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Workplace bullying is on the verge of entering the mainstream of American employment relations.

In recent years, the , and many other leading newspapers and periodicals have run feature stories on bullying at work (Parker-Pope, 2008; Tuna, 2008), and popular television news programs have devoted segments to the topic.

Because of different measures used to define workplace bullying, surveys and studies have varied widely on determining the frequency of this conduct.

By any measure, however, workplace bullying is common. Common psychological effects include stress, depression, mood swings, loss of sleep (and resulting fatigue), and feelings of shame, embarrassment, guilt, and low self-esteem.

It is intentionally hurtful, typically repeated, and often malicious in nature. Workplace bullying does not concern everyday disagreements at work, the occasional loud argument, or simply having a bad day.

Among the most frequently reported behaviors are yelling, shouting, and screaming; false accusations of mistakes and errors; hostile glares and other intimidating non-verbal behaviors; covert criticism, sabotage, and undermining of one’s reputation; social exclusion and the “silent treatment”; use of put-downs, insults, and excessively harsh criticism; and unreasonably heavy work demands (Namie & Namie, 2003, p. Furthermore, it does not involve interpersonally difficult aspects of work, such as giving a fair and honest evaluation to an underperforming employee.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, British journalist Andrea Adams popularized the term “bullying” to describe these workplace behaviors, using a series of BBC radio documentaries to bring the topic to a larger public audience.

In 1992, she authored the first book to use “bullying at work” as its operative term (Adams, 1992), clarifying that: Bullying at work is like a malignant cancer.

He used the term “mobbing” to describe the kinds of hostile behaviors that were being directed at workers (Leymann, 1996).

His pioneering research forms a seminal body of work on psychological abuse in the workplace.

The initial works came from specialists in the mental health and human resources fields, examining the impact of these behaviors on individuals and organizations (Bassman, 1992; Hornstein, 1996; Stennett-Brewer, 1997; Wyatt & Hare, 1997).

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