This case study talks about bosses that are bullies. The studies that have been done have shown that the bullying bosses are not the same as the bullies on the playground. The adult bullies already have the power and like to control others, where children on the playground are looking to have control.
The research went on to show that even though people that are being bullied may hate going to work and being subjected to the bully's tactics, they continue to perform their duties. In fact, some do more then required, hoping that the bully will realize that they have worth and stop picking on them. They also suggested that by doing more then was required it might cause the bully to focus on someone else that is not doing all of their job.
Coworkers observe what is going on, but most refuse to do or say anything against it for fear.
However, some would rather someone else be getting in trouble, to keep the light or target off of them. Another point that this article mentions is the fact that this can be contagious. People that have to endure this type of behavior or see it might become insensitive to it.
The full article finishes up by implying that this can all become easier to live with if people just manage the bully by watching for patterns in their behavior. I do not agree with this at all, since I just finally got away from my bully. There was no pattern, or it was if I did anything, it was not good enough. If he was not putting me down (with in ear shot), or yelling at me (in front of coworkers), he would give me the cold shoulder/silent treatment. I felt that I had no choice but...