The survey defined bullying as “repeated, health harming abusive conduct committed by bosses and co-workers.” The institute also issued another single-question survey in order to make the direct comparison to the 2007 survey of this nature. In this second survey, workplace bullying was defined as “repeated mistreatment: sabotage by others that prevented work from getting done, verbal abuse, threatening conduct, intimidation and humiliation.” Thirty-seven per cent of Americans reported experiencing workplace bullying in the 2007 survey.
Of the two 2010 surveys, the first survey had 4,210 respondents across America and the one single-item survey had 2,092 respondents.
The majority of bullying (68 per cent) is same-gender harassment. The survey found women bullies target women in 80 per cent of cases. This harassment is mostly legal according to anti-discrimination laws and workplace policies in the United States, said the WBI. Bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal harassment, the institute found in its first workplace bullying survey in 2007.
The survey also found that 62 per cent of bullies are men and 58 per cent of targets are women.
The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) wrote the survey and commissioned Zogby International to collect data for this representative study of all adult Americans on the topic of workplace bullying.