Mobbability: Understanding How a Vulnerable Academia Can Be Healthier

Document Type

Book Chapter

Department or Administrative Unit

Educational Foundations and Curriculum

Publication Date



This chapter discusses mobbing as a predictable institutional disorder with significant community effect. Academic departments are particularly vulnerable as contexts where conflicting motivations and tacit power differentials may allow undetectable and infectious incivility, and while there are research tools to measure experience, there are few effective practical campus-based strategies to monitor these issues. The authors explore mobbing through the lenses of epidemiology, public health, and organizational psychology. As part of this exploration the terms “mobbable” and “mobbability” are proposed, connoting the degree of incivility tolerated in the workplace climate, people's and institution's vulnerabilities, and the potential for improved capacity surrounding mobbing prevention. Outlining a story of academic mobbing, the chapter highlights contributing factors at both personal and organizational levels. The authors close with practical suggestions for recognizing symptoms and opportunities.


This article was originally published in Confronting Academic Mobbing in Higher Education: Personal Accounts and Administrative Action. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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