Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Christensen’


Workplace Bullying: About U.S. Bullied Targets

Monday, July 28th, 2014


ABOUT BULLIED TARGETS in 2014

Finally, we asked the American public what type of person is targeted for abusive mistreatment in the workplace. Though this was a short, not exhaustive, list of personality traits, the results are clear. Those who claimed to have been aware that workplace bullying happens, believe that the overwhelming majority of individuals targeted possess positive attributes.

That is, the same respondents who believed that targets are mostly incapable of defending themselves against bullying assaults believe targets are kind, cooperative and agreeable. Perhaps these same traits render the guileless person vulnerable to unpredictable attacks. This Survey does not provide a way to draw the causal link between the traits and targets’ ability to defend themselves.

It is noteworthy that only 6% of targets are considered abusers themselves.

Question: Which personal style best describes the targeted person?

Download the About Bullied Targets mini-Report

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Gary Namie, PhD, Research Director
Research Assistants: Daniel Christensen & David Phillips

© 2014, Workplace Bullying Institute, All Rights Reserved

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Workplace Bullying: Causal Factors in the U.S.

Monday, July 21st, 2014

CAUSAL FACTORS in 2014

Two questions explored with varying levels of accuracy the public explanation for why bullying happens.

In the better of the two Survey items, we asked respondents to choose one primary factor or reason for the bullying.

Question: Which one factor is most responsible for abusive mistreatment at work?

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Workplace Bullying: Support for U.S. Laws

Monday, July 14th, 2014


SUPPORT FOR A LAW in 2014

Question: Do you support or oppose enactment of a new law that would protect all workers from repeated abusive mistreatment in addition to protections against illegal discrimination and harassment?

The respondents who answered this question were individuals who were directly bullied, those who had witnessed it, the few who were perpetrators, and those with no personal experience but who believed it happened and those who believed it was exaggerated. Those groups taken together constituted the American public who were “aware” of abusive conduct at work, the 72% (See National Prevalence).

It is clear that those respondents, the American public aware of abusive conduct, want to see worker protections extended beyond the anti-discrimination statutes – 93% support specific anti-bullying legislation.

Furthermore, 50% of Survey respondents self-defined as Conservatives strongly support the Healthy Workplace Bill. With such little opposition from
those expected to oppose the bill, it is a certain conclusion that now is the time for passage of this new law.


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Workplace Bullying: What Stops U.S. Bullying

Monday, June 16th, 2014

WHAT STOPPED THE BULLYING in 2014

Question: What stopped the abusive mistreatment?


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Workplace Bullying: U.S. Coworkers’ Actions

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

COWORKER REACTION TO BULLYING in 2014

Results from several WBI online surveys of bullied targets reliably show that coworkers rarely help their bullied colleagues. Several social psychological processes operate in the group setting to explain the failure to act prosocially.

The perspective of the general public captured in this national Survey describes circumstances somewhat more positively than surveys of bullied targets. We believe the reference to “most of the witnesses” led to these inexplicable results. The flaw is in the design of the question.

Doing nothing was the most cited tactic. Of course, doing nothing to help colleagues when they are distressed is not a neutral act. It is negative. However, it is not the same as betraying the target by siding with the perpetrator(s). Negative actions were taken in 49% of cases.

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Workplace Bullying: U.S. Employers’ Reactions

Monday, May 19th, 2014




EMPLOYER REACTION TO BULLYING in 2014

In 2014 at the time of the Survey, there was no state or federal law yet enacted to compel American employers to address abusive conduct that occurred outside the limited definitions of illegal discriminatory actions. The absence of a law means that employers may tolerate misconduct without legal risk. Of course, repeated abusive conduct, as defined in the prevalence question, does prove costly for employers who choose to ignore it. Tangible costs include unwanted turnover of key skilled personnel, absenteeism, higher insurance costs (health and employment practices liability), and litigation expenses. Intangible costs include: damage to institutional reputation and an impaired ability to recruit and retain the best talent.

