January 23rd, 2014

Political bullying: Is it workplace bullying?

Currently, re-inaugurated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is being investigated for dubious conduct. The media have gravitated toward calling him a “bully.” It could be said that Christie’s troubles could help the workplace bullying movement with such a high profile perpetrator. But politics may be a much different playing field than the workplace.

Political opponents do not often have the same employer-employee relationships that keep workplace bullied targets trapped by economic need.

On the other hand, the misconduct between parties often involves a power differential. One person is stronger than the other and can exact revenge and retribution simply to demonstrate what things can be made to go wrong for the less powerful player. This is often true in workplace scenarios.

The fact that much of Christie’s method is to demand fealty, loyalty and obsequiousness does fit the pattern found in workplace bullying among adults. Bullies seek others to be subservient to them. The bully, lacking a level of personal comfort in her or his own skin, can derive pleasure from exacting pain on those who want to remain independent and outside the bully’s band of sycophants. Christie seems to show a pattern of first courting prospective allies, next demanding reciprocated loyalty, then crushing those individuals who don’t want to make sacrifices just to bask in his embrace. Just like a workplace bully.

So, that leads us to the next WBI Instant Poll. Wondering what you think. Also feel free to comment.

Is bullying by politicians of politicians or citizens as harmful as workplace bullying?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 at 11:17 am and is filed under Commentary by G. Namie, WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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