Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 205-217

First online:

Bullying as Unacknowledged Organizational Evil: A Researcher's Story

  • Margaret H. VickersAffiliated withSchool of Management, College of Law and Business, University of Western Sydney

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The role of the sociopathic bully is considered in terms of his/her responsibility for acts of evil in organizations. First, the literature on bullying is considered with the suggestion made that the term “bully” may be something of a euphemism, contributing to the problem of bullying not being taken sufficiently seriously. Bullying is then considered as a means of torture in organizations. The case study is introduced, where the author—an academic—is daring to share her story. Several of Biderman's constructs of coercion (Amnesty International, 1975. Report on Torture. London: Gerald Duckworth.) are used to showcase the case material shared which, when taken together, depict the relentless and deliberate nature of the bullying that took place. The paper concludes with an evil outcome of the bullying but, also, the success of the target in surviving. Some practical considerations as to what to do if bullying takes place are considered.

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