Many people suffer emotional abuse. Unfortunately, mostly nothing is done to help someone who is experiencing this abuse. Emotional abuse has been assumed to happen only in the home setting however, even in the work environment there are people who are emotionally abused. It is sad that people tend to accept emotional abuse as a normal thing in human socialization so people do not do much to address this problem. Most people are ignorant of the serious effects of emotional abuse on the recipient. By analyzing works by a variety of scholars, this annotated bibliography covers several concepts about emotional abuse.
Pamela, L.S. & Davenport S. (2009). Destructive Organizational Communication: Processes, Consequences, and Constructive Ways of Organizing. London: Taylor & Francis.
In their book, “Destructive Organizational Communication: Processes and Consequences, and Constructive Ways of Organizing the two authors Pamela and Davenport address the issue of bullying at work. They talk of the negative impacts of this and how it affects the emotional health of the employees. They say that mostly this bullying puts them in a brooding mood and makes them to be less productive at work.
According to the two authors, there are certain factors and practices that promote emotional abuse at the workplace. The channels of communication are one such factor to consider mostly when it has something to do with disciplinary measures.
In their book, they also suggest ways through which the organizations can work to curb emotional abuse among employees. By providing workers with unbiased and open conflict resolution channels, they can prevent ostracism and isolation of employees. These channels will ensure that employees have a reliable way through which to raise their issues confidentially without being victimized. This strategy will definitely improve the flow of communication at the workplace since emotional abuse will not take place (49).
The two authors also talk of cliques and ostracism at job establishments. According to the book, ostracism refers to the leaving out of some people when communicating informal matters. By being less informed unlike the other people at the job establishment, the secluded members thereby, this may lead to them being less productive at work. This is a very common happening in very many workplaces and the ostracized members always feel emotional pain and even experience a feeling of being physically drained.
The relationship between people who work together always affects their general levels of productivity at work. It is therefore important keeping this in mind; the employers create a favorable way of passing informal communication. In this way, they will promote high productivity levels in their organizations and control ostracism and bullying (115).
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Gloria, E. N. (2001). Recognizing Abuse: Reclaiming Your Birthright. Glo's Prose Publishers
According to the writer of this book, emotional abuse does not only entail verbal abuse. People get harassed at work by certain actions that are not necessarily verbal cues. An employee can feel uncomfortable because of other factors that are not necessarily verbal. The writer gives an example of a female employee who was emotionally abused. Her co-worker made some sexually suggestive comments concerning her body. The co-worker had also been admiring a part of her body excessively in a manner that made her uncomfortable. Although she felt emotionally abused, the other co-workers held the opinion that she had no reason to feel that way.
Gloria says that verbal and non-verbal sexual harassment can be directed to women at their places of work (133). Especially when the employee feels like in order to keep their job, they have to bottle their feelings. This is emotional abuse at the workplace. Imagine the pressure, frustration and effort involved in trying to keep a smiling face while hurting on the inside.
Unlike sexual or physical abuse, emotional abuse affects the inside of a person. This is something that takes much longer to heal and the effects can stay ingrained. In the book, the writer suggests ways via which the victims of emotional abuse can fight the negative effects of it. The non-defensive communication strategy entails viewing the person causing the abuse as an ally instead of a foe. This strategy is expected to reduce the chances of getting enmity between the two individuals. The victim will also be able to agree on a compromise with the abuser so that they can understand the root of the abusers anti-social behavior. By plying these recommended methods, the victim of emotional abuse will not have adverse negative effects and so they will be able to maintain their impressive work productivity at the workplace (147).
Kimberly, A. & Duncan, C. (2003). Preventing and responding to violence at work. Oslo: International Labor Organization
Kimberly and Duncan hold the premise that, ‘workplace violence is one of today’s most serious occupational hazards.’ Emotional abuse at the workplace can take various forms including sexual and racial harassment, intimidation, offensive messages, innuendo, rude gesturing deliberate silence, ostracism, bullying, victimization, threatening, name-calling, hostile behavior, and aggressive posturing etc.
