© 2015

Depersonalized Bullying at Work

From Evidence to Conceptualization


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)

Table of contents

About this book


The book advances the nascent concept of depersonalized workplace bullying, highlighting its distinctive features, proposing a theoretical framework and making recommendations for intervention. Furthering insights into depersonalized bullying at work is critical due to the anticipated increased incidence of the phenomenon in the light of the competitive contemporary business economy, which complicates organizational survival.

Drawing on two hermeneutic phenomenological inquiries set in India focusing on targets and bullies, the book evidences that depersonalized bullying is a sociostructural entity that resides in an organization’s structural, processual and contextual design. Enacted by supervisors and managers through the engagement of abusive and aggressive behaviours, depersonalized bullying is resorted to in the pursuit of competitive advantage as organizations seek to ensure their continuity and success. Given the instrumentalism associated with the world of work, targets and bullies encountering depersonalized bullying display largely ambivalent responses to their predicament. Ironically, then, organizations’ gains in terms of effectiveness are offset by the strains experienced by these protagonists.

The theoretical generalizability of the findings reported in the book facilitates the development of an integrated framework of depersonalized workplace bullying, laying the foundations for forthcoming empirical and measurement endeavours that progress the concept. The book recognizes that whereas primary level interventions mandate repositioning the extra-organizational environment and/or recasting organizational goals to balance business and employee interests, secondary level and tertiary level interventions encompass various types of formal and informal social support to address targets’ and bullies’ interface with depersonalized bullying at work.


Abusive organizational practices by managers Bullying and indirect costs to companies Compounded bullying Dysfunctional workplace behaviours Grievance avenues for employees ITES-BPO sector and bullying Interventions for workplace bullying Intimidating and aggressive tactics at work Levels of intervention for workplace bullying Manager experiences of bullying Professionalism and workplace bullying Routine subjugation of employees Subjective experiences of work in call centres Target experiences of bullying Target orientation and workplace bullying Workplace bullying and empirical evidence from India Workplace mobbing Workplace victimization

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Organizational BehaviourIndian Institute of Management AhmedabadAhmedabadIndia

About the authors

Premilla D'Cruz holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India, and is currently Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India, where she teaches Micro Organizational Behaviour and Workplace Creativity. Dr. D’Cruz’s research interests comprise workplace bullying, emotions in organizations, self and identity at work, organizational control, and ICTs and workplaces. Her studies on workplace bullying in the Indian context have been pioneering both in terms of geographical location and substantive issues. Dr. D’Cruz’s research has been published in reputed peer-reviewed international journals such as International Journal of Human Resource Management, Economic and Industrial Democracy, Information and Organization, Industrial Relations Journal, New Technology, Work and Employment and Employee Relations as well as in several authored books. She has presented key note speeches at the 2010 Work, Employment and Society Conference (WES –Brighton, UK) and at the 2012 Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand Conference (AIRAANZ –Gold Coast, Australia), in addition to invited talks at Yale University and Cornell University  in the USA. Dr. D’Cruz has been a visiting research scholar at leading European and Australian universities and has been awarded (along with Ernesto Noronha) a number of multi-lateral and bi-lateral research grants. She is currently the Secretary of the International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment (IAWBH).

Bibliographic information