Source: Jerry Carbo, Amy Hughes, WorkingUSA, Volume 13, Issue 3, September 2010
From the abstract:
Workplace bullying is a severe and pervasive problem. Targets of workplace bullying suffer devastating effects both personally and professionally. Bullying violates the human rights of the targets of bullying. Despite the seriousness of this problem, the definition of and measurement of incidents of workplace bullying has lacked proper focus. One indicator of this is the difference in incident rates between the operational and self-report methods of workplace bullying. Questions surround elements of many of the definitions of workplace bullying including the requirement of repetitiveness, the requirement of intent, and the role of power. In this study, the researchers explore the stories of sixteen targets of workplace bullying in order to develop a better definition of workplace bullying and to begin to explore the reasons for the differences between self-report and operational incident rates of workplace bullying. The implications of this study suggest that many definitions of workplace bullying are indeed too narrow but that power differential is indeed a critical component of workplace bullying.