This book takes a different approach by putting into consideration the changing of the profile of emotional abuse at the workplace has changed. Kimberly and Duncan suggest ways via which one can avoid violence that mostly leads to emotional abuse can be avoided. They look at how to tone down the negative impacts of emotional abuse on an individual. Their approach has borrowed from a risk management model. They talk of the responsibility of the employer in ensuring that they protect their employees from emotional abuse. The authors suggest that the management of workplace should be analyzed to find out the factors that promote emotional abuse and create ways to avoid them. They should also come up with measures that they will apply in the event that one of their employees becomes a victim of emotional abuse at the workplace. Like any initiative, these strategies should be monitored and evaluated to know whether they are having the desired impact in a given organization (18).
How often emotional abuse occurs in a given workplace determines whether it will be termed low risk, moderate risk or high risk. In coming up with these categorization, one considers several factors including the trends of violence in the organization’s industry, past incidences of violence, legislative requirements, organizational and environmental factors, present procedures and systems.
Kimberly and Duncan suggest the workplace inventory as the best way for employers ensure effective reporting of abuse or violence at work. The system that has been proven to be unbiased involved putting into consideration the suggestions and feelings of the employees. In this way, an efficient channel of communication is established between the employer and employees.
The system is normally a questionnaire, which is used by the management to learn more about the kind of abuse in their given workplace and to get suggestions of how to best deal with the issue. The questionnaire tackles the issues of violence or abuse that an employee has experienced at the workplace in the past year.
Roland, E. & Christopher, L. M. (2005). Managing organizational Deviance. California: SAGE, 2005
In this book, it is stated that ‘…the success of an organization is highly dependent on the ability of the organization to limit the potential for deviant behavior, and if necessary, responding to deviant behavior in a positive way…’ This is how to minimize or completely curb deviant behavior that normally leads to emotional abuse. One of the imperative roles of human resource management is reducing deviant behavior at the workplace. Managing this kind of behavior is key to ensure high productivity levels (68). According to Roland and Christopher, say that in organizations that condone bullying just like in those that do not, there are not a lot of differences. The workers in both environments experience fear, victimization, frustration, and helplessness. In short, they both experience emotional abuse. Therefore, in order for employees to know how to handle matters of emotional abuse when they become victims, it is paramount that the organization clearly states their stand. For example about bullying, they should clearly state whether they condone or disregard the behavior and let the worker know that they can report such a matter to the management.
Michele, A., Rudy, V. & Carmen A. (2006). Understanding workplace violence: a guide for managers and employees. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Workplace violence is claimed to be on a high increase rate at the workplace according to this book. They blame this increase on situational, behavioral and psychological stressors among other risk factors. These risk factors are multiplying everyday especially because of the volatility of the of today’s business environment. The cost of emotional abuse is at an outstanding $ 120 billion (17).
Michele, Rudy and Carmen suggest to employers and employees alike on how to identify the catalysts of violence at the workplace. In this way, potential victims are able to prevent it from happening or protect themselves. In the event that they become victims of workplace violence, they are able to know how to react swiftly and get the desired result. By giving case studies, real life recommendations and recording their interviews, they have been able to provide workable solutions through sharing real experiences. In this way, they have been able to tell advice everyone affected by emotional abuse in one way or the other including: psychologists, managers, counselors, workers etc. the concepts discussed in the book are borrowed from a wide range of disciplines including psychology, management and sociology.
Peg, T. (2007). Emotional Abuse. Minnesota: Hazelden Publishing
The term emotional abuse has various definitions as provided by numerous scholars. By trying to understand the various concepts surrounding emotional abuse in depth, Peg tries to link emotional abuse and recovery. He suggests that emotional abuse happens when a past even of emotional abuse triggers certain psychological aspects in the victim. All of us are potential victims of abuse or potential abusers. All the same, we are all equally able to recover from the impact of emotional abuse. This is true no matter how badly we were abused.
