Bullying in the Workplace: Should organizations be worried?

Recently I delivered a presentation on bullying in the workplace. It was based on a study I conducted in 2012. It went well. Is there more opportunities out there for me to share information about bullying in the workplace? I sure hope so. 


Bullying behaviors:

  • Yelling, shouting and screaming
  • Verbal abuse
  • Offensive behaviors nonverbal/verbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating
  • causing Work interference, — basically sabotage — which prevents work from getting done
  • Cursing
  • Physical
  • Other: cyber bullying, mobbing

The Murphy Study (Perceptions of Bullying in the Workplace: A Phenomenological Study) says:

  • 26% remarked the work environment was horrible, unhealthy and toxic.
  • 25% says the environment was conducive to bullying, it was accepted as the norm
  • 21% felt they would work better in a positive environment
  • 21% were not happy because of changes that were in place
  • 70% felt uncomfortable, upset, overwhelmed
  • 42% would contact their supervisor after witnessing bullying
  • 33% have resentment/defensive feelings about their job
  • 25% do not want to work in the environment where bullying is present (intimidation/threatening behavior)
    • All participants felt there were actions that could be taken to minimize bullying
    • 50% expected to have zero tolerance for bullying
    • 46% felt policies should be in place to enforce

Something to think about:

Workplace bullying is unacceptable behavior, but it is not by any federal or state law in the United States.

Just to name a few-effects:

Pain, anxiety, panic attacks, Depression, lack of motivation, feelings of undervalued & low production

Costs to the Organization:

  • Employee turnover
  • Health care costs
  • Low productivity
  • Absenteeism
  • Low morale
  • Low job satisfaction


Question to you:

Do you think organizations should be worried about bullying in their workplace?

  • Is there a lack of relevant organizational policies and controls in place that makes it difficult for an employee in the United States to report bullying for fear of being ridicule, being viewed as weak, or being terminated from their employment?

About familytreegirl

Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”, a native of Michigan residing in Central Virginia, Shelley has been an avid genealogist for over 25+ years researching the Davis, Marsh, Goens/Goins/Goings, Roper, Boyer, Worden, Cureton, and Murphy family lines. She is a Coordinator and faculty for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI), presents Genealogy 101 workshops at the local community college, state and national genealogy conferences. She holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and works as an adjunct professor for Averett University. Murphy is known for her inspiring and interactive “Getting Started” Methods and Strategies for genealogy research, “Time and File management” along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures. Shelley currently has 20+ publications with Charlottesville Genealogy Examiner and the Central Virginia Heritage, a publication of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association. She is an instructor for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Adjunct Professor, Professional Genealogist. Volunteers for American Red Cross as a Disaster Services Instructor, facilitates financial education workshops for the last 8 years, and former licensed Real Estate Broker
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