Bullying culture is the context, or venue, in which a pattern of bullying behavior is ordinary or routine. Bullying culture encompasses an imbalance of social, physical, or other power involving a person or group.
Bullying culture includes daily activities and the way people relate to each other. A bullying culture emphasizes a winner/loser way of thinking and, therefore, encourages domination and aggression.
In the workplace
Bullying in organizations occurs when employees and managers carry out their abusive behavior. New managers identify this form of behavior as acceptable if they see others get away with it. It involves harassing, offending, socially excluding someone or negatively effecting someones work tasks. In order for it to be considered bullying, it has to be a repeated action and done regularly. Bullying may start off as a minor issue but then grow to a major one. It then puts the victim in an inferior position and makes them the submissive in the act . The effects of bullying can be a domino effect. That means, those targeted offload their own aggression on to others and so on. People tend to do this because they were treated poorly. It is similar to the idea of "do unto others as that which has been done to you”.
Bullying is seen to be prevalent in organizations where employees and managers feel that they have the support, or implicit blessing of senior managers to carry on their abusive behavior. Furthermore, new managers will quickly come to view this form of behavior as acceptable and normal if they see others get away with it and, eventually, rewarded for it.
When bullying happens at the highest levels, the effects are far reaching. The notion of people being bullied, irrespective of their organizational status or rank, can result in a negative domino effect. This domino effect is cascaded downwards as those targeted might offload their own aggression onto their subordinates. In such situations, a bullying scenario in the boardroom threatens the productivity of the entire organization.
Culture of fear
In his book, Petty Tyranny in Organizations, Blake Ashforth discussed the potentially destructive sides of leadership and identified a term he referred to as 'petty tyrants'. Petty tyrants are leaders who exercise a tyrannical style of management which results in a climate of fear in the workplace. Partial or intermittent negative reinforcement can also create an effective climate of fear and doubt. Several studies have confirmed a relationship between bullying, an autocratic style of leadership, and an authoritarian conflict management style. Authoritarian styles of leadership create a work environment where there is little or no room for dialogue and where complaining is considered futile.
In a study of public-sector union members, approximately one in five workers reported to have considered leaving the workplace as a result of witnessing bullying in the workplace. Rayner explained these figures by eluding to the presence of fear among employees. This fear caused the employees to report feeling unsafe in work environments, where bullies had "got away with it" previously despite management knowing of the presence of bullying.
As our society becomes more connected and dependent on technology, the way people communicate with one another changes in accordance to it. Social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have made it increasingly easier to stay in connect with and/or meet new people. With this easy access to connect with anyone at any time, it makes it very easy for some to say hurtful and/or pick on people without ever having to talk with them face-to-face. This is what we call Cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is defined as, “The use of new technologies with the intended purpose of inflicting harm onto others”. It is a growing way of bullying in our society and is most evident in today’s youth. Statistics show that over 43% of kids have been bullied online and that 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once. 68% of teens also agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem in today’s technological society.
Online gaming has grown in our society drastically. With the help of new electronics and social media platforms, more people are susceptible to online bullying, also known as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is bullying behavior that involves the use of electronic media, such as cell phones and social media. Now that online gaming is growing, so is online bullying. One study showed that 64% of the online gaming community have been targets of online trolling at some point. In fact, 47% have been threatened and subjected to hate speech and 38% have been victims of hacking.
The culture of bullying in schools is directly related to the climate of a school's community. Social interactions, including bullying, do not happen without the presence of particular setting. Although a school may promote positive behavior, in order to eliminate bullying, a school must create a positive setting outside the school and throughout the community. ~~ Many Educators know there needs to be a change, but no one knows how to go about it. There have been anti-bullying programs set up in schools, but they are all "trial and error" based.
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