Drawing from this understanding, Peg defines emotional abuse as ‘...a type of behavior that violates the very core emotional connection that holds a relationship together and hurts the abuser as well as the victim.’ He says that every normal human relationship has to be sprinkled with a little of upset, anger or distance. This is essential for people to have healthy relationships. However, a big problem arises when people do not heal from all wounds that build up in an individual’s system and subsequently affects their performance at work. Open communication is therefore imperative for healthy relations at work.
Gregory, L. & Ann M. (2003). Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse. Miami: Baker Publishing Group
This book gives hope to those people who have been victims of emotional abuse. It does so by offering advice on how to recover from the wounds of emotional abuse no matter how deep they run. Overcoming the past and working to rebuild their self-image are the important messages in the book. Although the scars of emotional abuse at the workplace are not physical, it is possible to see the signs of a victim of this kind of abuse. This however, does not mean that the effects of emotional abuse should be undermined. They are bad enough o cause a slow death to the victim.
Most people deny being emotionally abused. Most of the time, spotting a victim of emotional abuse at the workplace is very hard (19). Others just brush it aside as a normal everyday thing and fail to give it the required attention. A certain spiritual counselor named Gregory talks of how people have found ways to ignore emotional abuse instead of speaking out and getting healing. This theory asserts the fact that communication is most important in curbing emotional abuse at the workplace. A communication channel at the workplace gives the management tools for handling mitigated measures against emotional abuse at the workplace.
Stale, E. et al. (2010). Bullying and Emotional Abuse in the Workplace: International Perspectives in Research and Practice. Florida: CRC Press
This book has gone an extra mile to look at emotional abuse more critically unlike most people who consider it as a part of everyday life that they must live with. The book is an updated research about remedies to bullying at the workplace. It looks at different aspects of the same including how to tell the degree of exposure to violence at work, how to treat and rehabilitate victims, discrimination and bullying, managing and preventing bullying at work, how to investigate complains about bullying and perspectives of workplace bullying and bad behavior among others.
The writers of the book introduce various models that try to explain where, why and when bullying occurs. Through these models, those affected can learn how to prevent or minimize the cases especially at the workplace (136).
Barbara, B. (2010). Taming the Workplace Tigers: Powering Your Career to a Roaring Success. Barbara Bowes
The book points out the scenarios at the workplace that may make one to be emotionally abused. The then go ahead to suggest strategies that the victims can apply so as to tame those who abuse them. Victims can use these strategies to boost their productivity levels and hence achieve greater success in their careers. The working environment in her opinion can feel very unfriendly to the employee because of the calamities, dangers and pitfalls that they encounter. Despite the variety of forms of emotional abuse at the workplace, Barbara provides strategies that will help the employee sail through swiftly at the workplace. She identifies coercion, gate keeping, deceit, favoritism selfishness and inequality by the employer as some of the common forms of emotional abuse at the workplace (27). These are mostly brushed off as trivial or common.
The author says that a company’s success should not be defined by hitting high profit margins but by the wholesome well being of its workers as well. A good leader will ensure that their employees are enjoying a good working environment free from emotional abuse. They will ensure that there is a good flow of communication between the employees and the management.
Richard, V. & Mark, B. (2001). The violence-prone workplace: a new approach to dealing with hostile, threatening, and uncivil behavior. New York: Cornell University Press
Every week, according to Richard and mark, there is an incident of violence that is reported. Unresolved conflict is the main cause for violence among many people. By analyzing the issue of emotional abuse and violence at the workplace, the book suggests various ways of dealing with the same. They start by defining whose problem it really is when violence or emotional abuse occurs at the workplace. In conclusion, they give suggestions as to how to deal with the issue. The issue of emotional abuse in corporate world is massive and this can be seen by the increase of the number of organizations and consultants addressing the issue (111). The book says that both employees and employers can receive emotional abuse from each other and so, emotional abuse is not just top down but bottom up as well. The employees are then advised not to vent out their anger through poor performance at work. Employers are advised to learn how to pin point employees who are most likely to bring about violence at the workplace and deal with them sooner other than later.
