Severe Workplace Conflict: The Experience of Mobbing
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Workplace mobbing is a particularly serious phenomenon that is extremely costly to organizations and the health of those targeted. This article reports on a study of self-identified targets of mobbing, which advances understanding of the way the problem is conceptualized, including associated informal and formal power relationships with organizations. Participants report a number of experiences, such as lengthy investigations and escalation of conflict, that result in an increasingly unbalanced sense of power away from the individual and toward the organization. Revealed is a mismatch between the expected organizational justice processes and support and the actual experience. Findings support a five-stage process of mobbing, which commences with unresolved conflict and leads ultimately to expulsion from the organization. The study contributes an understanding of a sixth transformational stage that allows the development of personal agency and a rebalanced sense of power. Recommendations of strategic approaches to address the phenomenon of mobbing are discussed.
Negotiation and Conflict Management Research
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified