Posts Tagged ‘bully boss’
Thursday, February 12th, 2015
When the Bully is the Boss
A joint production of the Workplace Bullying Institute and Biz21 Publishing
Many companies assume they don’t have a bullying problem. Employees get along. In meetings, team members respect each other. But look closer. You might find that the bully is the very person you would expect your employees to turn to if they are being bullied—the boss.
Some managerial bullying is unintentional — supervisors see themselves as “demanding results.” Other times bosses know their behavior crosses the line, but don’t care.
Not convinced? Consider the slew of new state laws protecting workers against bullying. And consider the number of companies that have rushed to adopt anti-bullying policies and procedures for investigating complaints.
The costs are real. The employee’s health can suffer, causing missed work, higher healthcare costs and reduced productivity. Bullied employees are also a flight risk, as are those who witness bullying. And there’s the threat of lawsuits against the company.
In this session, Dr. Gary Namie teaches you:
• How to recognize and respond to a bully boss
• What differentiates “bullying” from other conduct- both illegal (discrimination) and legal (non-abusive disagreements)
• Why the workplace climate may be allowing the bully to prosper
• Why owners and executives often tend to defend bullies
• How to build an abuse-intolerant, accountable culture for all employees, regardless of rank
• How to measure outcomes of anti-bullying activities that benefit both employees and the company.
Monday, April 28th, 2014
PERPETRATOR RANK & NUMBER in 2014
Mobbing was the term adopted by Heinz Leymann to describe health-harming abusive conduct at work. Mobbing implies multiple perpetrators. Mobbing preceded the term workplace bullying. However, WBI has consistently defined bullying as committed by one or more persons. Bullying nearly always escalates to more than one person joining the main instigator to torment the target.
Question: Who was (were) the principal perpetrator(s)?
Respondents said the following:
- 77% of cases involved single perpetrators
- 23% of cases involved multiple perpetrators
In 14% of cases, the bullying was generated by a combination of perpetrators operating at different levels of the organization – bosses, peers, and subordinates.
With respect to perpetrator’s rank, not counting the combined sources cases:
- 56% held a higher rank, was a boss, top-down
- 33% abuse came from peers, lateral or horizontal, same level
- 11% bullying from subordinates, bottom-up
This pattern is consistent with previous WBI national Surveys.
No interactions between rank and race or rank and gender were found.
When perpetrators enjoy a higher organizational rank than targets, opportunities to abuse authority present themselves. Further, the likelihood of targets being able to confront the boss about her or his unacceptable conduct approaches zero, given the difficulty of crossing the “power gradient.” Coworker, peer-to-peer, bullying may not involve power differences, but the health harm caused by social exclusion/ostracism that peers employ poses an equal, if not greater, threat to the target’s safety.
Research Assistants: Daniel Christensen & David Phillips
Tags: 2014 WBI, 2014 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, bully boss, bully bosses, bullying statistics, Daniel Christensen, David Phillips, Gary Namie, perpetrator rank, Workplace Bullying Institute
Posted in WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
By Carol Kinsey Goman, Forbes, April 6, 2014
I met Brenda when she managed a 2,000-person department for a Fortune 500 company. Brought in to help her with an upcoming change initiative, I was impressed by Brenda’s intelligence, creativity, political savvy, and dedication to her job. She had all the qualities of a senior executive – which was her career goal.
But she was also a bully. One direct report described her as a “kiss-up and slap-down kind of manager.” The targets of the bullying were especially demoralized, but even those on her staff who only witnessed the bad behavior began to devote more energy to protecting themselves than they did to helping the company. Brenda’s dysfunctional management style eventually led to a decline in her department’s performance and, as a result, the change initiative was abandoned. Eventually Brenda’s career was derailed by the increasing number of enemies she made with every nasty glare and mean-spirited remark. She resigned when it became obvious that she would never get the promotion she coveted.
Stories about bullies don’t always end with them resigning in disgrace. In fact, many bullies thrive. You may even be working for one.
Tags: 2010 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, bully boss, bullying research, workplace bullying, Workplace Bullying Institute
Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI in the News | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
by Hans Villarica, Medill Wire Service, Oct. 22, 2009
Researchers Nathanael Fast of the University of Southern California and Serena Chen of the University of California, Berkeley, found in a series of studies that it is actually the combination of power and incompetence that can result in bad boss behavior. The paper will be published in the November issue of the journal Psychological Science. [FYI, the paper is also described in our article and can be requested from the WBI Research list – A7. ] (more…)
Tags: Adam Galinsky, aggression, bully boss, incompetence, Nathaniel Fast, Ruth McKay, Serena Chen, WBI
Posted in Bullying-Related Research, WBI in the News | 3 Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
At WBI we have always said that the four principal characteristics of bullied targets (from our 2003 online study) posed a threat to bullies — the integrity of independence, possessing more technical skill, being well liked, and acting ethically and honestly. When personally threatened, people tend to get defensive. This seems true in bullying situations at the bully to target, interpersonal, level. Now there is some science to back the common-sense notion.
Tags: aggression, bully boss, incompetence, Nathaniel Fast, Serena Chen, UC Berkeley, USC
Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Tutorials About Bullying | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment (