Mob RuleIn departmental disputes, professors can act just like animals
By JOHN GRAVOIS
However, the mobbers that most captivate him are not sparrows, fieldfares, or jackdaws. They are modern-day college professors.
In the early 1980s, Heinz Leymann, a German psychologist working in Sweden, was conducting clinical studies of workers who had encountered violence on the job. At the time, plenty of research had already been done on the "mental insufficiency" experienced by soldiers after wartime and the survivors of major industrial disasters. So Leymann set out to study some of the less obvious cases of post-traumatic stress. He carried out longitudinal studies of Stockholm subway drivers who had accidentally run over people with their trains. He studied the psychological effects of robberies on bank tellers. But he stumbled upon an even less obvious group that showed the most surprisingly acute measures of stress. These were people whose colleagues had ganged up on them at work.