Coming attraction: “Workplace Bullying and Mobbing in the United States”

Scheduled for publication in December 2017 is Workplace Bullying and Mobbing in the United States (Praeger/ABC-CLIO), a two-volume, multidisciplinary book project, edited by Dr. Maureen Duffy and me, and featuring chapters authored by some twenty contributors.

Here are some highlights from the publishers’ book webpage (still in progress):

Workplace Bullying and Mobbing in the United States provides a comprehensive overview of the nature and scope of the problem of workplace bullying and mobbing. By tapping the knowledge of a breadth of subject experts and interpreting contemporary survey data, this resource examines the impact of bullying and mobbing on targets; identifies what constitutes effective prevention and intervention; surveys the legal landscape for addressing the problem, from both American and (for multinational employers) transnational perspectives; and provides an analysis of key employment sectors with practical recommendations for prevention and amelioration of these behaviors.

The contributors to this outstanding work include researchers, practitioners, and policy and subject-matter experts who are widely recognized as authorities on workplace bullying and mobbing, including Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie, cofounders of the U.S. workplace anti-bullying movement; Drs. Maureen Duffy and Len Sperry, internationally recognized authorities on workplace mobbing; and professor David Yamada, leading expert on the legal aspects of workplace bullying. The set’s content will be of particular value to scholars and practitioners in disciplines that overlap with American labor and employee relations, industrial/organizational psychology and mental health, and law and conflict resolution.


  • The first comprehensive, multi-contributor book on workplace bullying and mobbing grounded in American employee relations
  • An ideal starting place for anyone seeking to better understand the breadth and depth of research on workplace bullying and mobbing in the United States
  • Features contributions from leading researchers and subject-matter experts on workplace bullying and mobbing, including some who are founding members of the U.S. Academy on Workplace Bullying, Mobbing, and Abuse
  • Summarizes and analyzes leading research for scholars and researchers in industrial/organizational psychology, clinical and counseling psychology, organizational behavior and communications, business management, law, and public health

We will be sharing more about the specific chapters and authors in the months to come. The two volumes will total approximately 600 pages. Alas, this will be a pricey acquisition, aimed toward academic and professional audiences and libraries, with the list price of $131 set by the publisher.

The U.S. focus of the book set is not an attempt to be parochial or insular, but rather a recognition that American employee relations with regard to bullying and mobbing behaviors has unique characteristics, not all of them positive. Accordingly, we wanted to offer research and commentary written by a primarily American group of contributors, using — whenever available — research and analysis grounded in U.S. workplaces.

This project traces its origins to the publisher’s invitation to Dr. Duffy to submit a proposal for a two-volume set on workplace bullying and mobbing. Maureen, in turn, enlisted me as a co-editor. During the past year and a half, I have learned tons from Maureen about the care and feeding of such an ambitious project. We’re very excited about this book set, and we believe it will be a meaningful and comprehensive contribution to our understanding of workplace bullying and mobbing behaviors and how we can respond to them.

14 responses

  1. Hoping for mention of managerial abuse in its various forms including defamation and wrongful termination.

  2. I trust there will be an honest chapter that there is no real legal recourse under current law for victims of workplace bullying.
    You owe this ethically and morally to all those who have shared their anguish to you- further analysis and identification of the dynamics of the issue without the legal reality for victims would be unspeakable.
    People need to know that the financial consequences will be real without any hope of a settlement from the employer under current US laws.

    • Tim, the U.S. legal chapter (written by me) will set out the current state of things, including the need for legislation such as the Healthy Workplace Bill. It is not intended as a legal advice chapter for targets, but it makes clear that current legal options are limited primarily to those who can connect bullying to discriminatory intent or retaliation for legally protected whistleblowing. It does recognize that progress has been made in legal and legislative advocacy efforts and points the way toward more comprehensive protections.

  3. Congratulations, David, and give my regards to one of your authors, Len Sperry.

    Steve moffic

    Sent from my iPad


  4. I am so relieved to see this being addressed in the United States. When I mention the term mobbing to others, they have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, yet knowing personal stories of people who have experienced this, I know that this is very real and extremely damaging. Thank you in advance.

  5. I don’t know if this is necessarily correct or not, but it seems that typically, when a bona fide, protected-class, legally protected workplace case, regarding discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblowing, etc., is heard, the public has access to read about that case and understand who the perpetrator in their community was, and what the decision and compensation for the victim was. I assume that that important public informing–and potentially responsibility and prevention encouraging–aspect would also apply if a legal case was heard regarding creation of a hostile work environment or intentional infliction of stress.

    Do you know if one can take a creation-of-a-hostile-work-environment or intentional-infliction-of-stress case to small claims court?

    Or, since almost everybody in California is being trained in and knows about the terms–workplace bullying and/or mobbing and abusive behavior with malice–do you think one could state a claim using those terms and language in a small claims court?

    • Unfortunately I don’t know enough about the jurisdiction of the CA small claims court to be able to say. In many states, hostile work environment claims based on protected class status have to be filed originally with the state agency responsible for handling those claims. Also in many states, workers’ compensation laws prohibit the filing of intentional infliction of emotional distress claims against an employer, limiting work-related injury claims to the workers’ comp system. But you’d have to research these questions specific to CA state law in order to get authoritative answers.

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