– Saima Eman
Are you a corporate slave? (Quite literally!) Let’s find out:
Physical environment and workload are not the only reasons for psychological stress. Workplace bullying is a serious issue within organisations (e.g. Brewer, & Whiteside, 2012; Field, 2010; Somani, Karmaliani, Farlane, Asad, & Hirani, 2015; Hussain & Aslam, 2015). “Workplace bullying is defined as the repeated unethical and unfavorable treatment of one person by another in the workplace” (Boddy, 2011). Discriminatory culture with an elite mind-set and psychopathic traits (i.e. anti-social personality traits)predisposes employees with a lower grade, a lower status or a demeaned profession to workplace bullying (Anjum & Shoukat, 2013; Jhatial, Jariko, Tahrani, & Jam, 2013; Somani, 2012).People with disabilities are more likely to be bullied at workplace (Vickers, 2009) due to probably lack of actually anti-discriminatory practices.
A study (Naseer & Khan, 2015) on workplace bullying consisting of 280 employees in the service sector of Pakistan, revealed that workplace bullying was responsible for job stress, burnout, psychological strain, and turnover intentions. Research mostly reports bullying in schools, businesses particularly medical schools and the medical profession (Ahmer, Yousafzai, Bhutto, Alam, Sarangzai, &Iqbal, 2008; Imran, Jawaid, Haider, & Masood, 2010; Johnson, 2009; Somani, 2012). However, there is limited research (e.g. Hussain & Aslam, 2015) regarding bullying in other professions. Workplace bullying is prevalent in organisations such as the banking sector but it may not be related to work performance (e.g. Hussain & Aslam, 2015). It is interesting to note that the bully victims are likely to be fired from their jobs(Glambek, Skogstad, & Einarsen, 2015). Workplace bullying is also related to suicidal ideation (Nielsen, Nielsen, Notelaers, & Einarsen, 2015). Therefore, workplace bullying can have grave consequences for employees. Women are more likely to use emotional abuse whereas men are more likely to use verbal abuse (Escartín, Salin, & Rodríguez-Carballeira, 2015). Neuroticism has directly predicted bullying while agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness have inversely predicted victimization from workplace bullying (Nielsen & Knardahl, 2015). Performance based pay is likely to reduce the risk of workplace bullying(Salin, 2015). These findings show that gender, personality traits and other factors uniquely predict bullying as well as victimization resulting from bullying. Such researches might help in creating more effective anti-bullying policies. More research is needed on workplace bullying with respect to factors that predict bullying and victimization from bullying as well as the effects of workplace bullying on individuals’ their families and organisations.
Anti-bullying policies seem to be written down in schools but they are rarely implemented (Ju, 2012; Smith, Smith, Osborn, & Samara, 2008).Apparently, there are no anti-bullying policies in Pakistan. With the increase in technology, cyber-bullying is emerging as a new problem (Hafeez, 2014). Before considering measures to counter cyber-bullying, we have to think about formulating, monitoring and implementing anti-bullying policies at workplace in Pakistan.
The author is a PhD Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Sheffield, UK.