A rational employer would seek to minimize preventable costs and strive to eliminate demonstrable abusive conduct. A 2013 WBI poll conducted by Zogby of Business Leaders, CXO-level corporate leaders, showed that 68% of executives considered “workplace bullying a serious problem.” And according to this current 2014 Survey, 48% of Americans are affected by bullying. Given the confluence of this awareness, we asked the public how employers were voluntarily dealing with bullying without needing to comply with laws.

Question: What do you know to be the most common American employer reaction to complaints of abusive conduct (when it is not illegal discrimination)?


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Workplace Bullying: Race, Ideology, and the U.S. Bullying Experience

Monday, May 12th, 2014

RACE AND THE BULLYING EXPERIENCE in 2014

Below are the percentages within each ethnic group that had been bullied, witnessed it and the combined percentage to represent those “affected” by bullying.


The overall percentage of those affected was 47.7%. All three non-White groups had much higher rates than the U.S. percentage. Hispanics were the highest; African-Americans were second. Non-White respondents are considered to be members of legally protected status groups. Employers have to comply with state and federal anti-discrimination laws. That is, when they endure harassment, they would be eligible to demand protection from their employers in most situations.
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Workplace Bullying: Perpetrator Rank & Number in the U.S.

Monday, April 28th, 2014

PERPETRATOR RANK & NUMBER in 2014

Mobbing was the term adopted by Heinz Leymann to describe health-harming abusive conduct at work. Mobbing implies multiple perpetrators. Mobbing preceded the term workplace bullying. However, WBI has consistently defined bullying as committed by one or more persons. Bullying nearly always escalates to more than one person joining the main instigator to torment the target.

Question: Who was (were) the principal perpetrator(s)?



Respondents said the following:

In 14% of cases, the bullying was generated by a combination of perpetrators operating at different levels of the organization – bosses, peers, and subordinates.

With respect to perpetrator’s rank, not counting the combined sources cases:


This pattern is consistent with previous WBI national Surveys.

No interactions between rank and race or rank and gender were found.

When perpetrators enjoy a higher organizational rank than targets, opportunities to abuse authority present themselves. Further, the likelihood of targets being able to confront the boss about her or his unacceptable conduct approaches zero, given the difficulty of crossing the “power gradient.” Coworker, peer-to-peer, bullying may not involve power differences, but the health harm caused by social exclusion/ostracism that peers employ poses an equal, if not greater, threat to the target’s safety.

Download the Perpetrator Rank & Number mini-Report
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Gary Namie, PhD, Research Director
Research Assistants: Daniel Christensen & David Phillips

© 2014, Workplace Bullying Institute, All Rights Reserved

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Workplace Bullying: U.S. Workforce & Population Affected

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

AMERICANS AFFECTED BY BULLYING

We begin with the frequencies reported for each of the bullying experience categories from the Survey previously discussed — the two classes of direct experience with bullying, the two witnessing classes, and the self-described perpetrators, and the three classes of individuals with no personal bullying experience (believers and disbelievers who were both aware of bullying, and those who claim to be not aware of bullying).

The Survey was conducted at a time when the U.S. non-farm labor force was approximately 137,499,000. We are able to estimate the equivalent number of working Americans that correspond to each bullying experience category. The estimates appear in the middle column in the table below.

Then, we estimate the adult (over age 18) U.S. population, 76.5% of the total, to be 240,113,369 (in 2012). We apply the bullying experience category frequencies to that total and arrive at the values in the right column in the table below.

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Workplace Bullying: U.S. National Prevalence

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

U.S. NATIONAL PREVALENCE in 2014

Workplace bullying is repeated mistreatment and a form of “abusive conduct.” For the first time, we used the definition of workplace bullying that matches perfectly the definition codified in the Healthy Workplace Bill.

Thus, we asked Americans to consider only the most serious forms of bullying. Eye rolling may be part of bullying, but it alone is not sufficient. Nonverbal cues coupled with verbal abuse and the tactics of exclusion are delivered by perpetrators repeatedly in order to intentionally harm targeted individuals. The closest analogy to workplace bullying is domestic violence. Bullying is a non-physical form of workplace violence.

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