March 23, 2008

...The role of power, professions and ”on the job‘ training

...There also needs to be a clear system for reporting abuses of power or experience of victimisation. Where formal structures to enable this do not exist within an organisation, or if the bully is the boss, there needs to be an independent body with power to investigate and take action. Finally, the targeted person has the fundamental right to report instances, of being heard, to be believed and not to face reprisals as a result of speaking out.

At an individual level, it is clear from the above analysis that in most circumstances where hierarchical workplace bullying occurs, that individual counseling and mediation sessions will not adequately address the issue. We need to recognise some people who bully do so in full knowledge of the power they exercise and the knowledge their actions enjoy immunity from scrutiny or reprisal because of their location within the system and because they understand and manipulate the system to their advantage.

There is a need for affirmative action that privileges the account of those who have been disempowered and degraded by virtue of simply doing their job. In addition, the individual who has been targeted needs to be encouraged to delink serial episodes of workplace bullying, for to see them as cumulative inevitably leads to self-blame and recrimination...

From: Mental health and workplace bullying: The role of power, professions and ”on the job‘ training, by Lyn Turney

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