Mobbing tolerated for fear of job loss: survey
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
The survey says mobbing is a ‘psychological game,’ weakens individuals’ identity and self-confidence, and makes them believe that they are worthless. Hürriyet photosAccording to results of the Turkey Mobbing Survey 2012, in which 316 employees in 12 Turkish provinces participated, “mobbing” victims are reluctant to talk about the problem for fear of losing their job. Mobbing is defined as psychological pressure, emotional harassment, or a kind of moral violence, performed in the workplace by those who have power, to intimidate those who are weaker.
The survey, jointly carried out by ERA Research & Consultancy and Futurebright Research, also asked the opinion of four lawyers and three human resources experts.
The survey says mobbing is a “psychological game,” which targets individuals, weakens their identity and self-confidence, and makes them believe that they are worthless.
The process experienced by mobbing victims, is defined with metaphors such as “catching in a trap,” “falling apart,” “prison,” “mangle,” “hell” and “emotional attack,” while the common feeling of victims are feelings like “helplessness,” “stuck,” “injustice,” “suffering,” “insignificance” and “inadequacy.”
On the other hand, unlike this strong and concrete perception, the survey reveals that the definition of mobbing is quite abstract and indefinite in the eye of all target groups.
It is not clearly known what kind of behavior can be defined as mobbing and what others cannot be defined as mobbing, according to the survey. The fact that the concept of mobbing does not have a clear definition may turn out to be a negative result, both for employees and employers, the survey says. “At the same time, concepts like discrimination, sexual harassment and threat in workplaces are generally confused with mobbing, and are often defined as mobbing.”
Fear of losing job
The survey also says that both lawyers and human resources experts think that most of the time mobbing can be hidden behind tone of voice, body language, mimics and gestures, and it cannot be proven concretely.
In the survey, 10 percent of participants said they experienced mobbing in their business places, while six percent said some of their relatives experienced it. “Among the most common types of mobbing are intimidation, attrition, assigning more work than an employee is capable of doing, humiliation and defamation. Victims do not think they have many escape routes to deal with mobbing, and they have limited ways of struggle. They hesitate to enter into discussions about it in order to not lose their job, and so adapt to the process and try to maintain their business life,” the survey said.
“When mobbing increases, victims tend to share the situation with the person who performs mobbing, and tell of their complaints. When taking the risk of losing their job, the existence of alternatives and witnesses who know about the situation, are among the factors that make it easier to deal with mobbing,” the report added.
In the survey, lawyers said victims go to court because of mobbing only when they are fired. It is only at this point that they become conscious of their rights.
On the other hand, lawyers say mobbing, as a word, has not yet been defined in law, and that mobbing cases are instead generally named reemployment lawsuits.
Lawyers noted in the survey that such lawsuits tended to result in favor of employees.