Carlene, C. Bob K. & Robert K. (2009). Supervision: Setting People Up for Success, Kentucky: Cengage Learning
The book has placed communication as the important tool for creating success in the workplace. Recognition, harmony, appraisal, motivation and extra ordinary skills promote the productivity of an organization. Only high productivity qualifies a company as successful. The most dominant theme in the book is how to get employees working towards success. The employer is given a toolkit containing critical supervision tools. The tools include self-assessment tools, checklists, communication logs and others to help them achieve harmony and peace.
The book also gives insights on how to identify signs of emotional, verbal or non-verbal and sexual or physical abuse. In conclusion, the book puts that lack of good communication is the root cause for conflict, violence misunderstanding and abuse at the workplace (308).
Ricky, W. & Anne, L. (2004). The dark side of organizational behavior. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
There are many books that tackle the issues of organizational behavior however not many focus on the negative influences that some of these behaviors have especially at the workplace. This book is a comprehensive collection, which gives a framework through which one can study the negative effects of deviant behavior at work. Unfortunately, most people are of the view that these behaviors and their impact are normal at the workplace (27).
Professor Ricky is an executive associate dean at Maya Business School. His experience in organizational behavior came from being the chairperson of the research methods programs. Professor Anne works for the management department at the University of Arkansas and is part of the committee of organizational behavior division at the Academy of Management.
Julian. B., Kevin K. & Michael R. (2005). Handbook of work stress. New York: SAGE
The book tries to understand the various reasons why stress normally comes up at the workplace. They carry out an analysis to figure out whether the stress levels at different jobs are the same. In addition, do these jobs with a high tendency of stressed workers have high levels of violence at the workplace? Through this analysis, the book also hopes to figure out whether some individuals are more likely to be stressed at work more than others are and whether this normally results in violence at work. According to the writer, the handbook is very useful to people who are interested in studying ‘health psychology, organizational psychology, human resources, and employee assistance (186).’
Robert, G. & Mark, B. (2005). Aggression in organizations: violence, abuse, and harassment at work and in schools: Journal of Emotional Abuse Monographic Separates, 1, 45-47.
The authors of this article analyze the present and future strategies for handling violence at work. By highlighting the causes of violence at the workplace, they are able to identify solutions. These solutions are also for mistreatment and abuse at the workplace. By acknowledging the fact that emotional abuse is complex, they talk of how a certain act may be regarded as abusive in one context and not regarded as so in another. Therefore, this greatly affects the strategies used to diagnose, treat, prevent and intervene on emotional abuse.
Having a lot of experience in dealing with emotional abuse, Robert is the founder and CEO of the Institute of Violence, Abuse and Trauma and the Family Violence and sexual Assault Institute.
Canadian Industrial Relations Association, et al (2003). Trade and labor protection: can the two be made to work together? Canada: Presses Université Laval.
The book lobbies for the right of employees against emotional abuse. It covers aspects surrounding conflict management training. It identifies that the perception of the employees on certain issues is important and should be understood as the first and most important stage of solving abuse, violence and conflict at the place of work. A case study about an organization in London is used effectively to show the impacts of allowing ineffective communication in an organization. It asserts that employees have the right to strike or bargain until their emotional needs are met at the work environment (147).
Allen, R. & Earl, R. (2009). Essential Research Methods for Social. Kentucky: Cengage Learning
The book clearly states that the existence of emotional abuse at the workplace is real. The analysis in the book is driving towards coming up with the appropriate methodology for studying issues of emotional abuse at the place of work. The methodologies can be used in not only social work but also business aspects and human resource management.
In order to help the employers know how to handle emotional abuse issues, the book covers areas to do with the variable and its level. The frequency in which emotional abuse happens or structure, magnitude, consequences and cause both in the long and short term are considered (308).
Emotional abuse is very much amongst us especially in the workplace and we cannot afford to ignore it. Healing from the wounds of emotional abuse is possible; therefore, there is no longer the need for people to die from this kind of stress. Resolving conflicts peacefully and co-existing harmoniously are very important in avoiding violence and emotional abuse at the workplace.