Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bullying and its effects


The effects of bullying on the person can be manifested by any or all of the following:
  • Emotional effects (severe anxiety)
  • Cognitive (concentration) effects (making mistakes, having accidents)
  • Behavioural effects (smoking, excess drinking, overeating)
  • Physiological effects (contributing to raised blood pressure, heart disease)
  • Reduced resistance to infection, stomach and bowel problems and
  • Skin problems.
The most serious effects remain fear, anxiety and depression, which can lead (and have led) to suicide. The effects on the organization as a whole can include:
  • Increased absenteeism;
  • Low motivation;
  • Reduced productivity;
  • Reduced efficiency;
  • Hasty decision-making;
  • Poor industrial relations.

People who are prone to bullying:
  • Older employees
  • Low status employees
  • Employees who are unduly shy, lack education or learning ability, have physical disability or sensory impairment, or are known to be unwilling to complain
  • Employees of a different gender or sexual orientation
  • Employees who are members of a trade union which is not accepted by management or which is perceived by colleagues as not being the right trade union to be in.
  • Employees who show a willingness to challenge harassment, (which can lead to victimisation)
  • Employees who choose not to be a member of a trade union and as a result suffer harassment by colleagues
  • Former prisoners
  • Employees suffering from poor physical or mental health
  • Employees with very noticeable physical characteristics
  • Employees with religious or political beliefs not shared by their colleagues
  • Employees of a different race, ethnic origin, nationality, or skin colour


The form which any of these kinds of bullying may take are:
  • Physical contact
  • Verbal abuse
  • Implied threats
  • Jokes, offensive language, gossip, slander, offensive songs
  • Posters, photocopied cartoons, graffiti, obscene gestures, flags, bunting and emblems.
  • Isolation or non co-operation or exclusion from social activities
  • Coercion for sexual favours
  • Intrusion by pestering, spying and stalking
  • Repeated requests giving impossible deadlines or impossible tasks.
  • Repeated unreasonable assignments to duties, which are obviously unfavourable to one individual.
  • Vandalism of personal property (destroying clothing, scratching paintwork on cars).

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