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Review - Mobbing: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions

What could be worse than being subjected to bullying behaviour? The answer is in Mobbing: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions. Mobbing happens when a group of people gang up and use bullying behaviour. When the target tries to get help, the organisation supports and sides with the group doing the bullying behaviour. There is a lot more to mobbing than that and it is clearly explained in Duffy & Sperry's book. It contains four parts: Introduction, How mobbing develops, Consequences & recovery and Solutions & prevention.
The introduction covers studying the problem, understanding and defining mobbing and recognising mobbing. It provides examples of it occurring not only in workplaces but also in schools. While there is differences between workplace and schools, there is also a lot of similarities and they suggest both sectors can learn from each other. This is because they see schools as being just another type of organisation. How mobbing develops looks at organisational dynamics, factors relating to group-leadership and individuals, organisational development and the risk factors for mobbing.

The consequences of someone being mobbed are severe and they layout the current research regarding the impacts in three sections. These are health & well being, family & relationships and career & work performance. It can make for depressing reading but its intent is to galvanise and demonstrate why action needs to be taken. The final section looks at what action can be taken both to prevent it occurring and after the event. This covers personal therapy plans, organisational support systems, systemic recovery skills, prevention strategies and policy & legislation.

The information included on workplace and school bullying behaviours and policy & laws reflect the seriousness and growing awareness around these issues. They offer a continuum of organisational health moving from very healthy & healthy to bullying then mobbing. This book helps builds your understanding and awareness that this is not just a problem about a few loners doing inappropriate things. It can be groups, management and whole organisations that have cultures and practices that actively support bullying behaviour. While not all parts of the book will be relevant to everyone, it offers a lot to a wide range of readers. This is an important read for anyone in leadership roles, supporting organisational change, counselling targets or dealing with bullying behaviour. Recommended.

Mobbing: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions by Maureen Duffy and Len Sperry
Oxford University Press 2012
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