The experience and handling of workplace bullying
Previous studies have established that for some people a typical day at work starts with immense feelings of distress, anxiety and irritability caused by workplace bullying. Not only does bullying behaviour in the workplace have a negative impact on a person’s professional life, but it is also detrimental to the effectiveness of the organisation. A survey focussing on the perceived exposure to bullying and victimisation in the workplace was administered to a sample of 159 employees employed by a mine in Mpumalanga. The results uncovered that more than a quarter of the participants reported that they had experienced workplace bullying. The study also discovered that line managers experienced more negative acts than senior managers. While those who only experience a brief spell of bullying behaviour at work survive their experience relatively unscathed, previous studies have also indicated that others are affected in a significant physical and psychological way. In conclusion this study determined that workplace bullying is an actual occurrence, not only internationally but also in South Africa. Employees and employers can therefore only benefit from understanding this unique workplace phenomenon. This article provides the opportunity for employed people to recognise the nature and prevalence of workplace bullying in order to prevent it from becoming a silent epidemic. Researchers generally accept that bullying is behaviour that is aggressive or negative and carried out repeatedly. Previous research established that bullying can occur in any context where people interact. This article open by synthesising a conceptual framework of negative acts as an interactive form of organisational behaviour from the available literature. Empirical research was done in order to investigate the prevalence of negative acts. The study found that more than a quarter of the participants had experienced bullying at some stage during their career with managers and supervisors predominantly reported as the perpetrators. The study also found that behaviour that tends to isolate individuals was generally reported as the most frequently experienced form of negative acts. By understanding workplace bullying both employers will be able to implement influence strategies aimed at dealing with this workplace phenomenon at levels of protection, intervention and dispute resolution. In conclusion it has been established that workplace bullying is not only a real problem in international workplaces, but also in South Africa. This means that employers not only have to cope with the consequences of employees performing badly but also behaving badly. This article presents an opportunity to understand negative behaviour in the workplace.