In the early 1980s, a Swedish psychologist named Heinz Leymann identified a grave threat to health and safety in what appear to be the healthiest, safest workplaces in the world. German was Leymann’s first language, Swedish his second, but he labeled the distinct menace he had found with an English word: mobbing.
Over the next twenty years, news of Leymann’s discovery spread across Europe and beyond. Untranslated, the English name he gave it entered the vocabulary of workplace relations throughout Scandinavia and in Germany, Italy, and other countries. All across Europe, not only specialists in occupational health but managers, union leaders, and the public at large came to recognize workplace mobbing as a real, measurable kind of harm, a destroyer of health and life.
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