Lateral Violence in the Workplace

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Lateral violence in the workplace Lona A Smeltzer Southern New Hampshire University Lateral violence in the workplace Abstract This paper explores five published articles as they relate to the concept of Lateral violence (LV) within the nursing profession and how it directly affects the work environment. The concept of LV is also known as abusive behavior, horizontal violence, bullying, aggression, horizontal hostility, verbal abuse or “nurses eating their young”. There are four main themes that appear throughout the five articles. The negative effects that LV has on nurses’ health, moral and sense of worth. The negative impact that LV has on patient care and outcome. The negative impact that LV has on the recruitment…show more content…
One theory behind the oppressed-group model according to DeMarco & Roberts (2003) is nurses perceive themselves as powerless, oppressed and dominated by others. From this perception arises the feelings of alienation and loss of control over ones practice. This in turn leads to a cycle of low self-esteem and feelings of powerlessness (as cited in Sheridan-Leos, 2008, p. 399). Sheridan-Leos (2008) further states that the oppressed nurse fears retaliation from those in leadership if the feelings of oppression are verbalized, causing further frustration. This frustration is then projected onto ones’ peers (Sheridan-Leos, 2008). An equally important theory discussed by Sauer (2012) supports the idea that an organization’s culture contributes to the prevalence of bullying. Sauer indicates some organizational factors that can increase or promote bullying are hierarchal management, restructuring or downsizing of the organization and employees who do not feel empowered (Sauer, 2012). This same belief is shared by Hutchinson, Vickers, Jackson & Wilkes (2006) they theorize organizations can be fully aware of bullying yet chose to focus on other priorities. They believe when leaders within an organization disregard the behavior they are aiding and abetting the very act itself (as cited in Olender-Russo, 2009, p. 76). Consequently Olender-Russo (2009) believes the targeted individual becomes a victim not just of the
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