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What does the word "mobbing" mean?

What's the difference between mobbing and bullying?

Why do you have information about SiteSell on

More to come...

We will be adding more FAQs soon. If you have any questions about mobbing you would like to see answered here please send us an email.

What does the word "mobbing" mean?

The word "mobbing" was used by Professor Heinz Leymann, PhD, MD sci, to describe a phenomenon he encountered while researching the social dynamics of the workplace. The following definition is from Professor Leymann's site, The Mobbing Encyclopaedia.

Psychological terror or mobbing in working life involves hostile and unethical communication which is directed in a systematic manner by one or more individuals, mainly toward one individual, who, due to mobbing, is pushed into a helpless and defenseless position and held there by means of continuing mobbing activities. These actions occur on a very frequent basis (statistical definition: at least once a week) and over a long period of time (statistical definition: at least six months´ duration). Because of the high frequency and long duration of hostile behavior, this maltreatment results in considerable mental, psychosomatic and social misery. Thus, the definition does not focus too much on the activities themselves, but rather on the heavy mental strain.

In other words, the distinction between "conflict" and "mobbing", to emphasize the concept again, does not focus on what is done or how it is done, but rather on the frequency and duration of whatever is done.

The scientific definition of the term mobbing thus refers to a social interaction, through which one individual (seldom more than one) is attacked by one or more (seldom more than four) individuals on almost a daily basis and for periods of many months, forcing the person into an almost helpless position with a potentially high risk of expulsion.

Note: Some of the worst cases of mobbing go on for much longer periods of time and can actually continue for many years.

The following is another good definition of "mobbing" from Wikipedia.

Mobbing is a modern term for systematic bullying, harassment, or psychological terror in workplaces whereby one worker is "ganged up" on and stigmatized by co-workers or superiors for no justifiable reason. Research into the phenomenon has been pioneered in the 1980s by Swedish scientist Heinz Leymann who coined the term.

Mobbing is typically found in work environments that have poorly organized production and/or working methods and incapable or inattentive management. According to [1], mobbing victims are usually "exceptional individuals who demonstrated intelligence, competence, creativity, integrity, accomplishment and dedication".

A longer-established technical use of mobbing is in the study of animal behaviour, especially in ornithology, where it refers to the behaviour of a number of smaller birds together harassing a bird of prey that represents a threat to them.

[1] Noa Davenport et al.,
Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace (1999)


What's the difference between mobbing and bullying?


The word "bullying" is generally used in the context of children abusing other children in a manner that often has a physical aspect. Due to laws, social constraints and company policies, etc. adult bullies in the workplace are forced to use more subtle tactics.

Mobbing usually does not involve actual physical violence, although threats of violence are used to intimidate and create mental distress in the target. Mobbing is usually more of a psychological or emotional terrorization occurring in the workplace.

As such mobbing is also referred to as "adult bullying", "workplace bullying", "psychological harassment", or "status-blind harassment". These various phrases allude to three characteristics of mobbing: usually mental rather than physical abuse, the "bullying" is perpetrated by an adult against another adult, and that this occurs in the workplace. The word "mobbing" says all of this concisely.

When someone is being harassed at work by a bully they are indeed being bullied. If a bully harasses you for the first, the second or the hundredth time you are certainly being bullied, but you are not, necessarily, the target of a mobbing.

Mobbings occur in environments conducive to their development. Like viruses they need the right conditions to thrive. This usually involves workplaces with poor management lacking in conflict resolution skills and lacking in awareness about mobbing and its consequences. Worse still are workplaces where management knowingly utilizes mobbing tactics as a means to eliminate staff in spite of the, sometimes fatal, devastation it causes.

In a mobbing the bully will systematically discredit their target to erode any support the target may seek out later. Bullies slander their target's reputation to anyone who will listen: co-workers, management, union representatives.

A mobbing is this larger involvement of the group. Management and unions withdraw support and eventually participate in attacking the target with as much enthusiasm as the (original) bully. Co-workers are afraid for themselves and either look the other way or actively participate. The group is set against the individual. They are driven from the herd and left to the hyenas.

