Bullying in the Schoolyard Is Not the Same as Workplace Bullying by Janice HarperPosted: 7 November 2011
Janice Harper distinguishes bulling from Mobbing in her Huffington Post article.
“In workplace bullying, the instigators are very often people in positions of organizational leadership. Reporting a bully in the workplace puts the worker at risk of being targeted for ever more aggression if the person they charge with bullying has authority or influence over other workers. When that happens, workers quickly mobilize to protect their own interests, align with management, and recast the reporting worker as a trouble maker who must be removed from the workplace. This latter process is termed “mobbing,” which is distinct from bullying in that it involves a group of people who become increasingly aggressive and increase in size provided they have been told by management that a worker is unwanted, that any reports about the worker are encouraged, and that any adversarial action taken against the worker is acceptable….
“People behave very differently in groups than they do as individuals….
“The process of mobbing and the nature of group aggression has been poorly explored and rarely discussed in the anti-bullying literature, and the paucity of information on mobbing in comparison to that of bullying is striking.”
There is some research which supports Janice Harper’s view.
The Milgram experiments on obedience to authority showed that most people can be encouraged to commit immoral acts if they are sanctioned by those in authority.
And Zimbardo performed an experiment in which one grouped ‘mobbed’ another group of volunteers to such a degree that the experiment had to be stopped in just 6 days because the behavior had become so psychologically violent. It is interesting that Dr Zimbardo did recognize the behavior as violent but not recognize the behavior as ‘mobbing’.
read more of the Janice Harper article here: