Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Bullying, workers’ health, and labour instability
  1. I M Godin
  1. School of Public Health, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, CP 596 808 Route de Lennik, Brussels 1070, Belgium;

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Violence and bullying in the workplace seem to be an increasing phenomenon in Europe, even though self reported bullying shows wide variations across nations.1 Bullying in the workplace is certainly not a recent phenomenon and is probably inherent to many human relations and organisations. However, its rising importance could be related to the global deterioration of working conditions.1,2 Thus the European Parliament,3 besides an increasing number of countries has legislated to cut down on and prevent these occurrences.4

    Notwithstanding the importance of these legal measures, we are faced with crucial problems. At the working population level, the crux of the matter is that we are facing two unresolved questions: how can we measure bullying behaviours and its deleterious effects on the victim? What are the dimensions of interest? Which methods can be used? The wide variations observed across surveys and/or places is probably the expression of the difficulty in measuring bullying, and moreover, of the different interpretations from one context to another one. The second question is what impact has bullying on the worker’s health and wellbeing?

    According to Einarsen, bullying is characterised by “repeated and enduring negative acts”.5 Its manifestations are described in the literature as forms of “intimidation”, “physical violence”, “discrimination”, “threats”, “social isolation”, “destabilisation”. As Hirigoyen states, bullying can be behaviours, words, acts, gestures, writings that can affect the personality, the dignity, or physical or psychological integrity.6

    Key points …

    View Full Text


    • Funding: this study is supported by the Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs, Belgium.

    Linked Articles