Mobbing is a dysfunctional group response to the abuse of one of its members. Rather than address the abuse, the group instead seeks to silence and destroy the messenger. It is like a disease that causes the body's immune system to destroy healthy parts of itself.

Why do you have information about SiteSell on

Since starting this website I have heard from many targets of mobbing. I keep hearing the same story again and again. Targets of mobbing are often terrified at the prospect of going back to another workplace after they have been through this experience. Those who are still working in toxic environments are desperate to get out but can't afford to lose their jobs. Unfortunately, in most mobbing scenarios it is only a matter of time before they are eliminated. I have lived through this ordeal myself.

Considering that mobbing targets are usually among the best employees there is incredible potential for these people to offer their valuable skills and passions to those who appreciate them -- but how?!

As many targets of mobbing do, I began to panic about my financial future. Unemployed and too young to retire, especially with no means, what was I going to do? I began researching the idea of starting a web based business so I could work from home. But the internet is rife with hucksters and fly-by-night scam artists. Each time I found something that looked good I would search the net for bad things about that company or program. Invariably I would find websites and forums full of people who had been ripped off.

Then I looked at a company called SiteSell. Their name kept coming up as a reputable one. I searched for dirt on SiteSell. I couldn't find any. I searched some more and still couldn't find any real red flags.

They weren't talking the usual nonsense about getting rich quick, they were talking about building a real business through honest effort. They also talked about what it takes to succeed and what they do to ensure you reach your goals. In short, they seemed to actually care about the success of their customers. For an overview watch their Quick Tour Video here. is not just about providing information about workplace abuse, it is also about helping other targets overcome the bullying and rebuild their lives. The possibility of developing a real income, freeing us from toxic workplaces is exciting. If you are still working, start creating your business now so it is ready when you decide it's time to quit or if you are fired. If you are already unemployed you might have to take another job to make ends meet, but start your business as soon as you can so you have the option of getting out if it turns out to be another bullyfest.

That's, in large part, what it's about - freedom and options. The freedom to work from home, the option to quit a bad job. That in itself will make you less of a target for bullies as they usually go after people who are vulnerable - people who need their job. Heck, if you can find a decent job and also have income from your online business, so much the better.

That's why I decided to include information about SiteSell and their Site Build-It! tools on Have a look at the info and see what you think.

Watch the Quick Tour Video Here

All the Best, Wishing You the Success You Deserve!

Anton Hout, webmaster

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The world is a dangerous place,
not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~ Albert Einstein


There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

~ Elie Wiesel

Video Library
The Corporation
Interview with a Target of
Workplace Bullying

by John Peel
on Home Truths,
BBC Radio 4

Courtesy BullyEQ


Calgary Herald
"...grossly unacceptable employer behaviour."
"There was a lot of bullying in the newsroom and it was a gift to be able to stand up and say we are prepared to do something about it."

Canwest Global
"The CanWest corporation is showing the ugly and intolerant face of modern media," ... "While openly interfering in editorial content it cravenly punishes those journalists who have the courage to protest."
"Many journalists left CanWest, deciding to quit or take disability leave after the frigid mood of their newsrooms made them ill."
> Canwest Watch

Imperial Parking
"Timothy Lloyd decided he had had enough of "going in to war every day." ... I was very unhappy in my work -- burned out, stressed out ... There were constant threats of dismissal, constant invading of my personal space, and use of profanity that was personally directed at me."
> HealthSmith

Annuity Research & Marketing Service Ltd.
"Every employer, said Justice Dambrot, owes a contractual duty to its employees to “treat them fairly, with civility, decency, respect, and dignity.” By failing to protect Ms. Stamos from Mr. Hammami’s harassment, the court concluded that the employer had breached this contractual duty."
> Labor Relations Consultants

If you found a quote on the web that we should add here just email us the quote and the URL.

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