Workplace Bullying: A Step Closer to Economic Downturn for Company

Author: Muhammad Fandy Zainuddin

One of the greatest assets that a company owns is their people; both the employers and the employee. And yet, it is ironic to learn that some companies are apparently in the midst of constant queries about whether they have taken care of this asset well, or perhaps that is one thing that they pay measly attention to. While we understand that companies are valued based on how much net income they could generate periodically, it is also essential for us to realize that all of those wealth will never happen without the dedication of all the people who work for them. In short, it is also about the human capital that the company has. Out of so many factors that constitute the human capital of the company, the mental well-being of the employee remains as one of the reasons why the company fails to fully leverage this significant asset.

As much as it’s often associated with, one of the major contributors of mental health disruption is bullying. Bullying knows no place nor time. It happens now and then, here and there. It could happen at home, school, social media, and also at the workplace. Due to the vast scope of its reach, the perpetrator of bullying can also be anyone. When we apply that principle to a company, bullying could occur in between employees, employers, employees and customers, and often times, between employers and employee. According to the research conducted by H. Hoel and C.L. Cooper, most of the perpetrators are supervisors. The second most common group is peers, followed by subordinates and customers1. This fact leads to another confusion on how does bullying exactly hatch and flourish within the company, and how does it actually occur.

The term workplace bullying itself was first initiated in 1992 in a book by Andrea Adams, where she talked about how to confront and overcome the perpetual issue that had never been addressed at that time.2 Meanwhile, it piques one’s interest that there hasn’t even been one universally accepted formal definition of what workplace bullying is ever since then.      Many researchers have endeavored to define it, namely Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf and Cooper3 who defined “Bullying at work means harassing, offending, socially excluding someone or negatively affecting someone’s work tasks. In order for the label bullying (or mobbing) to be applied to a particular activity, interaction or process it has to occur repeatedly and regularly (e.g. weekly) and over a period of time (e.g. about six months). Bullying is an escalated process in the course of which the person confronted ends up in an inferior position and becomes the target of systematic negative social acts.” On the same matter, Catherine Mattice and Karen Garman define workplace bullying with its effect to the economic viability of the company as “Systematic aggressive communication, manipulation of work, and acts aimed at humiliating or degrading one or more individual that create an unhealthy and unprofessional power imbalance between bully and target(s), result in psychological consequences for targets and co-workers, and cost enormous monetary damage to an organization’s bottom line”.4

Drawing a conclusion from the intersection of the two definitions offered, workplace bullying is characterized by any degrading or humiliating action that is done in repetition within a timely duration, including increasing aggression and existing power disparity. The examples of workplace bullying may include unwarranted or invalid criticism, being treated differently than the rest of the group, verbal abuse, being shouted at or being humiliated, excessive monitoring or micro-managing, being given unrealistic deadlines, being the target of practical jokes, blamed without justification, exclusion or social isolation, physical intimidation, excessive micro-managing, purposely withholding vital information, setting impossible goals for subordinates to reach, blocking potential training and employment, tampering with an employee’s personal belongings, and removing areas of responsibility without cause5. With all those examples of misconduct mentioned, it would be easier for us to identify how many workers are trapped within the workplace bullying prison and how much it economically costs the company.

According to a survey, 19%of employees have suffered workplace bullying at work, another 19% have witnessed it, and 63% are aware that workplace bullying happens. Another statistic also shows that in the United States of America, 60,3 millions of workers are affected by workplace bullying, in which that number is equivalent to a combined population of six western states6. With that numbers showcased, it’s no longer surprising that the effect of workplace bullying is growing even larger from the disrupted mental wellbeing and anxiety of the workers into the decline of company productivity, resulting with unavoidable economic loss.

Several studies have tried to quantify the cost that workplace bullying incurs to the company. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) mental illness among the workforce leads to a loss in employment amounting to $19 billion and a drop in productivity of $3 billion (Sauter, et al., 1990). In a report commissioned by the ILO, Hoel, Sparks, & Cooper did a comprehensive analysis of the costs involved in bullying. They estimated a cost of 1.88 billion pounds plus the cost of lost productivity7. This number of loss is believed to be caused by human resources mismanagement where companies have neglected intangible assets such as the mental wellbeing of their own workers and resulting with the crystallization of bullying within the company’s culture.

