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In Case You are Being Bullied At Work




                     Contributed by a member of the California Healthy Workplace Advocates, 4/7/15



            In case you suspect or know you are being bullied at work, the following resources will help you to limit the damage and manage your situation until you can find better employment.  The first group of resources is a crash course in coming to grips with your situation.  The second group of resources will round out your knowledge of bullying, mobbing, and the corporate abuse that fuels them. 


Part 1: A Crash Course on Workplace Bullying


Adams, Andrea (1992) Bullying at work: How to confront and overcome it. London: Virago Press.

In this early work, Adams does an admirable job at identifying—naming—workplace bullying.


Field, Tim (1996) Bully in sight. How to predict, resist, challenge, and combat workplace bullying. UK: Success Unlimited.  This is a very full treatment by one of the earliest champions against workplace bullying.


Futterman, Susan (2004) When you work for a bully: Assessing your options and taking action.  Montvale, NJ: Croce Publishing Group, LLC.  Futterman understands that you are under siege and prepares you to leave a toxic situation with your health and career intact.


Lange, Gerry and Todd Domke (2001) Cain & Abel at work. NY: Broadway Books.  Though they are not psychologists, they develop the profile of the predator at work in rich detail.


Maisel, Eric (2007) Toxic Criticism. NY: MacGraw-Hill.  Maisel helps you to protect your inner self from attacks by a bully, even though this book is not addressed toward bullying directly. 


Mueller, Robert (2005) Bullying bosses: A survivor’s guide. San Francisco: Mueller is a tactician and will help you outflank your bully boss.


Namie, Gary and Ruth Namie (2003) The bully at work: What you can do to stop the hurt and reclaim your dignity on the job. Naperville: Sourcebooks. A very clear, simple, and insightful statement of the problem of workplace bullying.


Wyatt, Judith and Chauncey Hare (1997) Work abuse: How to recognize and survive it. Rochester, VT: Schenkman Books.  Wyatt and Hare write about the more general problem of corporate abuse, a.k.a. workplace abuse, or what the literature calls “employee abusive workplaces,” or “toxic workplaces.”  This includes workplace bullying and mobbing.  The value of the book is that it gives you a deeper perspective of what is happening to you.  Its greatest value is that it will give you the ‘eyes’ to see abuse where you formerly only felt a vague uneasiness. 


            If you suspect you are being mobbed, that is, if you are under attack by multiple players in your organization, read one of the following two books:


Davenport, Noa, Ruth Distler Schwartz, and Gail Persell Elliott. (1999) Mobbing: Emotional abuse in the American Workplace.  Ames, IA: Civil Society Publishing.


Duffy, Maureen and Len Sperry (2014) Overcoming Mobbing: A Recovery Guide for Workplace Aggression and Bullying. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Their more scholarly treatment on mobbing is listed below.



Part 2: For a More General Understanding of Workplace Bullying or Mobbing  Workplace Bullying

Weiner, David L. (2002) Power freaks: Dealing with them in the workplace or anyplace. Amherst, NY: Prometheus.

Sutton, Robert (2007) The no asshole rule: Building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t. NY: Business Plus.

Randall, Peter (2001) Bullying in adulthood: Assessing the bullies and their victims. NY: Taylor & Francis, Inc.

Pantry, Sheila (1996) Dealing with aggression and violence in your workplace. London: Library Association Publishing.

McCarthy, Paul, Michael Sheehan and William Wilkie, Eds. (1996) Bullying: From backyard to boardroom.  Alexandria, Australia: Millennium Books.

Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela (2013) Adult Bullying: A Nasty Piece of Work. St. Louis: ORCM Academic Press.  A scholarly though accessible compilation of research on bullying.

Lung, Haha (2008) Mind Fist. NY: Citadel Press.

Kohut, Margaret R. (2008) The complete guide to understanding, controlling, and stopping bullies & bullying at work.  Ocala, FL: Atlantic Publishing Group. 

Brodsky. Carroll M. (1976) The harassed worker.  Lexington, MA: Heath and Co.

Kidwell, Roland, Jr. and Christopher L. Martin, Eds. (2005) Managing organizational deviance. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Ishmael, Angela (1999) Harassment, bullying and violence at work. A practical guide to combating employee abuse. London: The Industrial Society

Hornstein, Harvey A. (1996) Brutal bosses and their prey.  NY: Riverhead Books.

Graves, David (2002) Fighting back: Overcoming bullying in the work place. London: McGraw-Hill.

