Lemon, Kathy

Associate Professor

School of Social Work 

Research Interests 

I am interested in workplace bullying and mobbing in higher education settings and how abusive conduct interferes with academic freedom.

What is workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying (AKA: discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, bias) is abusive conduct that occurs on an individual and/or organizational level. On an individual level workplace bullying can include:

  • Insults
  • Ridicule
  • Being ignored
  • Being shouted at
  • Spreading gossip

On an organizational level, workplace bullying can include: 

  • Being assigned an excessive workload
  • Replacing important areas of responsibility with menial ones
  • Being given unreasonable deadlines
  • Persistent criticism of one's work 

These behaviors become abusive when they are repeated consistently and become increasingly extreme over time. 

What is workplace mobbing

Mobbing (AKA canceling) is an extreme form of bullying in which the abusive conduct is carried out by a collective with the intent of pushing the employee out of the organization.  The collective is emboldened to engage in dehumanizing behaviors toward the target due to an imagined or greatly exaggerated violation of the social norms or prevailing ideologies of the organization. 


Lemon, K., & Barnes, K. (2021). Workplace Bullying Among Higher Education Faculty: A Review of the Theoretical and Empirical Literature. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 21(9). https://doi.org/10.33423/jhetp.v21i9.4601


Workplace Bullying Institute

Workplace Mobbing in Academe and Beyond: Kenneth Westheus

Disrupting Academic Bullying: Strategies for People Experiencing Academic Bullying