To rectify this, there are a number of solutions that could be implemented by the Human Resources Department of a company, which includes:8

Workplace Policy & Procedures

A strong policy and workable procedures are key to managing workplace bullying and harassment issues. The policy should include a statement of commitment from senior management, making clear that it is unlawful, will not be tolerated and may be treated as a disciplinary offence. It should provide examples of unacceptable behaviour, outline prevention steps the organisation takes, and responsibilities of supervisory staff. It should define formal and informal grievance procedures, with clear processes for reporting bullying and harassment, information on investigation procedures and timelines, disciplinary procedures, and the rights of the employee under the existing regulations, including confidentiality and the right to be accompanied at grievance hearings.

Workplace Culture

Workplace behaviour, attitudes and knowledge are as important as policies and procedures. Managers should be trained in all aspects of the organisation’s policies as well as the company’s expectations, as it is often the behaviour of supervisory employees that drive the culture of an organisation. Additionally, all staff should be aware of the company’s standards of behaviour. An organisational statement is helpful in ensuring individuals are fully aware of their responsibilities, and what constitutes bullying and harassment. Guidance booklets and training sessions are also useful ways of increasing awareness of the damage bullying and harassment can do to an organisation and individual.

Dealing with Complaints

Employers must take reasonable and proportionate action upon receipt of a complaint of bullying and / or harassment. It should be investigated promptly and objectively with evidence gathered from all relevant sources before a decision is made.


  1. Informal Resolution: In some cases, matters may be rectified informally through discussions with the individual about their behaviour and agreement that it will cease. You can offer support from another staff member, a manager, an employee representative or a counsellor, either in-house or via a counselling service.
  2. Mediation: Mediation is a voluntary process where an independent third person finds a solution to the issue that both parties can both agree to. Mediators may be employees trained to act as internal mediators, or from an external mediation provider.
  3. Disciplinary Procedures: If you decide that the matter is a disciplinary issue, it needs to be managed formally according to the organisation’s disciplinary procedure, with a focus on fairness to both the complainant and accused. The Acas Code of Practice sets out principles for handling disciplinary and grievance situations, and employment tribunals are legally required to take the Code into account when considering cases.



  1. HOEL, H. and COOPER, C.L., 2000. Destructive conflict and bullying at work. Manchester School of Management, UMIST Manchester, UK.,
  2. Rayner, C., & Cooper, C. L. (2006). Workplace Bullying. In Kelloway, E., Barling, J. & Hurrell Jr., J. (eds.), Handbook of workplace violence (pp. 47-90). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  3. Stale Einarsen, Helge Hoel, Cary Cooper (2003). Bullying and emotional abuse in the workplace: International perspectives in research and practice. London: Taylor and Francis. p. 15.
  4. Mattice, C.M., & Garman, K. (June 2010). Proactive Solutions for Workplace Bullying: Looking at the Benefits of Positive Psychology”. Archived from the original on 4 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  5. Jenni Gobind, Human Capital Review . Workplace Bullying: The Practical Application for Human Resource Practitioners.
  6. Gary Namie, PhD, Workplace Bullying Institute (2017).S. Workplace Bullying Survey.
  7. “The cost of violence and bullying at work”. International Labour Organization (ILO). Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
  8. Libby Calaby (October 2016). Does Your Organization Properly Tackle Workplace Bullying. Human Results UK

Interculturalism: A Responds to Diversity in International Society

Author: Amelia Litania

Globalization is bringing about a new paradigm of super-diversity which is resulting in all societies becoming more culturally diverse. Interculturalism, as a new model which responds to this increasing diversity, rejects all forms of discrimination based on differences, instead embracing reciprocity and accommodation. Interculturalism theory is characterized by integration, cohesion, and intercultural dialogue. Compared to multiculturalism theory, interculturalism theory discusses how to make a society more cohesive and accommodate people from different cultures. Interculturalism features a stronger sense of whole. Therefore, usually in intercultural education, intercultural competence is highlighted in order to catalyze dialogue between people from different groups. However as a political ideas, one can not forget that positive qualities in terms of encouraging communication, recognising dynamic identities, promoting unity and critiquing illiberal cultural practices, each of these qualities too are important features of multiculturalism. With these two being compared, questions emerge if interculturalism is an ‘updated version’ of multiculturalism? If so, what is being ‘updated’? If not, in what ways interculturalism different, substantively or not, from multiculturalism? With a specific focus on the political, I try to evaluate in which conceptions of interculturalism are being positively contrasted with multiculturalism.

