Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Workplace Bullying

  • Clive R. BoddyEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_7-2



Bullying at work entails the persistent unfair treatment of staff by one or more employees, often of greater seniority than the victims. Bullying can be covert, subtle, and emotional in nature or more overt and physical and can include rudeness, yelling, sarcasm, overworking, name calling, sexual harassment, creating scapegoats, threats, and even violence. In terms of origins, there is debate over whether culture or leadership makes up the primary causes of bullying, and these two are interrelated. Bullying stems particularly from leaders with dark personalities – the self-interested, politically skilled psychopaths, Machiavellians, and narcissists who may be found in the workplace. The bullying can be instrumental in that it is used as a camouflage for other, more nefarious activities, which workplace colleagues are hesitant to investigate for fear of being bullied. The bullying may...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tasmanian School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Clive R. Boddy
    • 1
  1. 1.Tasmanian School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia