n South African Journal of Labour Relations - The prevalence of workplace bullying in a South African mining company

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



Previous studies have established that for some people a typical day at work starts with immense feelings of distress, anxiety and irritability caused by workplace bullying. Not only does bullying behaviour in the workplace have a negative impact on a person's professional life, but it is also detrimental to the effectiveness of the organisation. The study aims to investigate the prevalence and experiences of workplace bullying among employees in a mining company. A survey focusing on the perceived exposure to bullying and victimisation in the workplace was administered to a sample of 159 employees at a mine in Mpumalanga. The results revealed that more than a quarter of the participants reported that they had experienced workplace bullying. The study also found that line managers were exposed to more negative acts than senior managers. While those who only experience a brief spell of bullying behaviour at work survive their experience relatively unscathed, previous studies have indicated that others show significant physical and psychological effects. In conclusion, this study confirms concurrent research that workplace bullying is an actual occurrence, not only internationally but also in South Africa. This article provides an opportunity for employed people to recognise the nature and prevalence of workplace bullying in order to prevent it from becoming a silent epidemic. Employees and employers stand to benefit from gaining an understanding of this unique workplace phenomenon.

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