Book Review: “MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace”
Davenport, Schwartz, & Elliot (2005) stated:
This book came about because all three of us, in different organizations, experienced a workplace phenomenon that had profound effects on our well-being. Through humiliation, harassment, and unjustified accusations, we experienced emotional abuse that forced us out of the workplace. (p.14)
Noa Davenport’s expertise are in international development and peacekeeping and teaching and training conflict resolution. Ruth Schwartz’s background is a counselor and educator in the management, higher education, and the health care professions. Gail Elliott’s ...view middle of the document...
Davenport et al. (2005) identified mobbing as measured stress factors or an extreme form of psychological pressure. It transforms over a period of time and eventually leads down a path that cannot be turned around. They discussed five phases distinguished in the mobbing process: (1) Conflict; (2) Aggressive Acts; (3) Management Involvement; (4) Branding as Difficult or Mentally Ill; and (5) Expulsion. Furthermore, they classified three degrees of mobbing consisting of factors in intensity, duration, and frequency. In addition to those factors, Davenport et al. (2005) stated, “the psychology of the mobbed individuals, their upbringing, past experiences, and general circumstances are also considered.” The 3 Degrees are:
1st Degree: The individual manages to resist, escapes at an early stage, or is fully rehabilitated in the same workplace or somewhere else.
2nd Degree: The individual cannot resist, nor escape immediately, and suffers temporary or prolonged mental and/or physical disability, and has difficulty re-entering the workforce.
3rd Degree: The affected person is unable to re-enter the workforce. The physical and mental injuries are such that rehabilitation seems unlikely, unless a very specialized treatment protocol is being applied. (p.39)
Davenport et al. (2005) discussed how mobbing can impact an organization’s productivity, morale, human suffering, cost, and teamwork. They suggested an organization should address mobbing with behavior techniques in prevention, detection, and early warning. In a timely action these techniques can divert mobbing’s course of events. They agreed that an organization’s internal and confidential obligation to inform, consult, educate, assist, and mediate will provide a support system in dealing with mobbing. They further stated that an organization should protect its workforce from mobbing by creating awareness, educating and training, and enforcing an anti-mobbing policy. Davenport et al. (2005) discussed the necessity for continued research on treatments, rehabilitation, and legal protection will remain topics for understanding and development in terms of addressing mobbing in organizational behavior.
In a study conducted by Teresa A. Daniel, human resources (HR), practitioners are examined in regards to being targets of bullying or mobbing. The study provides a description of bullying behaviors which fell into three major categories: (1) verbal abuse, (2) offensive conduct, and (3) work interference or sabotage (Daniel, 2012). The most common bullying behaviors experienced by the HR professionals in the study included insults, yelling, screaming, cursing, “in-your-face” confrontations, and angry tirades (Daniel, 2012). Per the study, the vast majority of the participants (63.8 percent) indicated that the bullying occurred frequently, with more than 60 percent reporting that bullying behaviors were directed toward them on a daily or weekly basis (Daniel, 2012).