactly who bullies whom. (Rayner, et al., 2002).

According to the American Psychological Association, only 4 percent of bullies have personality disorders or antisocial tendencies.

The average bully is therefore not in need of rehabilitation per se. The rules need to be changed to prevent bullying in the first place, and if it does occur it needs to be punished accordingly. (Namie, 2003).

Namie and colleagues place bullies into four categories. The Screaming Mimi is the bully who comes the closest to acting violent and is therefore feared most by employers. This person publicly humiliates his or her victims and is feared; the stereotypical bully. The Gatekeeper exerts great effort to ensure that others fail, as then they can complain about their performance.

The Constant Critic may publicly call people names but prefers to belittle them behind closed doors. In order to hide his or her own flaws, this bully obsesses about others real or imagined inadequacies. The Two-headed Snake spreads rumors, turning others against their victim while improving their own self-image. (Namie, 2003).

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