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A quantitative exploration of the effects of workplace bullying on South African educators

L Jacobs
C de Wet


This article reports on results from a quantitative exploration of the effects of workplace bullying (WPB) on school-level educators of different post levels. A convenient, voluntary sample of educators (n=999) who were upgrading their qualifications at the School of Open Learning (SOL) at the University of the Free State, South Africa was selected to complete a questionnaire on WPB. Results of this article emanate from the responses of 850 respondents who indicated that they were victims of WPB. The study reveals that the effects of WPB are psychosocial and physiological, rather than work related. The most frequent effects of WPB are headaches, extreme sadness when recalling the antagonistic behaviour, fatigue and stress. The study emphasises the vulnerability of male victims of WPB, as well as victims who occupy managerial positions. The results indicate that age has little influence on the way victims are affected by WPB. The study highlights the need for the development of anti-WPB policies in South Africa, as well as the creation of structures to cater for the psychosocial and psychological needs of educator victims of WPB.

Keywords: educators, mobbing, schools, South Africa, teachers, workplace bullying.