Bullying in higher education among educators has been researched at the international level and the present evidence strongly exists with need for further research regarding prevention 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Strong empirical research has been published on bullying with viewpoints on the damages to leadership, supervision, incivility and abuse experienced by educators 1, 2, 5, 6. Bullying in higher educational organizations has been observed with antecedents of power, “wanting to get ahead”, favoritism, and other precursors and challenges of incivility leading to bullying 1, 2, 3, 4. Workplace bullying antecedents and effects, describe the possible experiences, background, and precursors, that would reveal workplace bullying 1, 2. Bullying in higher academia can result from behaviours and experiences that show humiliation, overtalking others, aggression, exclusion of others, disengagement of employees, among other subtle ways of silencing others 1, 2, 3, 4, 7. It is therefore still important that educators continue to have a positive, purposeful and productive research driven approach towards solutions for preventing bullying in educational organizations.
Academic Editor: Peter Awhen, Nigeria
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Copyright © 2021 Monique J. Grant Coke, PhD
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Identifying the bullying that may exist among educators or educational organizations will be important to understand when research is able to discuss the physiological and psychological effects related to bullying 1, 2, 3, 4. Many antecedents of bullying could cause emotional strain, cognitive challenges on concentration and abrasive responses which could lead to other complex health challenges. Some research studies related to the effects of workplace bullying among educators have presented their findings 1, 2, 3, 4. Physiological and psychological effects create several types of health problems affected by workplace bullying 1, 2, 3, 4.
Prevention is the goal: Educators must remain positive purposeful and productive towards change with continued solutions from research regarding bullying in education implemented. Prevention of workplace bullying should have positive solutions applied to the situations for ensuring elimination of bullying, even among educator to educator in high educational organizations 2, 5, 6, 7. If solutions can be found to impact change to prevent bullying in higher educational organizations, this would provide positive social change 1, 2, 3, 4. Analysis through assessments could highlight the impact of bullying on learning outcomes, achievement, and as such sustaining bullying prevention may need education at all levels of academia as performance of an organization may decline 5, 6, 7.
Review of Key Literature
Workplace bullying has been experienced among educators in higher education for many years 3, 4, 8, 9. Bullying in workplace can create repeated behaviours recognized as humiliating and intimidating responses among employees; further bullying can be seen as threatening or demeaning 2, 8, 9. This could be considered to be reasonably uncomfortable for employees in any organization. Strong research exists related to bullying in higher academic workplace 2, 8, 9. These are organizations that encourage meaningful and purposeful teaching encounters. Bullying in higher education therefore presents serious concerns among educators and continued research at all levels, , needs to be further explored 2, 3, 4.
There can be detrimental effects resulting from health challenges that occur from physiological and psychological effects on individuals who are affected by workplace bullying 3, 4, 8, 9. Workplace stress and physical symptoms can be the consequences that result from bullying actions affecting the employees’ health, work outputs and further it could create negative organizational culture, further straining workplace relationships 3, 4, 8, 9.
Prevention and elimination are critical to achieving a workplace that is free from bullying and can only be achieved by strategies of motivation, respect, fairness, accountability, and other organizational goals and stances that prevent and have no tolerance for negative behaviours, incivility, unresolved conflicts, and poor workplace culture 3, 4, 8, 9. Quality leadership geared towards preventing and eliminating workplace bullying must be supported by strong integration of policies and reviews for commitment to supporting a strong organizational culture 3, 4, 8, 9.
Workplace Bullying in Higher Educational Organization among Educators
Bullying in schools remain a serious concern. Having created major challenges in schools over the decades, disseminated research has posited its prevalence, effects, challenges, levels of harassment, crisis created whether physically or psychologically and lack of leadership in some cases to take control of this problem 2, 8, 10, 11. Workplace bullying can be subtle and the physical and mental health strain can cause distrust and failure. Organizational culture demands that the effects of employee bullying continue to be explored to indicate the challenges and then seeking to create change, preventing reoccurrence and applying solutions geared towards total elimination 2, 8, 10, 11.
It is therefore important to continue research to determine if workplace bullying in higher education is more than a perception, as many ignore it and believe it is not present 1, 2, 3, 4. Although the perception of whether or not bullying actually exists in an educational instituion, strong evidence point to the existence of bullying among all levels of educational employment, peers, supervisors, mentors, and or leadership and management whether openly or subtle 1, 2, 3, 4. Without management interventions to fix bullying among educators, the organization’s culture can be detrimental 12, 13.