The Emerging of Interculturalism in Response of Diversity

The term ‘multiculturalism’ emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in countries like Canada and Australia, and to a lesser extent in Britain and the USA. In the writings of Ted Cantle (2012), he argues that interculturalism is the new era of cohesion and diversity. This perspective comes from his observation in a series of reports on Britain’s ability to deal with its growing diversity, beginning with his well-known inquiry into the causes of the race-related disturbances in northern England in 2001. He identified one of their main causes as being the ‘parallel lives’ led by different communities, or ‘living alongside each other but in separate spheres.’ Having based much of his analysis on the problems arising when people ‘retreat into their own identity’, he then proposed that ‘interculturalism’ should replace what he sees as the discredited policies of ‘multiculturalism.’

Still in the context of Britain’s diversity, response to multiculturalism comes shortly after David Cameron’s appearance in 2011. David Cameron’s crude attack on ‘state multiculturalism’ in his speech in Munich in February 2011 that was followed by similar speeches by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy (BBC, 2011). Many people see his action was to blame new communities for failing to integrate rather than seeing integration as a two-way process. In particular, Muslims were portrayed as a threat and the huge diversity between Muslim communities was ignored. The impact comes later when the potential violence of Muslim groups received so much attention as it turned out (in August 2011) that unpredicted riots were to erupt in British housing estates that had little or nothing to do with religion or race (The Guardian, 2011).

According to Cantle, by talking about the ‘failure’ of multiculturalism we have therefore allowed people to develop the view that it is the simple presence of different cultures, especially Muslim ones, that poses a threat. Some have argued as a result that ‘multiculturalism’ is a concept that is now so debased as to be no longer worth defending. However, I see that multiculturalism is not entirely no longer worth defending. To balance Cantle perspective, multiculturalism according to Moodod is a situation ‘‘when new groups enter a society, there has to be some education and refinement of …sensitivities in the light of changing circumstances and the specific vulnerabilities of new entrants’’ (2006: 61). This statement about multiculturalism is also support by Castle which emphasized advocacy of the right of minority and specifically ‘‘cultural maintenance and community formation, linking these to social equality and protection from discrimination.”

Interculturalism: Can It Be Achieved?

Interculturalism is considered as less ‘groupist’ and culture-bound society. It means that interculturalism want to achieve a more synthesised and interactive communities which build from a deep sharing of differences of culture and experience with each personal identities that go beyond nations or simplified ethnicities. Writing from the Quebec context, Gagnon and Iacovino (2007) are one example of authors who contrast interculturalism positively with multiculturalism. The interesting aspect is that they do so in a way that relies upon a formulation of groups, and by arguing that Quebec has developed a distinctive intercultural political approach to diversity that is explicitly in opposition to Federal Canadian multiculturalism.

According to Gagnon and Iacovino, there are five stages how interculturalism can be achieve. First, there should be a public space and identity that is not only about individual constitution or legal rights. Second, this public space is shared and counterbalance other identities that citizen values. Third, this public space should be created by participation, interaction, debate and common endeavour. Fourth, this public space is not culture-less but nor is it merely the ‘majority culture’, all can participate in its synthesis and evolution and while it has an inescapable historical character, it is always being remade and ought to be remade to include new groups. Fifth and finally, such a public space and so an object to which immigrants need to have identification with and integrate into and should seek to maintain as a nation.

