Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Little About Gender and Workplace Bullying

At the International Association for Workplace Bullying & Harassment I had the honor of hearing Denise Salin, one of the foremost researchers of workplace bullying, speak on the topic of gender as it relates to bullying at work. So here’s a few tidbits, as told to me, and 250 other attendees, by Denise Salin.

• Women are more likely to self-label as a target of bullying than men

• Women are more likely to label their past experiences as bullying when discussing them with others

• Women more often define bullying as emotional abuse and professional discrediting

• Men more often define bullying as manipulation of work

• Men emphasize victim characteristics more than women

• Women are more likely to conceptualize bullying as an organizational problem, with organizational antecedents and consequences

• Both men and women experience negative health as a result of being bullied, although the effects seem to be more poignant for women

• Women are more likely to seek social support and avoid the bully, while men are more assertive

• Male HR managers are more likely to refrain from taking action

• Gender of the target, perpetrator and witness all effect whether the witness labels what they observe as bullying (I didn’t catch exactly which gender labels what)

• Witnesses do not think men suffer health consequences

• Targets who exhibit gender-incongruent behavior are more likely to be bullied

• Research does not yet show whether gender matters in terms of job satisfaction, commitment, intention to stay, absenteeism, etc, as they relate to workplace bullying

• Gender is relevant for experience of bullying and for intervention purposes

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