To read this content please select one of the options below:

Organisational, work group related and personal causes of mobbing/bullying at work

Dieter Zapf (Johann Wolfgang Goethe‐Universität, Frankfurt, Germany)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 1 February 1999



This article investigates the causes of mobbing (bullying) at work. Mobbing is defined as a severe form of social stressors at work. Unlike “normal” social stressors, mobbing is a long lasting, escalated conflict with frequent harassing actions systematically aimed at a target person. It is argued that the organisation, the social system, a certain perpetrator and the victim have to be considered as potential causes of mobbing. Results of two samples of mobbing victims and a control group support this view. It is concluded that one‐sided explanations on the causes of mobbing are likely to be inappropriate and that many cases are characterised by multi‐causality – a common finding in conflict research.



Zapf, D. (1999), "Organisational, work group related and personal causes of mobbing/bullying at work", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 20 No. 1/2, pp. 70-85.




Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

Related articles