Putting a Stop to Workplace Bullies

Author: Casey Gale       

Attendees listen at IAWBH2016.

Event Details

June 5-8, 2018

Palais de la Bourse

Bordeaux, France

WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT Approximately 400 scholars, practitioners, attorneys, sociologists, philosophers, psychologists, business owners, statisticians, and policy makers will visit Bordeaux, France, this June to attend the 11th International Conference on Workplace Bullying and Harassment 2018 (IAWBH2018), a biannual event organized by the International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment (IAWBH) that works to “stimulate, generate, integrate, and disseminate research and evidence-based practice in the field of workplace bullying and harassment,” according to Loïc Lerouge, a Bordeaux-based researcher at the Centre for Comparative Labor and Security Law and co-chair of this year’s conference.

More specifically, the event — themed “Better Understanding of Workplace Bullying and Harassment in a Changing World” — aims to analyze how changes in the workplace and in society play a role in increasing harassment situations. “New work organizations focused on performance tend to exploit employees,” Lerouge said. “More frequently we encounter situations where the methods of management themselves violate the respect that is due to each employee, deteriorating their health and causing them shame, humiliation, and guilt.”

WHY WE LIKE IT While the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements to end sexual assault and abuse have gathered strength in recent months, IAWBH has been at the forefront of this particular battle since it was founded at a scholarly conference in Montréal, Canada, in 2008. IAWBH2018’s chairs have also been long involved in this movement: Marie-France Hirigoyen, a Paris-based psychiatrist and co-chair of the event, is known for her 1998 book Le Harcèlement Moral: la violence perverse au quotidien (Stalking the Soul), which “led to the creation of the French law on harassment, now penalized in the labor code, the penal code, and the code for public employees,” Lerouge said. For his part, Lerouge studies the topic at the Centre for Comparative Labour and Social Security Law, where he researches the comparative legal approach of psychosocial risk factors and harassment at work. Together, the pair highlight the daily struggle with moral and sexual harassment in the workplace through IAWBH2018’s programming. “Workplace bullying is a global problem with devastating conse-quences for individuals, organizations, and society,” he said. “Research has greatly increased in the field, but still these misbehaviors persist.”

GLOBAL VIEW IAWBH2018 will feature 200 oral presentations and posters of delegates from 46 countries. To accommodate its international attendees, the conference will offer translations in French and Spanish in addition to English for the first time this year.

SIDE TRIPS IAWBH2018 is being held in Bordeaux, so how could there not be a selection of activities that includes wine tastings? Attendees can opt to add a few days to the end of the event to visit La Cite du vin to discover the cultures and civilizations of wine, as well as a bus trip to the medieval city of Saint-Emilion, the first wine-making landscape classified by UNESCO.

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