In conclusion, interculturalism is not an update for multiculturalism. That is to say that while advocates of interculturalism wish to emphasise its positive qualities in terms of encouraging communication, recognising dynamic identities, promoting unity and reducing discrimination, each of these qualities already feature (and are on occasion foundational) to multiculturalism too. Moreover,multiculturalism presently surpasses interculturalism as a political orientation that is able to recognise that social life consists of individuals and groups, and that both need to be provided for in the formal and informal distribution of powers, as well as reflected in an ethical conception of citizenship, and not just an instrumental one. At the end, interculturalism as a political discourse is able to offer another perspective as a response to diversity and seek to that go beyond nations or simplified ethnicities.


  1. Cantle, T. (2008) Community Cohesion: A New Framework for Race and Diversi
  2. Palgrave Macmillan
  3. State multiculturalism has failed, says David Cameron, Diakses tanggal 01 Februari 2018 di
  5. UK riots: Birmingham’s Muslims and Sikhs debate response to tragedy, Diakses tanggal 01 Februari 2018
  6. di
  7. Castells, M. (2006) ‘Globalisation and identity: a comparative perspective’, Tran
  8. Contemporary Culture, 1 November. Barcelona: VEGAP.


SISBAC aims to connect young people to the experts from the Government and Embassy in discussing the latest and crucial issues that are related to International matters.

Talkshow Session

Previously, SISBAC was conducted by collaborations with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Japan’s Embassy in Jakarta, and etc.

Neta as President of ISAFIS, Mr. Curtis Johnson, Rizkinia Aliya, and Aliya as Moderator (left to right)

This year, 2019, first SISBAC was held on May 4 and we did collaboration with @america. We held discussion about “America Impacts in Indonesia” with Mr. Curtis Johnson (senior manager @america) and Rizkina Aliya (our alumni) as a speakers.

One of our audience ask to speakers

Countries cannot thrive without other countries, from the trade, education, tourism-relationships, to securities between countries are interwoven and influence the growth each sector. The links between the United States and Indonesia are a case in point.

ISAFIS Members Photo Group

ISAFIS Journal

ISAFIS Journal is an annual event held by ISAFIS that provides members a platform to express their ideas in the form of scientific publication. It is established in accordance to the main goal of ISAFIS as youth think-tank organizations that amplify the voices of the youth in regards of international studies and understanding among nations. Every year, ISAFIS Journal carries out a grand theme pervading international issues with various sub-themes available.

Back in 2015 to 2018, ISAFIS Journal has presented the grand themes of “Chinese Foreign Policy”,  “Migrants and Indonesia National’s Development”, “ASEAN 50th, Reflection of The Past 5 Decades for Future Integration” and “Intra-Regional Connectivity: Towards a More Integrated Regional Cooperation” and has succeeded in inviting various notable speakers and public figures for our grand launching and has participated by dozens of contributors nationally. Last year, we managed to partnered with one of the leading think-tank organization in Indonesia, The Habibie Centre, as our peer-reviewer.

Meanwhile in 2019, ISAFIS Journal is going to be exclusively available for ISAFIS’ members only. The grand theme of the year is “Interconnectivity: The Causal Linkage of Multitude Outlooks” and it will be divided into 5 sub-themes in which they are Economics, Education, Law and Politics, Science and Technology, as well as Socio-Cultural and Humanity. We also plan to maintain our partnership with The Habibie Centre for this year round.


Indonesia International Week (IIW)

Collaborating with International Week Coordinating Organisation, Indonesia International Week (IIW) is an annual cultural exchange program which invites international students from Europe and Asia to learn about the holistic aspects of Indonesia: cultures, economics, government works, student life, society, etc. IIW is normally held in summer and this year it will be held in two cities which represent Indonesia’s rich diversity: Jakarta and Yogyakarta; focusing on the variety of food in both cities and the homeliness feel of Indonesian culinary adventure.

In Jakarta, we will be experiencing the melting pot that it is of culture, food, as well as visiting the institutions of the food industry. In Yogyakarta, we’ll be experiencing its rich culture, visit the temples, the beach, and of course, the food. Surely, IIW is once in a lifetime opportunity for those who seize it.

Visit University of Indonesia
Visit Kota Tua Jakarta

Celebrate Independence Day of Indonesia on 17th August 2019

Visit Borobudur Temple

Follow our instagram @indonesia.iw