This book gives in-depth insights into the core issues of workplace bullying from the perspectives of the individuals involved, their interpersonal relationships, the group dynamics and organisational contexts. Workplace bullying is costly: increasingly petty conflicts are being registered as formal complaints and, in no time, legalities take over and costs spiral out of control. Preventive actions and interventions need to be based on a sound knowledge of the deeper issues which foster bullying scenarios. This book gets to the roots of why and how bullying occurs. Four main chapters are devoted to individuals, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, and organisational contexts. The fifth chapter is a case study of the 'turn round' of a workplace in which bullying was rife. There are three recurring themes: recognition, loss, and space. New ways of conceptualising bullying are presented from drawing on the literature on the subject, as well as a range of psychodynamics theories. Bullying is described as a perverse and pernicious form of projective identification, occurring around organisational vacuums and structural fractures.
Sheila White is an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, and has spent many years carrying out research on workplace bullying. Her background is in teaching and work in the voluntary sector. She is a member of ISPSO (International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations), IAWBH (International Association of Workplace Bullying and Harassment), OPUS (an Organisation for Promoting Understanding of Society) and CMI (Chartered Management Institute).