Abdennur, Alexander (2000) Camouflaged Aggression: The hidden threat to individuals and organizations. Calgary: Detselig Enterprises, Ltd..  Both bullying and mobbing often start out in a subtle manner and the victim is in a fog.  This book will help you determine if you are really under attack. 

Chappell, Duncan and Vittorio Di Martino (1998) Violence at work. Geneva: International Labour Office.

Daniel, Teresa A. (2009) Stop bullying at work: Strategies and tools for HR & legal professionals. Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resource Management.



Corporate Abuse a.k.a. Employee-Abusive Workplaces


Wright, Lesley and Marti Smye (1996) Corporate Abuse: How ‘Lean and Mean’ Robs People and Profits. NY: MacMillan.


Holden, Mark (2003) The use & abuse of office politics: How to survive and thrive in the corporate jungle. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin.


Anderson, George William (1991) Corporate abuse: Surviving a corporate career. Tempe, AZ: Walsh and Assoc.


Wambach, Julie Ann (2008) Battles between somebodies and nobodies: Stop abuse of rank at work and at home. Scottsdale, AZ: Brookside Press.


Cavaiola, Alan and Neil Lavender (2000) Toxic coworkers. Oakland: New Harbinger.


Chapman, Gary, Paul White, and Harold Myra (2014) Rising above a toxic workplace. Chicago: Northfield Publishing.


Dattner, Ben (2011) The blame game. NY: Simon and Schuster.


Durre, Linnda (2010) Surviving the toxic workplace. NY: MacGraw-Hill.


Fairholm, Gilbert W. (1993) Organizational power politics: Tactics in organizational leadership.   Westport, CT: Praeger.



Psychopathy; Corporate Psychopathy


Patrick, Christopher J., Ed. (2006) Handbook of psychopathy. NY: Guilford Press.


Meloy, J. Reid (1988) The Psychopathic mind. Origins, Dynamics, and Treatment. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc. 


Lykken, David T. (1995) The antisocial personalities. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.


Thomas, Jay and Michel Hersen, Eds. (2004) Psychopathology in the workplace. NY: Brunner and Routledge.


Kantor, Martin (2006) The Psychopathy of everyday life: How antisocial personality disorder affects all of us. Westport, CT: Praeger.


Hare, Robert D. (1993) Without conscience: The disturbing world of the psychopaths among us.  NY: Pocket books. Hare is the pioneer of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist which is a worldwide recognized standard metric for determining psychopathy.


Millon, Theodore and Roger Davis (2000) Personality disorders in modern life. NY: Wiley.


Babiak, Paul and Robert Hare (2006) Snakes in suits: When psychopaths go to work.  NY:  HarperCollins.


Clarke, John (2005) Working with Monsters: How to Identify and Protect Yourself from the Workplace Psychopath.  North Sydney, NSW: Random House Australia.  Clarke describes different types of corporate a.k.a. sub-clinical a.k.a. sub-criminal psychopaths.


 Books on Guarding Your Boundaries


Klarreich, Samuel (1990) Work without stress. NY: Brunner/Mazel Publishers.


Kaufman, Gershen (1985) Shame: The power of caring. Rochester VT: Schenkman Books.


Kaufman, Gershen (1983) Dynamics of power:  Building a competent self.  Rochester, VT: Schenkma Books.  This book will help you strengthen your inner self to fortify you against the erosion of your identity that the bully seeks, as elaborated in Hirigoyen’s book.


Hirigoyen, Marie-France (2000) Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse and the Erosion of Identity. NY: Helen Marx Books, 2000.  This book will help you understand how the bully aims to destroy your inner self. 


Glass, Lillian (1995) Toxic people. NY: Simon and Schuster.


Bell, Arthur H. (2005) You can’t talk to me that way! Stopping toxic language in the workplace. Franklin Lakes, NJ: Career Press.


Elgin, Suzette (1980) The gentle art of verbal self-defense. NY: Barnes and Noble.


Evans, Patricia (2012) Victory over verbal abuse. Avon, MA: Adams Media.



 Collaboration as a Way of Humanizing the Workplace


I am including some titles on collaborative workplaces because collaboration inherently involves power sharing.  Collaborative workplaces can rarely have workplace bullies unless one slips through the cracks.


Tharp, Twyla (2009) The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together. NY: Simon &  Schuster.


Rubin, Hank (2002) Collaborative Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.


Silber, Lee,  Andrew Chapman, and Linda Krall (2009) The wild idea club: A collaborative system to solve workplace problems, improve efficiency, and boost your bottom line. Franklin Lakes, NJ:   Career Press.


Snell, Martha E. and Rachel Janney (2000) Collaborative Teaming. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.


