Bullying Is The Lack Of Consensus Among Employers

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One of the greatest challenges to understanding and overcoming the phenomenon of workplace bullying is the lack of consensus among employers, researchers, and legislators as to what defines workplace bullying. Definitions of the phenomena overlap with some definitions being described as too broad or too narrow. Some complain that definitions are not precise enough or lack the span necessary to include all forms of workplace bullying. One reason there are so many definitions is because there are many components to consider: frequency, intensity, duration, intent, victim experience, and the effects of bullying, to name a few. Leymann and Tallgren (1989) define bullying as weekly exposure to one of 45 identified negative acts for a period of six months. The emphasis here is on the duration of the acts or behaviors, though other definitions of bullying place less emphasis on behavior. Conversely, Sercombe and Donnelly (2013) view bullying as a type of relationship rather than a set of behaviors. Hallberg and Strandmark (2006) differentiate bullying from routine workplace conflict and define bullying through the frequency and duration of attacks against a person’s dignity. Still others maintain that harm from bullying goes beyond insulting dignity to render the victim powerless to change their position or find peace at work (Sercombe & Donnelly, 2013). As you can see, there is an abundance of variety among definitions of workplace bullying. In addition to multiple
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