Bullying by Mob
Janice Harper: What the Stanford Prison Experiment Can Teach Us About the Workplace
A focus on interpersonal conflicts between the bad bully and the good worker focuses on seemingly inherent qualities of individuals, and fails to explain the sheer brutality that ensues when bullying expands to include multiple people engaged in shunning, gossiping about, sabotaging, and making accusations and reports against a targeted worker. The collective bullying of a worker is called “mobbing,” and it typically ensues when a worker does or says something to annoy management, and management declares or demonstrates that the worker is unwanted. When that happens, it takes little effort to persuade the broader workforce to turn against the worker.
Just as Zimbardo talks about the slippery slope of evil that begins with the subject mindlessly taking the first step toward aggression through a seemingly minor action, when mobbing begins, workers are not initially encouraged to be cruel to the targeted worker. Far from it; they are told the worker must go, that it is the worker’s own doing, and the worker will be better off if they just move on. The first step onto the slippery slope of mobbing behavior thus often begins with something as simple as agreeing with management that the targeted worker must go — even if the decision to terminate the worker is clearly arbitrary or punitive or in some cases illegal, such as retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, discrimination or unlawful behavior.
I have seen a lot of articles on workplace bullying but they tend to focus on single perpetrators. This talks about mobbing, a phenomenon where multiple people bully a worker. This is not uncommon. Please go to the web site and read the full article. It’s worth your while.
From around the web –
From the web site, Mobbing and Bullying:
A recent study showed that about 35 percent of students who are bullied experience post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. This study echoes the findings of workplace mobbing research done by Dr. Heinz Leymann in the early 1980’s and has been validated many times by targeted individuals with whom I have worked. If we understand that bullying and mobbing attack the spiritual, psychological and emotional health of the individual as well as the physical, we also must consider that the damage done in an organization by this behavior goes beyond those directly involved.
From the web site, EndMobbing:
Mobbing is the targeting of persons in workplaces and schools by another individual or group of individuals in order to degrade, humiliate, and ultimately remove them from the workplace or school organization. This removal can be through firing, expulsions, or because the target can no longer tolerate the conditions and leaves of his or her own accord. The consequences for victims of mobbing are usually devastating. For its victims, mobbing affects physical heath, psychological and emotional health, relationships with family members, and, for workers, financial health. Mobbing also tends to erode a victim’s belief in a fair and just world. Mobbing is different from bullying because the workplace or school organizations are also involved, either through failure to act to protect their members when they have a responsibility to act, or through “blaming the victim” and joining the attack in progress on the victim, usually acting through official, bureaucratic channels. Secrecy and lack of transparency among organizational leaders and the presence of a hostile workplace culture are common indicators of mobbing-prone organizations.
And from the web site, The Hidden Evil’s Weblog:
Mobbing sometimes continues after individuals have left the organization. Although this can rarely be proven, slandering continues… This ongoing mobbing, even after the individuals are no longer connected with the organization, seems to justify the Mobbers previous behavior & upholds the organization s decision. They try to defend themselves by continuing to destroy the victim s reputation… Dianna: the next minute I thought, Howe can all these people just go along with this? Yet I would think, I can t blame these people. I know they have to go along with this for their own survival