By: Tony Fannick

According to Nathan A. Bowling, et al., victimization in the workplace covers a wide spectrum of conflict and is displayed in a variety of forms. Acts such as harassment, rude comments, and physical aggression are interpersonally related and are classified as bullying when performed numerous times and for an extended period of time (Leymann, 1996). To determine the possibility or likelihood of susceptibility, people are encouraged to evaluate themselves. These self-evaluations can help target specific traits that others view as vulnerabilities to attack or exploit.

Another possible facilitator of workplace victimization is the stable environment of an employee’s position. Predators have the ability to lurk day after day and create an on-going chain of destructive conflict. If conflict begins, the potential exists for other co-workers, as well as supervisors, to join.

If interpersonal conflict is happening, or is trying to be prevented, there are a few ideas to consider. People are targeted in many instances for perceived low self-esteem, overall worth, depression, and repetitive existence in a single location. If vulnerability is detected, it is applied to other environments and situations. Victimization of supervisors can be caused by build up of victimization by employees. Certain roles and traits of jobs are more likely to cause interpersonal conflict between employees.

Bowling, N. A., Beehr, T. A., Bennett, M. M., & Watson, C. P. (2010). Target personality and workplace victimization:  A prospective analysis. Work & Stress,24(2), 140-158. doi:10.1080/02678373.2010.489635

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