22 SES 01 C, The Dark Side of Academia: Cheating and Incivilities
In today’s fast changing world, sometimes a kind of friction may arise among colleagues in universities or among the supervisors and academicians and force the academicians to leave their academic careers and face psychological, social and financial problems. This phenomenon is defined as “mobbing, bullying or psychological abuse at workplace” or for Leymann (1996), psychological terror in working life, a hostile and unethical communication. Though the topic has a dark nature, the existence of preventive measures may present themselves as lights of hope for targeted individuals and organizations.
As psychological abuse has generally been explored with its relation to children in schools, to cyber world and workplaces in general both in Turkey and abroad in terms of its prevalence and effects on the bullied victim and the organization, this study fills the gap of examining the academicians’ view in relation to “leadership” practices and “ethical climate”. The fact that the leadership scale of Bolman and Deal (1991) posed a totally different structure (the reasons vary) in this study is another significant contribution to the scientific world.
“Leadership” and psychological abuse are correlated in the related literature. Helpless or uninterested management and extremely poorly organized working methods define the prevalence of mobbing (Leymann, 1996). An Irish study examining 1057 workers in trade unions, revealed a connection between bullying and poor leadership and negative working environment with 71 percent (O’ Moore & Lynch, 2007). It is the managers’ duty to keep the workplace free of these inappropriate behaviors since for Bandow and Hunter (2008), managers often serve as the primary contact for employees to report their concerns.
“Organizational climate” is another predictor of psychological abuse. For Zapf (1999), conflicts with colleagues and supervisors play a role in forming the negative climate in an organization. Other researchers (Hauge, Skogstad & Einarsen, 2010; Keashly, Harvey & Hunter, 1997) have reported that “exposure to destructive interaction” causes psychological abuse. Giorgi (2010) has found a positive relationship between negative climate and workplace bullying. In order to create a positive climate in an organization, the importance of encouraging cooperation and justice has been pointed out (Hornstein, 1996).
The phenomenon of psychological abuse takes place not only in Turkey but in the European Union countries and in other parts of the world. According to figures from the International Labour Organisation, about 9% of the active population suffer from ‘moral harassment’ in the workplace in Spain (Espluga, 2002). For instance, in Norway, Sweden, France and Germany, employees are protected by laws against workplace bullying.
Compared to other sectors, psychological abuse takes place more in educational organizations (Davenport et al., 2002; Korkmaz & Cemaloğlu, 2010). Academic world, which should normally be a platform of free expression, has already been turned out into an abusive environment. Westhues (2005) suggests that in academia, targets of abuse may lose their academic lives due to unjust treatments taking place in the campus. To exemplify, in Staffordshire University Business School, 53 percent of the participants (Adams, 1992), and in New Zealand universities, 65.3 percent of the academic personnel (Raskauskas, 2006) reported to have been exposed to workplace mobbing.
To highlight the predictive ability of leadership and ethical climate in relation to psychological abuse in academia among non-management level academicians. The research questions are:
- How well can the “leadership styles” of the managers and “ethical climate” in academia predict the psychological abuse?
- Is there a significant difference with regard to psychological abuse and the predictors of “gender, age, title, position, seniority, the length of service in the current position and with the current manager, the type of the institution and the faculty”?
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