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Bullying does not have a good reputation, because, in this process, one usually produces a perpetrator/victim split in order to then sympathise with the perpetrators or the victim. This is not particularly helpful.

The theoretical place for the phenomenon ‘bullying’ is the guiding process team parameters. How this exclusion process is shaped in a team can be understood as a non-formal, usually non-hierarchical form. The reason it comes to this form can, though, lie in very different factors.

For one thing it can, of course, be the expression of a destructive psychological process in the people involved. Team members can, unconsciously, leave themselves open to attack, being excluded, ignored, devalued etc. There are also mental processes which lead to it that people attack, exclude, ignore, devalue etc. others. Usually these two factors mix.

For another thing, a team can attempt to ‘get rid of’ a team member by means of bullying, because, otherwise, this person cannot (or can only partly) fulfil their task and, at the same time, the organisation or the team leadership does nothing about it. Bullying is then a substitute process for a sustained lack of hierarchical action. In contexts, where the hierarchy has no power with regard to exclusion (tenure, permanent positions), the team often has no other choice than to informally shape the team boundaries by means of bullying in such a way that someone, despite formal membership, nevertheless no longer plays a communicative role in the team.

In team consultancy one should always consider both possibilities!