Research Issues in Human Resource

"Bullying usually includes acts or verbal comments that could mentally hurt or isolate a person in the workplace and it has been described as the assertion through aggression" (CCOHS)
Bullying has its adverse effects on the individual as well as the work place. Workplace bullying always poses multiple challenges to the HR professionals in dealing with their occurrences. HR Management always includes Workplace bullying prevention programs aimed to safeguard the potential victims of bullying. Such prevention programmes require the commitment from the management as an important component. In this context this paper attempts to present a detailed account of the challenges being faced by the HR professionals in dealing with bullying at work.
An academic definition of Workplace Bulling as provided by Einarsen et al reads "Bullying at work means harassing, offending, socially excluding someone or negatively affecting someone’s work tasks. In order for the label bullying (or mobbing) to be applied to a particular activity, interaction or process it has to occur repeatedly and regularly (e.g. weekly) and over a period of time (e.g. about six months)." Bullying is considered an ongoing process of abuse during which the person subjected to bullying becomes weak and inferior in feeling by becoming the victim of negative social act. It may be noted that an isolated event cannot be characterized as bullying. Similarly when the parties involved in the conflict are of equal strength the act can not be termed as bullying. (Einarsen et al 2003:15) The International Labour Organisation has defined the work place violence that bullying. The definition goes like "any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work. These behaviors would originate from customers, co-workers at any level of the organization. This definition would include all forms or harassment, bullying, intimidation, physical threats/assaults, robbery and other intrusive behaviors." (Canada Safety Council)
It is observed that workplace bullying is found to be more prevalent in work places than other disorderly behaviours like sexual harassment and racial discrimination which are dealt with by legislative measures.
It is often observed that when bullying at the work place takes place the victims usually receive the immediate focus to provide the support and no efforts are being taken to provide advise, guidance or support to those who has indulged in such bullying activities. According to a report published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) the employers usually train their HR managers in tacking issues related to workplace bullying. But the line managers are not provided with the necessary training in this regard. The report indicates that while 75 percent of the employers take efforts to train the HR managers to tackle the harassment to workers out of bullying only 55 percent of them provide such training to the line managers also. As per the 2004 research of the CIPD the conflicts relating to workplace bullying costs nearly 450 days of managements’ time each year which is equivalent to the full working time of two managers. It was also estimated that the bullying related complains constituted