Leadership must be the example for controlling bullying and this is only effective through abilities that may be discovered via several ways or means of leadership, exercised through experience, education, innate abilities, and development overtime, with one’s potential of leadership and management becoming strengthened 12, 13. It is good to be reflective and introspective, as one who is guided by visionary directions, and handling management processes for alternate success will seek to always find solutions to both positive and negative situations or encounters such as bullying in educational organizations 12, 13. The disposition taken as a leader integrated approaches on situations, and utilizes blended techniques on conditions, using one’s strengths, mechanisms and systems, in conjunction with high-satisfactory exercises for the employer 12, 13.
Workplace bullying in higher education as evidenced by research studies have related the challenges but have also supported the need for change for enabling positive functions towards elimination bullying in academia 2, 3, 4. With different types of bullying at all levels, implemented mediation programmes as a prevention or intervention strategy to solve this problem should be utilized to empower a positive organizational culture 2, 14. Bullying at its worst, has created academic issues for male and female educators alike, having significant lack of coping and lack of success 5, 9, 14. Consequently, this has led to the organization being faced with legal matters and conflict issues for educational practice, and the further organizations cultures have been tarnished 5, 9, 14.
Workplace Bullying Antecedent Causes and Effects
Workplace bullying antecedents and effects, describes the possible experiences, background, and precursors, that would reveal workplace bullying 2, 8, 9. Bullying in higher academia have been observed as behaviours and experiences that show insults, impatience, power dominance, overtalking or shouting, fighting with other leaders to in be that position grudged, humiliating moments, unprofessional conduct, aggression, exclusion of some employees, disengagement of employees, among others 2, 3, 4, 7.. Bullying could cause emotional strain, cognitive challenges on concentration and abrasive responses which could lead to other complex health challenges 1, 2, 3, 4. There are other antecedents such as wanting recognition, the need for gaining power, “wanting to get ahead” stance of entitlement based on years of employment, favoritism, a grudged leadership role for which one believes they should be leading, and other precursors and challenges of incivility leading to bullying 1, 2, 3, 4.
Both physiological and psychological health issues from bullying are very serious and should not be taken slightly as these can result in the cause of depression, withdrawal, anxiety, headaches, stomach aches, heartache and other health threats from stress 2, 8, 10, 11. The extent to which these effects have been reported as serious, has been disseminated in research 2, 8, 10, 11. The human body, specifically, the entire major organs of the body and mental capacity can be severely affected because of stress reactions, but most importantly, the varied effects that each individual will encounter will be based on one’s composition of the body and function 2, 8, 10, 11. Stress reactions from bullying could therefore be significant factors for diminishing health in employees. The major effects of bullying have been categorized as physiological and psychological, but what is important is that these effects have serious health risks that can hinder job function 2, 3, 4.
The response to bullying observed in antecedents that can be overt and covert, resulting in absenteeism, frustration, anger, tiredness, behavior change, avoidance, silence, lack of motivation, blocking, transfers, resignation and other consequences that will affect the organization’s structure, function and culture 3, 4, 8, 9. As a result, many persons can suffer from physiological and psychological challenges of bullying in the work place 2, 3, 4. Physiological and psychological challenges have caused many of health concerns from workplace bullying 2, 3, 4, 9. Educators having been affected by bullying, have continued to find several methods for managing these challenges within the school environment but through continued research, other solutions to address and safeguard against health issues need to be implemented 2, 3, 4, 9. This problem is real and without the continued research to find the appropriate solutions, it will not remain immune or isolated from educational organizations 2, 9.
Prevention and Elimination of Workplace Bullying in Higher Academia
As educators, prevention is the goal to be focused, with research underpinning such solutions. Analysis of the negative assessments such as absenteeism, the decline in employees job performances and decline in the organization’s outcomes, failure to meet strategic goals as planned, and achievement outcomes can be impacted by bullying 2, 3, 4, 9. As such, the organizational culture can also decline and employees can become angry, frustrated, demotivated, make for broadcasting negatives, and or resign, further creating negative internal and external outlook and subsequently this can lead to failure of the organization at several levels 5, 6, 7, 9. Bullying measures should be implemented for sustaining the prevention against bullying in schools at all levels of academia, this is critical to success and as such, important that research be enabled to address the factors that will be applied to prevent bullying 5, 6, 7, 9.
Elimination of workplace bullying would seek to provide evidence and supporting activities and policy that would bring about social change. The need to prevent and or apply possible solutions to eliminating and or preventing workplace bullying should be implemented in cases where it is found to exist 2, 7. Policy makers and other stake holders within an organization faced with this issue, should intervene in workplace bullying situations 2, 7, 9. These situations that are experienced by employees being bullied, negatively impacts an organization and stakeholder support declines; and as such issues of bullying should be guarded against administrators to integrate workplace policies on the prevention of bullying 1, 2, 3, 4.