Morgan, Jacob (2012) The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Emerging Social & Collaborative Tools. NY: McGraw Hill.


Merchant, Nilofer (2010) The New How: Building Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc.


McAfee, Andrew (2009)  Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges. Boston: Harvard Business Press.


Jones, Susan (1992)  The human factor. London: Kogan Page, Ltd.  One of the best apologies for a collaborative model of organizations, and its benefits to the organization and the worker.


Hackman, J. Richard (2011) Collaborative Intelligence: Using Teams to Solve Hard Problems. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.


Godar, Susan H. and Sharmila Pixy Ferris (2004) Virtual and Collaborative Teams: Process, Technologies, and Practice. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing.


Frydman, Bert, Iva Wilson, and JoAnne Wyer (2000)  The Power of Collaborative Leadership Lessons for the Learning Organization. Boston: Butterworth Heinemann.


Beyerlein, Michael A., Sue Freedman, Craig McGee, and Linda Moran (2003) Beyond Teams: Building the collaborative organization.  San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 


Correia, Marlene P. and Jana M. McHenry (2008)  The Mentor’s Handbook: Practical Suggestions for Collaborative Reflection and Analysis. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.


Deming, W. Edwards (1986)  Out of the Crisis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  Even though Deming did not address bullying directly, his analysis traces much of the genesis of bullying, unwittingly, to poor management.


     It should be noted that there are two major schools of thought on the genesis of bullying.  One school is the ‘lone wolf’ theory that says that all bullying is due to the perpetrator and the perpetrator’s possible personality deficiencies.  Books like the one by Clarke and the one by Babiak and Hare would lead the reader to believe that bullying is all personal.  Another school of thought attributes bullying to organizational dysfunction.  I think that bullying is a combination—a perfect storm—of the right organizational factors and perpetrator factors.  Mobbing I think is an even more complex interplay of both sets of factors.



Narcissism; Corporate Narcissism


Vaknin, Sam (2007) Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited. Prague & Skopje: Narcissus Publications.  A deep study of the inner world of the narcissist.  If your bully is a narcissist (and many are), this book will help you ‘get the goods’ on your bully!  After reading this book, when your bully-as-narcissist says something outrageous that formerly would get under your skin, you can now smile (inwardly of course) and view the bully with something ranging from pity to disgust.  That will empower you and take the edge off.


Downs, Alan (1997)  Beyond the looking glass: Overcoming the seductive culture of corporate narcissism. NY: AMACOM.


Gear, Maria C., Melvyn A. Hill, and Ernesto C. Liendo (1981) Working through narcissism: Treating its sadomasochistic structure. NY: Jason Aronson, Inc.


Lasch, Christopher (1979)  The culture of narcissism. NY: Norton.


Lowen, Alexander (1985) Narcissism: Denial of the true self.  NY: Touchstone.


Kernberg, Otto (1975)  Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism. NY: Jason Aronson, Inc. (This is a website on corporate narcissism.)




Leymann, Heinz, The Mobbing Encyclopedia found at  Leyman is the pioneer of  research into mobbing.  He had both an M.D. and a Ph.D. and was both a psychiatrist and organizational psychologist.


Duffy, Maureen and Len Sperry (2012) Mobbing: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions.  London Oxford University Press.  This is the most scholarly book on mobbing in the English language.


Jones, Jean (2013) An inconvenient whistleblower. A survival guide for toxic workplaces. Belleville Ont.: Epic Press


Zimbardo, Philip (2007) The Lucifer Effect. NY: Random House.                                                                                                                                                           

This book contains a powerfulexplanation of mobbing.  In mobbing, many of the participants are ‘basically good people’.  One of the problems in the theoretical literature is, how is it that ‘basically good people’ can become participants in mobbing?  Zimbardo’s book goes a long way in answering that question.


            Another good writer on mobbing is Kenneth Westhues, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Waterloo.  Unfortunately he had his books published by an academic press that charges hundreds of dollars for his books. (Try the used book site, put in the authors name or book title and see where it takes you!)



Accounts of Bullying


Zerrilli-Edelglass, Teresa (2013) Thrown under the bus. Itasca Books.  This book is a good illustration of Duffy and Sperry’s advice to “not make fighting the organization that mobbed you, your next career.”


Riley, Stephen (2010) Barsteadworth College: How bullies get away with it. Essex, UK: Chipmunka Publishing.  This book illustrates that mere competence and professional credentials do not make one immune from bullying.  So then, it is an unwitting apology for the need for anti-bullying laws.