Working Notes: 2 important new books on workplace bullying & mobbing


As the calendar year comes to a close, two important new books have arrived to enlighten our understanding of, and shape our responses to, workplace bullying and mobbing.

Maureen Duffy & Len Sperry, Overcoming Mobbing

Drs. Maureen Duffy (therapist and consultant) and Len Sperry (faculty, Florida Atlantic University and the Medical College of Wisconsin) have co-authored Overcoming Mobbing: A Recovery Guide for Workplace Aggression and Bullying (Oxford University Press, 2013). Earlier this year, I was asked to provide an endorsement for the book. After spending a good chunk of time with the manuscript, I wrote up this statement, which appears on the back cover:

This is a very important and useful contribution to the literature on mobbing, bullying, and emotional abuse at work. Employee relations and mental health practitioners, mobbing targets and their families, scholars, and advocates alike will benefit from its command of the relevant research, on-the-ground understanding of the workplace, and practical application. I will be adding it with enthusiasm to my short list of recommended books on this topic.

I meant every word. And at a list price of $21.95 — very reasonable for a university press hardcover title — it is within the budgets of most who will gain from its insights. Kudos to Maureen and Len for writing this excellent book.

Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik, Adult Bullying

Over the past decade, Dr. Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik (North Dakota State University) has emerged as a leading scholar on workplace bullying and related topics, authoring and co-authoring a variety of peer-reviewed studies and commentaries through the lens of communications. Now, in Adult Bullying: A Nasty Piece of Work (ORCM Academic Press, 2013), she has gathered these works into a single volume. In addition to serving the needs of scholars in this field, Pam has written the book for those dealing with bullying-related “grievances, complaints, or concerns with upper-level management and HR professionals.”

Several of her co-authors will be very familiar to those steeped in the literature on workplace bullying, including Jess K. Alberts, Gary Namie, and Sarah J. Tracy. Other co-authors include Elizabeth Dickinson, Lisa Farwell, Courtney Vail Fletcher, Karen A. Foss, Jacqueline Hood, and Virginia McDermott.

This book also is priced very affordably, listing at $13.61 for the softcover edition and $9.99 for the Kindle edition. It’s a handy way to obtain the writings of a leading expert in the field.

6 responses

  1. Workplace bullying is extremely traumatic and often leads to permanent emotional damage to the targeted victim, who has been systematically reduced and disabled. It is important for professionals dealing with this condition to understand and adequately evaluate it for its destructive and often irreversibly damaging nature that frequently causes suicide in the victim.

  2. I recently purchased both of these books, and find them both well worth the investment.

    “Overcoming Mobbing” is one that I would recommend for anyone who has been targeted for abuse in the workplace, as well as anyone who has witnessed or participated (sometimes inadvertently) in this common and destructive workplace behaviour. It is also an invaluable primer for anyone who cares about a targeted individual at any stage of the predictable events that unfold.

    “Adult Bullying” is a more challenging read, and I expect it will soon become a staple in the libraries of HR, counselling, mental health, legal, responsible management, workplace safety, and union professionals as the subject matter is pervasive in all these areas of endeavour.

  3. These authors need to send letters to statesmen concerning the Healthy Workplace Bill and make a brief youtube video promoting their research. Society seems to be more visual these days, so I am thinking they make a video and send youtube link to statesmen.

  4. I am going through this now at work. It is something, I had never even thought was happening like this. I have been out on leave and have been in therapy, trying to deal with traumatic issue. It is not just the person being bullied but their entire family and network of friends also suffer.

  5. Pingback: Conferences as community builders « Minding the Workplace

  6. Pingback: Conferences as Community Builders | Psychology Benefits Society

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