Definition of Workplace Bullying (and Mobbing)
The defining features of bullying and mobbing are:
1. Bullying is a pattern of behaviour, and
2. the various acts of the pattern of behaviour impinge on a target
3. a reasonable person would find the various acts to be violative in
the circumstances, though each act may not appear significant of itself, and
4. Mobbing is bullying in which more than one perpetrator is involved
in the pattern of behaviour.
The strength of this definition is that it captures the essential features of bullying and mobbing simply, is in behavioural terms and describes a pattern, does not imply a state of mind
nor an intention which are both difficult if not impossible to prove, the various acts are not defined or limited, the outcome for the victim is not defined, there are no artificial time limits and the elements of the definition do not fall within the expertise of a particular body of knowledge. Any reasonable person can observe or note the various acts, or some of them, and discern that they form a pattern of behaviour that is violative in the circumstances and so fulfils the definition of bullying or mobbing.
The above definition of bullying and mobbing was part of a submission by Dr Michael Cole to The House of representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment, Parliament of Australia.
The full submission can be read here (Click here).
Read more about the Standing Committee's investigation into Bullying here (Click here).
For Bulling resouces click here
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