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AND CASE STUDIES
VOLUMES ON WORKPLACE MOBBING FROM MELLEN PRESS
Origins of the Study of Workplace Mobbing
In his book entitled On Aggression (1966),
Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989), the Austrian-German founder of ethology,
described mobbing among birds and animals, attributing it to instincts
rooted in the Darwinian struggle to survive. In his view, we humans
are subject to similar innate impulses but capable of bringing
them under rational control.
In the 1970s, the Swedish physician Peter-Paul Heinemann applied
Lorenz's conceptualization to the collective aggression of children
against a targeted child. In the 1980s, German-Swedish psychologist
Leymann (1932-1999) applied the term to ganging up
in the workplace.
|The quotations below capture aspects of what workplace mobbing means.
and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
— William B. Yeats, 1920
we also pray that we may be considered candidly and aright by the
living sufferers as being then under the power of a strong and general
delusion, utterly unacquainted with and not experienced in matters
of that nature.
— The jurors of Salem, MA, in 1697, five
years after finding 150 men and women guilty of witchcraft
You read your
history and you'll see that from time to time people in every country
have seemed to lose their good sense, got hysterical, and got off
the beam. . . . I don't know what gets into people.
— U.S. President Harry Truman, in M. Miller,
Plain Speaking (Berkley Medallion 1974, p. 447).
are strange games played,
and careers unmade,
In the quest for wisdom's pearl;
There are tales of power,
In the ivory tower,
That can make your toenails curl.
— pace Robert Service
|IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
— From Rudyard Kipling's "If," 1896
|Hide! Hide! Witch!
The good folks come to burn thee,
their keen enjoyment hid behind
a gothic mask of duty.