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:
The only standout success as a law for whistleblowers is the United States ‘False Claims Act’.
Whistleblowers can go to a lawyer and file a claim in Court. The claim is for the value lost to the Public (taxpayer) by fraud, corruption or incompetence in the public service, plus the penalty.
The total penalty under the False Claims Act is treble the value of the fraud. The whistle blower gets 15% to 30% of the penalty. The government gets the rest.
The US government has recovered one Billion US Dollars a year since 1986.
The Washington Post published today that the law is to be changed to include fraud in companies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The controversy is whether the employer or company should be alerted by the whistleblower before filing the claim in Court.
The problem with forcing the whistleblower to go to the employer or company first is that whistleblowers are more frequently subjected to reprisals and destruction of their careers by the employer than they are to be valued. Their careers are often destroyed by bullying and mobbing. Employers appear to be more likely to ‘cover-up’ the fraud than they are to applaud the whistleblower.
There appears to be too great a conflict of interest for an organisation to regulate itself. Regulation needs to be external.
Hopefully Australia will embrace a law similar to the False Claims Act. Although intended to addresses fraud, it appears that it can be used to address the waste of taxpayer’s funds through negligence or incompetence as well.
This blog aims to support Whistleblowers in Australia and to fight reprisals, bullying and mobbing.
Whistleblowing is a legitimate method, and often the only method, of alerting the public to fraud, waste and deplorable behavior by those in charge of private companies and public services. The same private companies and public services make it part of their Code of Conduct that such disclosures are grounds for immediate dismissal and include disciplinary policies which allow reprisals through bullying.
The Media is the one of the most powerful and essential forces maintaining free speech. Not surprisingly, going to the Media is often grounds for dismissal. Going to the media in any useful way is also not allowed by the Australian Protected (or Public) Disclosures Acts. If dismissal and disciplinary action are not an issue, then going to the media can be very effective.
Often the disclosure that could be made is of no interest to the the established Media. In that case the Independent Media, Social Networking Sites or Anonymous sites might be useful.
Before writing comments to this blog, if you are disclosing anything (whistleblowing) one should ensure one’s anonymity by:
- not using a work computer, and
- downloading and installing the Tor bundle on your computer, and
- using Tor and Firefox to write to this or any site when one wishes to remain anonymous. One must NOT visit any other site like your own hotmail, banking or other sites connected to you while doing this, and
- not saying anything that can only have come from you. Nor saying anything that could identify you. Nor saying anything that only you could know, and
- logging out of Tor and Firefox when you have finished writing to the blog or other site. Only then can you open another browser (or browser session) and visit the sites that may be associated with you.
This site is not the whistleblowers Australia support site Whistleblowers Australia Inc which can be found at www.whistleblowers.org.au .