Some research studies related to the effects of workplace bullying among educator to educator have presented their findings distinctly showing that implementation measures to prevention are creating a no tolerance approach 2, 3, 4. If the physiological and psychological effects create several types of health problems affected by workplace bullying implementation of strategies to prevent these challenges must be developed by stakeholders 1, 2, 3, 4. Bullying among educator peers, have been experienced and as a result, the extensiveness of the issue of bullying has caused many school administrators to integrate workplace policies on the prevention of bullying 1, 2, 3, 4.
Interpersonal experiences must be guided by workplace expectations, which will also prevent the risk of serious health challenges if prevented 3, 4, 8, 9. The challenges faced with ineffective leadership, supervision, incivility and abuse among higher academic organizations, has had strong empirical evidence with research published on bullying in education 1, 2, 5, 6. Prevention of workplace bullying should have positive solutions applied to the situations for ensuring elimination of bullying, in high educational organizations 1, 2, 5, 6. If solutions can be found to impact change to prevent bullying in higher educational organizations, this would provide positive social change 1, 2, 5, 6.
Evaluation of the hassle through the hassle through the specific views became crucial and found that there are fairly good linkages to the views, but human sources to control structural impact and symbolic elements inside troubles desire answers 16, 17. However, even though the political play in any respect to make changes; solutions cannot be presented without the different perspectives in isolation but more so making for considerations of all the perspectives involved to create the best solution 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17. . Just as the solutions to many problems now require technology activities for managing the processes within organizations, bully at the social level of interaction needs more practice improvements, and continued research that will allow for considerable positive impacts to improve performance in organizational functions with structure, human resources and full management practices 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17.
The applied perspectives of human resources, symbolic factors, politics, structure, and technology in the recommended solution could be policy development and implementation for education systems can only but be strengthened by research guiding the prevention mechanisms that will further explore and guard the elements that may contribute to the observed bullying actions, as these could be effective in playing a role in achieving positive outcomes towards prevention 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17.
Continued research to eliminate bullying within the school environments will be needed with the application of prevention techniques modeling superb movements for removing bullying 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17.
These answers can only through these perspective views permit the appropriate and precise social alternate and also highlight more precise solutions to sustaining bullying prevention 1, 5, 6, 7. Policy development and implementation as a change solution at the level of academia to prevent bullying which can cause a decline in performance among educators 1, 5, 6, 7, 16, 17. The empirical data will gather knowledge for applicable solutions that could indicate the right policy change relevant for the educational context. These solutions can also through the perspectives of human resources, technology and structure, be integrated to enable the appropriate social change that is necessary for establishing greater solutions that will impact social change, further preventing bullying in higher education 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17.
There is more than just mere perception of workplace bullying among higher education as institutions. It is therefore important to continue research to determine if workplace bullying in higher education is more than a perception 1, 2, 3, 4. Since school administrators have implemented several methods for managing these incivility challenges within the school environment, this problem must be eliminated to build and support strong organizational culture within educational organization 2, 9. Educators are affected by bullying among peers, and it appears to be extensive in schools.
Bullying in higher education presents serious concerns among educators with evidence existing on research published internationally, highlighting the seriousness of this problem and continued research at all levels, even in higher education, and as such needs to be further explored 2, 3, 4. The interest of workplace bullying antecedents and effects, prevention strategies and continued exploration to identify bullying cases in higher educational workplaces; will determine the impacts of bullying among educator to educator in schools, which could allow for effective social change to be applied to such challenges once they exist 1, 2, 3, 4.
Implementation of mediation programmes as a prevention or intervention strategy to solve bullying related to academic issues for male and female teachers alike 2, 9, 14, 15, Consequently, this leads to higher academic organizations along with the organization’s culture being tarnished if faced with legal issues challenged through the courts and this creates further implications for educational practice, 9, 14, 15. Prevention is critical to ensuring these problems do not arise and or elimination of bullying in higher academic will need significant school coping and success strategies for empowering and maintaining a positive organizational culture 2, 9, 14, 15. Introspection, with focus on people-centeredness builds success, while still applying the use of authority delegation where necessary under relevant situations 13, 14. Decision-making is important and critical to satisfaction of work outputs, but the best efforts must also be given to the jobs and as such will need. Communication that is consistent with the team and be effective but additionally the team that is led by democratic leaders encourages brainstorming, questioning, and open constructive criticism 13, 14. As educators, we must remain positive purposeful and productive towards research for continued solutions regarding bullying in education.