Workplace violence can be defined as an action that manifests itself in threatening behavior, physical assault, aggression or any other violent form that may be displayed at work setting and may be directed towards coworkers, managers or even the customers themselves. These aggressions can cause emotional or to great extent physical harm or both (USLegal Inc., 2011).
In the context of this paper, bullying as one of the aspects of workplace violence will be expunged upon. This is a situation where an individual engages in acts of intimidation or molestation of a c colleague or another worker more often in front of the others. Bullying more often than not is directed at a person who is younger or at a junior position than the bully (Directgov, 2011).
Bullying can assume various forms in a workplace setting ranging from posting sexual comments, using racist language, antireligious sentiments, attacking ones sexual orientation, teasing, malicious gossip, subjective and continued criticism, yelling and even use of abusive language. Bullying more often than not manifest itself in the aggressive form too like physical attacks though almost always takes a subtle form that makes it almost imposable to detect.
Of late, there have been various instances in the U.S. that have seen spillover effects of bullying into the entire society emanating from an individual or a single incidence.
One incidence that comes to mind is the Litchfield case where a number of red-haired students were physically molested by their colleagues, this incidence has been widely viewed as inspired by the show dubbed 'South Park' which depicts how a school district lost administrators due to harassment and bullying.
This incidence, as reported by Wittstein M. (2011) has solicited a lot of attention to the menace of bullying and how far it can go if left unhindered or if the perpetrators are not educated on the ills and the potential repercussions it can have not only to their institutions or localities but to a wide society as in the Litchfield case above.
It is worth noting that whatever form bullying takes, it is driven by the desire to control and have influence over another or others. This kind of behavior is not acceptable and very inappropriate in the work setting. Unfortunately there is no direct explicit federal law that prohibits bullying in whichever form.
Having looked at the concept of bullying and the various forms that bullying can take, the rest of the paper is purposed to look into the different manifestations of bullying, the consequences to the organization and individuals involved as well as proposing the various solutions to the problem of bullying in the American society as a whole.
2.1 Scope of the paper
The paper will be concentrating on finding answers to the issue of what the effects of bullying might have on the concerned parties would be and an analysis of them laid out and the extent of the effects that the vice can have looked into with an aim of bringing to light the evils of the vice and enhance civil knowledge of the same.
There will be an attempt to look at who the subjects of bullying are and their trend of thinking, the perpetrators of the evil and the people who condone it will also be looked at and their thought process looked into. The paper will further point out the possible ways that bullying can be managed or all together brought to an eventual end.
The paper will identify the issues that can contribute to the halting of this behavior at the employment sectors as it focuses on the steps and the successes that the government and the corporate world as well as the legal pavilion has achieved in an attempt to stop the vice.
A bully, according to the psychologists, is an individual who engages in acts of aggression intentionally so as to hurt another person physically or emotionally. The purpose of the act is always to gain psychological satisfaction and feeling of dominance over his victim. A bully will direct his acts at an individual he deems vulnerable and the aim of the bullying is to prove the vulnerability of the victim.
Hitherto, it was widely believed that the bullies were those who lacked self-confidence but this view has long been discarded since there are bullies even among the most prominent sports personalities and celebrities.
The bully is seen as an individual who is bent on achieving his own goals, they are self-centered people who only care for what benefits them regardless of the pain they subject the victim to. Psychologists say that bullying starts as early as at pre-school age among the young children where one of them would always want to have his way and others left with none.
From the Human Resource angle, workplace bullying can be defined as any harassment of intimidation that persists in the work setting that aims at humiliating person of a group (HRdictionary.com, 2011). This tends to presuppose that if it happens once then stops after even a warning then it is not bullying.
3.2 Aims of bullying
It is said that the bullies have various aims and they employ different means of getting to those aims and ends. However there are general traits that they share across the board which will definitely define almost all the bullies and their mindset. Some of the objectives of the offenders are to gain:
These offenders would like to prove to the vulnerable victims that they have the power over them and there is little or absolutely nothing they can do to change that. They always target victims who can appreciate their power and behold it in awe every time they are around and also makes them feel that the bully has a lot of power and influence at the workplace.
The bully will want to exert the feeling of control upon his victim. He will want the vulnerable victim to always feel he can manipulate him at any time he wants. The feeling that the bully can control what the victim does and when he does them in the workplace gives his satisfaction psychologically especially if he is not satisfied by his position and post at his workplace, this control will give him an outlet for the frustration of the unrealized goals.
The bully wants to have the sense of having the say in all important matters of the victims' office existence and an arrogant aura of domination over the victim. The bully would like to indicate to the victims that he is above them in the organization or the particular workplace, in turn he will do anything including subjecting his victims to unreasonable petty errands just to keep reminding them that he holds the dominant position and can use them around as he wills.
Is another characteristic that almost all the bullies have. They always subject their victims to petty belittling and psychological manipulation such that the victim will always be a puppet of his that he can manipulate any time he will.
There is always the feeling of being the best or at least better than the victims and using this psychological comfort to allude to themselves that they ought to looked at as the best and the others the least.
3.3 Causes of bullying
Bullying at work place has several causes and triggers which makes it quite common. As noted above, the bullying can go on at work place even without the knowledge of the victim, the bully and the management as well. Among the causes of bullying at work place according to research carried out among the UNISON police support staff members by Rayner C., (2000: p11) are:
(a). Poor management
This happens to be one of the top causes and triggers of bullying among the members of staff. In the case of UNISON police, it catered for a whole 64% of the causes of bullying. When there is poor management, the bully will take advantage of the lapse in rules and regulation. The bullies adopt the option of being able to get away with it since they know how to weave their way out of the blame.
The other approach would be a frustrated staff due to the poor management structures that may be treating the staff harshly. This in turn spirals down to the weaker and vulnerable staff members who are used as an outlet of the pent up emotions.
(b). Workers scared to report it
The second cause of bullying at work place according to UNISON report lack of reporting of the vice. The fear of the repercussions from the bully and the anticipated lack of action from the management create despondency among the victims.
This fear then creates a situation where the bully will take advantage of the gap and perpetuate the vice even more, the vice in turn will be self perpetuating with vicious cycle…