Pervasive workplace aggression can happen in any workplace setting including professional and non-professional jobs. It is something that knows no limits or constraints and every person in the workplace is a potential target.
We think that it is our co-workers who get persecuted at work because we possess qualities that our boss and our co-workers value. We want to believe that because we have identified ourselves as good workers, we are not at-risk to be a target. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Those traits, such as integrity, good work ethic, creativity, and collaborative, are in fact the very characteristics which make us vulnerable for being a target.
Organizations and agencies where pervasive workplace aggression occurs tend to have characteristics and an overall environment that make them more vulnerable. Organizations where there is increased stress or where change has or is expected are susceptible. Leadership and leadership styles are also influence the likelihood that aggression will occur in the workplace. Therefore, a large number of organizations are potential breeding ground for pervasive workplace aggression.
Just like with schoolyard bullying, pervasive workplace aggression is often down played and not taken seriously. Targets are frequently blamed because organizations and administrators are not equipped to deal with such a complex problem. However, with education and interventions, workplaces can deal with aggressors and stop pervasive workplace aggression. Making work better for everyone!
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