According to the American Psychological Association (2004), bullying is a form of an aggressive behavior that can take form of physical contact or verbal language or indirect actions. These behaviors cause discomfort, frustration, depression and fear towards victims, who are usually has done nothing to be a victim of the bully.
According to Juvonen and Graham (2014), bullying is defined as intentionally harming others or using force to threaten, coerce, intimidate and to dominate aggressively, in a repeating way or in a habitual manner. The common trigger that can be seen by both the bully and the bullied is the imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict.
According to the Cambridgeshire County Council (2013), differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability, could be the rationalization as trigger or the affecting factors as to why the behavior of asserting domination is present. Furthermore, bullying is said to be a particular action or threat towards a particular target that can be done through verbal insults, physical threats or coercion and is repeatedly done by the bully.
Bullying can stem from many factors, usually involving the bully. According to American Society for the Positive Care of Children (2013), a bully becomes a bully if he/she is being bullied. For example, if a bully is physically bullying someone in school, somebody at home may possibly be physically abusing him/her. The frustration that they can not expresses later on is being released towards someone who the bullies know that will not fight them back. Another possible cause that was mentioned was, the bullies frustration towards their victims. A bit of envy from the bully could cause someone to be their victim. Some bullies feel jealous towards their victims because their personality or their totality just as themselves are some of the things the bullies wish to have but don’t have the means or are impossible to have to themselves. Their frustration cause them to harm and victimized a person. Another possible cause that was mentioned was, lack of attention. Some bullies could be affected by a situation at home, possibly busy parents that are unintentionally neglecting their children. These kids then seek attention or praises of other schoolmates from the reputation they build in school. If at home they are neglected, they sit on top of the throne at school and let their frustrations and anger out towards their victims and enjoy the praise that everyone else is giving him/her.
Furthermore, according to Kidscape (n.d.), bullying does traumatizing effects towards victims. Victims of bullying usually are affected for a long time in their lives. Some visible or obvious effects are:
victims have low self-esteem
develop depression or anxiety
become socially withdrawn, isolated and lonely
have lower academic achievements due to avoiding or becoming disengaged with school;
be unable to form trusting, healthy relationships with friends or partners in the future
According to Wolke and Lereya (2015),
“Children who were victims of bullying have been consistently found to be at higher risk for common somatic problems such as colds, or psychosomatic problems such as headaches, stomach aches or sleeping problems, and are more likely to take up smoking.”
Types/Forms of Bullying
According to The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2010), there are four different types of bullying, which are the following:
According to Bullying Statistics (n.d.), Physical Bullying are negative physical interactions that are usually in the forms of hitting, pushing, tripping, slapping, spitting or stealing and destroying possessions. Furthermore, Physical Bullying is said to occur more with males but this do not negate the fact that females can’t be perpetrators or victims too. Victims of this type of bullying are more likely to have marks on their bodies, evidence of physical assault by the bully, or have destroyed belongings due to the bully’s fault.
According to Daljevic (2014), Verbal Bullying refers to an individual’s use of verbal language to ridicule, mock, embarrass or insult another person. This type of bullying has no clear physical evidence like Physical Bullying because Verbal Bullying is mentally damaging and has no external effects. Although, this type of bullying is the type that drives most victims to committing suicide. This form of bullying is common amongst females.
According to Spears, et.al (2008), like Verbal Bullying, Covert Bullying are common behaviors of females. Covert Bullying exploys indirect, relational and social means, to inflict harm. However in Covert Bullying, verbal language is not the bully’s way of inflicting harm but rather their actions. Like excluding the victim, isolating themselves from the victim or manipulating their peer group, coercing them to victimize.
Bullying in Workplace
Bullying occurs not just in school environments, but also in workplaces. According to Goman (2014), 72% of workplace bullies are of a higher position than their victims. In addition to this, according to Fisher-Blando and Lynn (2016), in an organization, there are about 75% of employees that have most likely witnessed, have been victimized or is any way involved in workplace bullying within an organization.
According to Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf and Cooper (2003), workplace bullying refers to
inflicting harm towards a particular target through verbal or physical harassment, or isolation of the bully’s target and intentionally doing so on a regular basis. Showing negative behaviors towards someone in a workplace, possibly affecting their performance, which is not easily solved through confrontations.
