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Mobbing is a modern term for systematic bullying, harassment, or psychological terror, especially in schools and workplaces, whereby one person is "ganged up" on and stigmatized by peers and/or superiors for no genuine justifiable reason known to most of those mobbing the victim. Research into the phenomenon was pioneered in the 1980s by [German-born Swedish] scientist Heinz Leymann, who borrowed the term from animal behavior due to it describing perfectly how a group can attack an individual based only the negative meta-communications from the group.

A longer-established technical use of mobbing is in the study of animal behaviour, especially in ornithology, where it refers to the behaviour of birds harassing something that represents a threat to them.


  • 1 Mobbing in human society
  • 2 Mobbing in animal society
  • 3 References
  • 4 External link

Mobbing in human society

Mobbing is typically found in work environments that have poorly organized production and/or working methods and incapable or inattentive management. According to [1], mobbing victims are usually "exceptional individuals who demonstrated intelligence, competence, creativity, integrity, accomplishment and dedication".

Mobbing is also found in our school systems and this too was discovered by Dr. Heinz Leymann. Although he preferred the term bullying in the context of school children, some have come to regard mobbing as a form of group bullying. It is interesting to note that a German born doctor practicing in Sweden chose the English term "Mobbing" to describe this social phenomenon. As professor and practicing psychologist, Dr. Leymann also noted one of the side-effects of Mobbing is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is frequently misdiagnosed. After making this discovery he successfully treated thousands of mobbing victims at his clinic in Sweden.

Mobbing is also a serious criminal offence in Scotland, in the United Kingdom, relating to public order.

Mobbing in animal society

From the RSPBwebsite:

Mobbing is a noisy, obvious form of behaviour that birds engage in to defend themselves or their offspring from predators. When a predator is discovered, the birds start to emit alarm calls and fly at the predator, diverting its attention and harassing it. Sometimes they make physical contact. Mobbing usually starts with just one or two birds, but may attract a large number of birds, often of many species. For example, a chorus of different alarm calls coming from the same tree is often a good sign of a roosting owl or a cat.
Mobbing behaviour has been recorded in a wide range of species, but it is particularly well developed in gulls and terns, while crows are amongst the most frequent mobbers. In addition to flying at the predator and emitting alarm calls, some birds, such as fieldfares and gulls, add to the effectiveness by defaecating or even vomiting on the predator with amazing accuracy... [1]


[1] Noa Davenport et al. (1999). Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace.

External link

  • The Mobbing Encyclopaedia
  • Pesten ("Pesten" is Dutch for Mobbing)
  • Mobbing Opfer mutiert zum Gegener Eine deutsche Mobbing-Seite
  • mobbing.ca(Mobbing resources in Canada)


de:Mobbing es:Hostigamiento laboral fr:Harcèlement psychologique no:Mobbing it:Mobbing pl:Mobbing sv:Mobbning hr:Mobbing

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/Mobbing"

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobbing Wikipedia article Mobbing.

  All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License