ERG SES G 04, Social Aspects of Education
In today’s fast changing world, like every organization, educational organizations as well have become a part of the struggle to compete with each other in order to survive. However, the more this race continues, the higher the probability of opposition to come out among the supervisors and the subordinates. Finally, it may reach to a threshold where the psychology and the physical health of the targeted personnel are affected negatively. This phenomenon is named as “mobbing”, “bullying” in general or in the national literature, it is also referred to as “psychological abuse at work place” or “daunting someone and causing him to run away” (Tınaz, 2006). Leymann defines it as a psychological terror in working life involving hostile and unethical communication directed in a systematic way by one or a few individuals mainly towards one individual in a frequent way (1996, p.168). It not only causes personal loses and traumas and financial and human resources loses to higher education organizations, but also deals a serious blow to the effectiveness and reputation of an organization. Psychological abuse takes place in educational organizations more than in other organizations (Korkmaz & Cemaloğlu, 2010). Therefore, it is important to refer to the views of the academicians about this issue.
One of the many triggering factors behind psychological abuse is the “inadequate or misuse of the leadership” positions (Einarsen, Raknes, & Matthiesen, 1994; Vartia, 1996). Some leadership approaches such as being autocrat, tyrant or preferring intimidating communication, can increase abusive workplace behaviours (Blasé & Blasé, 2002). Among the different leadership styles, while “authoritarian” leadership style makes up more than 50 percent of bullying cases (O’Moore & Lynch, 2007), “democratic” leadership gives more job satisfaction to the employees and increases productivity, thus, cannot go together with bullying situations associated with bad social environment and ill-health (Zapf, Knorz & Kulla1996). “Laissez-faire” style on the other hand, causes the most aggression compared to the other leadership styles (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2008). As alternatives to democratic leadership, “distributive and transformational” leadership styles are said to make a positive difference in organisational outcomes (Harris & Spillane, 2008; Cemaloğlu, 2011). All these leadership styles and more will be examined with details and examples in this study.
The unwanted leader behaviors also shape the “culture” of that organization or if that culture has already been established, the leader may play the role that culture necessitates. This is because, in some cases, when the person in charge has poor leadership qualities, he or she may not be able to find the power to change the mobbing culture in that organization. In other cases, the leaders may choose to help their favored employees, leaving the others outside this situation. As a result, this mobbing culture makes the targets feel “lonely” and “alienated” from their departments which they define to have “unprofessional”, “insecure” and “untrustworthy” climates.
In this respect, this study bases its discourse to the theory of Vertical Dyad Linkage Model, which is about some supervisors not behaving the same to all subordinates but rather showing tolerance to one particular group of people whom they form a special bond with (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2008). The analysis is shaped by some research questions such as the preparatory factors and the process of psychological abuse, the reactions of the targets, the results of the different reactions and the strategies to cope with this phenomenon.
Aim: This study aims to explore the process of psychological abuse in academicians and analyze the relationship between the experiences of the victims and the managerial practices taking place in those organizations which have penetrated into that culture.
Blasé, J. & Blasé J. (2002). The dark side of leadership: teacher perspectives of principal mistreatment. Educational Administration Quarterly, 38, 671. Cemaloğlu, N. (2011). Primary principals’ leadership styles, school organisational health and workplace bullying. Journal of Educational Administration, 49 (5), 495-512. Einarsen, S., Raknes, B. I., & Matthiesen, S. B. (1994). Bullying and harassment at work and their relationship to work environment quality: An exploratory study. European Work and Organizational Psychologist, 4, 381–401. doi:10.1080/13594329408410497. Harris, A. & Spillane, J. (2008). Distributed leadership through the looking glass. Management in Education, 22 (1), 31-34. Korkmaz, M. & Cemaloğlu, N. (2010). Relationship between organisational learning and workplace bullying in learning organisations. Educational Research Quarterly. 33 (3), 3-38. Leymann, H. (1996). The content and development of mobbing at work. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 5 (2), 165-184. Lunenburg, F.C. & Ornstein, A.C. (2008). Educational Administration. Concepts and Practices. Fifth edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. O’Moore, M. & Lynch, J. (2007). Leadership, working environment and workplace bullying. International Journal of Organization Theory and Behaviour, 10 (1), 95-117. Tınaz, P. (2006). İşyerinde psikolojik taciz (mobbing). Çalışma ve Toplum, 4, 13-28. Vartia, M. (1996). The sources of bullying: psychological work environment and organizational climate. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 5, 203–214. DOI: 10.1080/13594329608414855. Zapf, D., Knorz, C. & Kulla, M. (1996). On the relationship between mobbing factors, and job content, social environment, and health outcomes. European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, 5 (2), 215-237. DOI: 10.1080/13594329608414856.
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