Disguised Bullying. Can the mediation help to identify hidden bullying behaviour in the workplace?

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Tatiana Gomes Reis
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The economy has converged to become a global market, and this has increased organizations' competitiveness. The workplace is getting more stressful as a consequence of rising productivity and customer satisfaction demands. Additionally, companies have personnel from diverse origins, opinions, values, and job expectations, contributing to workplace conflicts. Often, these conflicts are helpful to businesses and individuals in various ways, but when they go in a different direction, both parties may lose. This dissertation proposes to investigate one of these conflicts, workplace bullying, which, tragically and shockingly, is exceedingly frequent and may be harmful to employees' physical and mental health, as well as to businesses, resulting in financial losses. The aim of this investigation is to explore how a lack of understanding of the definition of bullying can corroborate disguised bullying cases, thus clarifying the necessity for one in-depth definition of bullying. An additional aim is to investigate if mediation as a method of dispute resolution can help to identify hidden cases of bullying in the workplace. To accomplish this objective, a survey was conducted to assess employees' awareness of workplace bullying, how they deal with workplace conflicts, and their use of mediation. To collect the essential data for this study, a survey was created using Google Forms containing sixteen closed and open questions. This study included a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, as well as descriptive and transversal techniques and processes. As a result, it was discovered that the majority of participants have dealt with workplace bullying, but most do not have a clear definition of what bullying is, that employees use various methods to try to solve conflicts, and that, despite the fact that the majority are aware of mediation, it is not frequently used as a method of conflict resolution, as well as other types of ADR’s.
Gomes Reis, 2021