ABSTRACT

We begin this chapter with some trepidation. We have both been involved in academia and higher education for close to a quarter century. In Loraleigh Keashly’s case, it has always been her working environment, and for Joel Neuman, it has been his second career, after more than a decade managing in the private sector. We are a bit concerned about writing this chapter because we recognize that workplace bullying in academia (and other social settings) is a problem but, at the same time, we sense the presence of a bandwagon effect among the general public and academic researchers-“The tendency for people in social and sometimes political situations to align themselves with the majority opinion and to do or believe things because many other people do or believe the same” (American Psychological Association, 2009, p. 39). This is refl ected in the popular perception that universities are hotbeds of confl ict and hostility and this, in part, is due to particular contextual variables associated with academic settings. For example, in his discussion of workplace bullying among faculty, Lamont Stallworth (cited in Schmidt, 2010) observes that “big egos, an individualistic ethic, and tolerance for behaviors not accepted elsewhere” are determinants of bullying by faculty. One has only to look at The Chronicle of Higher Education over the last several years to detect this line of reasoning, in, for example, Fogg’s (2008) “Academic Bullies” and Gravois (2006) piece “Mob Rule.” Even in our own conversations as academics, we see these portrayals as common. In short, not only are we on the bandwagon but we have played a signifi cant role in driving it.