August 17th, 2012

WBI Survey: Is Justice Attainable for Workplace Bullied Targets?


Workplace bullying jeopardizes targeted workers’ careers, compromises their health and strains familial relations. Perhaps the most persistent damage from targets’ perspective is the injustice of it all. Bullying was inflicted involuntarily on them. The assaults were not grounded in facts, not even a “kernel of truth.” The most competent workers, the ones who pose threats to the deeply insecure aggressors, are targeted. The disconnect between deserving punishment and the deep misery experienced is at the heart of the injustice. Years after targets are out of harm’s way, they still feel lingering pangs of unfairness, inequity, injustice.

In the sixth Workplace Bullying Institute poll of 2012, we explored potential sources of justice. 331 site visitors responded.

Workplace Bullying Institute Instant Polls are online single-question surveys that rely upon self-selected samples of individuals bullied at work (typically 98% of any sample). No demographic data are collected. Our non-scientific Instant Polls accurately depict the perceptions of workers targeted for bullying at work as contrasted with the views of all adult Americans in our scientific national surveys.

We posted the statement:

I found “justice” after my workplace bullying experience through:

One of the response choices was:

I never found a sense of justice.

54.5% of all respondents chose this option. This aligns reasonably with the anecdotal evidence we gather by phone at WBI daily.

For the sub-sample defined by the 46% who said that at least some justice was achieved, we calculated the conditional percentage of respondents who chose potential sources of justice from the list of response choices, A to F. The graph shows the percentages. The factors are percentages ranked from highest to lowest.

A. Exposing the bullying to senior management

B. Prioritizing my health and career over that particular job

C. Becoming an advocate for the cause to end workplace bullying

D. Hiring an attorney and mounting a legal response

E. Other – An unlisted method

F. Telling my story to the media

Gary Namie, PhD, WBI Research Director

© 2012 Workplace Bullying Institute, All Rights Reserved

Download a copy of the research report.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 17th, 2012 at 9:43 am and is filed under Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



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  • kachina2

    To me, the injustice experienced by the target is unalterable. Sometimes life is not fair. Compassion and humanity may help the target move forward in the aftermath of injustice, but to expect the target to achieve justice would be magical thinking. The target’s best hope is to be able to find meaning and value in having experienced injustice.

    Some measure of justice might be possible for bullying individuals and the cultures that support them, but that’s an entirely different question. 

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