The concept of mobbing, originally used referring to animals, according to the extract below, is now applied also to human beings, and is used specifically to refer to subtle aggressive behaviours in the workplace:
Konrad Lorenz, in his book entitled On Aggression (1966), first described mobbing among birds and animals, attributing it to instincts rooted in the Darwinian struggle to survive.
In the 1970s, the Swedish physician Peter-Paul Heinemann applied Lorenz's conceptualization to the collective aggression of children against a targeted child.
In the 1980s, professor and practising psychologist Heinz Leymann applied the term to ganging up in the workplace. Leymann noted that one of the possible side-effects of mobbing is post-traumatic stress disorder and is frequently misdiagnosed. After making this discovery he successfully treated thousands of victims at his clinic in Sweden.
Mobbing in the workplace:
- British anti-bully researchers Andrea Adams and Tim Field have used the expression "workplace bullying" instead of what Leymann called "mobbing" in a workplace context. They identify mobbing as a particular type of bullying that is not as apparent as most, defining it as "an emotional assault". (Wikipedia)
I could not find evidence in any dictionary on the meaning and usage of "mobbing" with the connotation cited above.
The following piece may help understand why, but it refers to the year 2000, psychologicalharassment.com:
- Strangely, recognition of Leymann’s discovery has been slower in coming to the English-speaking world. Newsweek published a popular summary of research on workplace mobbing in 2000, but only in its European edition. In Britain and America, attention has focussed less on mobbing than on the different but related problem of bullying, and, occasionally, on one of its extremely rare possible results: the outbursts of extreme violence, that from time to time make headlines across the country.
Is "mobbing" used in BrE and AmE to refer to subtle aggressive behaviour aimed at discrediting and causing psychological pressure in the workplace or is it still not used as suggested above ?