According to Heads Up (n.d.), a wide workplace with abundant issues of workplace experiences effects through lost of productivity, increased absenteeism, poor morale of the employees. Furthermore, workplace bullying costs too much time and effort for an organization has it is all spent on documenting, pursuing and defending claims of respective sides. Australian organizations are spending approximately $6 billion to $36 billion a year. In addition to this, workplace bullying may also cause long term effects for people who have become victims of this. These effects may be:
distress, anxiety, panic attacks or sleep disturbance
physical illness, such as muscular tension, headaches, and digestive problems.
reduced work performance
loss of self-esteem and feelings of isolation
deteriorating relationships with colleagues, family and friends.
increased risk of suicide.
According to Deakin (2017)
“Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers, that creates a risk to health and safety.”
According to Bullying Statistics (n.d), workplaces have serious negative impact towards the organization and the employees and is rather common but at the same time, unaddressed. In addition to this, they have stated that workplace bullying can take in the form of shouting and swearing towards an employee and verbally abusing them with insults, degrading them. An employee could be excluded by his/her co-workers for simple prejudice towards her. Or an employee being purposefully ignored by co-workers just because. All of these behaviors done intentionally and repeatedly are considered to be workplace bullying.
According to Gordon (2018), victims of workplace bullying experience long term effects even if they have left that toxic working environment or they stopped working completely. Workplace may cause physical and psychological damage towards the victim such as; stress, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, high blood pressure or ulcers. In addition to this, bullying also affects the victim’s job performance. They have more trouble making decisions, become incapable of concentrating, lose their self-esteem and have a lower level of productivity. They not only experience mental pressure from workplace bullying, they also unintentionally waste their time to try and defend themselves, to avoid encountering the bully, trying to network with other employees for support, reflect about the situation, or how to escape or deal with and finish the situation.
According to Clearpoint (2013), the difference between harassment and bullying is Harassment goes against the laws regarding employers and how they must treat employees without discrimination. While workplace bullying is not particularly defined by law or public policy. Although both behaviors overlap because both harassment and workplace bullying could be physical and verbally harmful to the ones victimized. Also, both harassment and workplace bullying can be done openly, in secret, in person, or other mediums like social media.
Types/Forms of Bullying in Workplace
According to Field (2016), there are fourteen forms of workplace bullying and here are the following:
Gang bullying or group bullying
Pressure bullying or unwitting bullying
Serial bullying is one of the roots of bullying inside an organization. Serial bullying refers to one individual that harms or bullies one particular employee after another and then ruins their reputation and work then moves on. This is one of the most common types of bullying in the workplace (Field, 2016).
Secondary bullying refers to a victim of serial bullying that is lashing out to somebody else. Having to encounter the serial bully has caused their general behavior to deteriorate and sink to the lowest level (Field, 2016).
Pair bullying takes place with two people with two particular roles. The first person doing the physical and verbal bullying actions and the other one often just watching and listening, occasionally saying verbal insults as well (Field, 2016).
Gang bullying or group bullying is simply a group of bullies; probably a serial bully with colleagues (Field, 2016).
Vicarious bullying are two employees are encouraged to fight by other employees. This pressure and frustration gets to them and they begin fighting. The tension within the two parties are usually affecting the organization because the aggression can be in some way contagious (Field, 2016).
Regulation Bullying refers to serial bully that forces his/her victim to strictly follow the policies established by the organization even if the situation does not require them. It is simply to manipulate the victim by threatening them of not following the rules and regulations (Field, 2016).
Residual bullying is the remaining or after effect of the serial bully’s behavior even if he/she has left the organization. The serial bully’s behavior continues within the organization and may go on for years.
Legal bullying is the behavior of involving the law and bringing legal actions to manipulate and punish a fellow employee (Field, 2016).
Pressure bullying also known as unwitting bullying refers to working in unrealistic time frames or with incomplete resources (Field, 2016).
Corporate bullying is where an employer abuses an employee because the employer sees that he is immune to the law and that his positions is high enough to manipulate the employees (Field, 2016).
Organizational bullying usually occurs when the organization is having difficulty with adjustments to the changes that are happening within the company (Field, 2016).
Field (2016) states that Institutional bullying is something that is considered as a part of the organizational culture. According to the Washington State Department of Labor ; Industries (2008), Institutional bullying comes in different forms like, placing unreasonable expectations on employees, dismissing employees who are deemed ‘weak’, and encouraging employees to falsely accuse and complain about other colleagues in trade for a promotion or through threats of their job.
Client bullying is where an employee is being bullied by those they are serving, for example, a customer in a restaurant yelling at a waiter (Field, 2016).
Cyber bullying is currently the most rampant act of workplace bullying, and refers to the use of technology and communication devices to inflict harm through negative verbal behavior by an individual or a group repeatedly, resulting to long term traumatizing effects of the victims, as they are affected mentally (Field, 2016).