is Workplace Mobbing?
prepare you for living or working with a sociopathic
serial bully. It is the most devastating, draining,
misunderstood, and ultimately futile experience imaginable."
~ Tim Field
the early 1980s, a Swedish psychologist named Heinz
Leymann* identified a grave threat to health and safety
in what appear to be the healthiest, safest workplaces
in the world. German was Leymann’s first language,
Swedish his second, but he labeled the distinct menace
he had found with an English word: mobbing. ...
can be understood as the stressor to beat all stressors.
It is an impassioned,
collective campaign by co-workers to exclude, punish,
and humiliate a targeted worker. Initiated most often
by a person in a position of power or influence, mobbing
is a desperate urge to crush and eliminate the target.
The urge travels through the workplace like a virus,
infecting one person after another. The target comes
to be viewed as absolutely abhorrent, with no redeeming
qualities, outside the circle of acceptance and respectability,
deserving only of contempt. As the campaign proceeds,
a steadily larger range of hostile ploys and communications
comes to be seen as legitimate.
hardly the only source of debilitating stress at work,
and it was not the only one on which Leymann did research.
He interviewed bank employees who had undergone the
terror of armed robbery, and subway drivers who had
watched helplessly as their trains ran over persons
who fell or jumped onto the tracks. Leymann documented
the depression, absenteeism, sleeplessness, and other
symptoms of trauma resulting from such stressful experiences.
and subway suicides were no match, however, for being
mobbed by co-workers in the personal devastation that
ensued. Not infrequently, mobbing spelled
the end of the target’s career, marriage, health,
and livelihood. From a study of circumstances
surrounding suicides in Sweden, Leymann estimated
that about twelve
percent of people who take their own lives have recently
been mobbed at work.
~ Professor Kenneth Westhues,
University of Waterloo
(Exerpts from 'At
the Mercy of the Mob: A Summary of Research on Workplace
* Professor Heinz
Leymann, PhD, MD sci
For more information see The
FAQ: What does the word "mobbing" mean?
are Psychological Problems after Mobbing?
© Heinz Leymann - file 32100e
... The mobbed employee who
has become our patient suffers from a traumatic
environment: psychiatric, social insurance
office, personnel department, managers, co-workers,
labor unions, doctors in general practice, company
health care, etc., can, if events progress unfavorably,
produce worse and worse traumata.
Thus, our patients,
like raped women, find themselves under a continuing
threat. As long as the perpetrator is free,
the woman can be attacked again. As long as the
mobbed individual does not receive effective support,
he or she can be torn to pieces again at any time.
...The unwieldy social
situation for these individuals consists not only
of severe psychological trauma but of an extremely
prolonged stress condition that seriously threatens
the individual's socio-economic existence.
Torn out of their social network, the majority of
mobbing victims face the threat of early retirement,
with permanent psychological damage.
FULL ARTICLE on 'Health Issues' page
should you be concerned
If you are
mobbing poses a danger
to your best people,
to your productivity, to your profitability
and your reputation.
If you are
mobbing poses a danger
to your mental
health, to your physical health, to your career
and even your life.