Posts Tagged ‘Robert Sapolsky’


SCOTUS confirms that owners’ rights trump workers

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

WBI friend Lewis Maltby wrote convincingly in his book, Can They Do That?, that American workers have very few rights. Without a union bargained contract, all rights are owned by management unless state or federal laws provide specific protections. Among the industrialized nations (members of the OECD), US workers have the fewest rights.

Robert Fuller, another WBI friend, speaks and writes eloquently about somebodies and nobodys, the hierarchy in our lives. For him, the issue is rankism. It makes good sense in our nation of ever-expanding income inequality.

From the work of stress guru, Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University professor and researcher, we learn that simply organizing social groups in hiearchical ways with rank playing a role in how all resources are unevenly divided is stressful. Those dominated by others are doomed to lives of ongoing stress. Social subordination generates distress, that in turn, triggers major life-threatening diseases through disruption of the adrenocortical, cardiovascular, reproductive, immunological, and neurobiological systems (Sapolsky, 2005).

Workers bullied by higher ranking bosses (56% of all targets) will find it nearly impossible to avoid contact. That toxic contact is the exposure to stress that causes health harm.

I say all this to put into context the June 30, 2014 decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). By majority votes of the conservative-dominated court, the rights of company owners were expanded. The (chief justice) Roberts Court has never ruled against corporate interests.

The two cases decided upon were Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of HHS v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (13-354) and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of HHS (13-356) — jointly dubbed the Hobby Lobby decision.

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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Rulings by Courts, Social/Mgmt/Epid Sciences | 1 Archived Comment | Post A Comment () »



WBI Podcast 24: Good People in Organizations Can Prevail

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Optimism That Work Can Change

Lessons learned from a disaster that dramatically changed a baboon troop’s social culture from cutthroat to kinder comes from the work of Robert Sapolsky (author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers). From this there is reason for optimism that our social system of work can be re-engineeered to be kinder and less war-like. We just have to want to do it!

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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Podcasts | 3 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



The developing human brain and bullying

Monday, November 29th, 2010

At WBI we use physical sciences to complement the “softer” social science research. It is useful to convince all opponents (the courts when involved in legal cases, business lobbyists fighting our anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill, and executives who believe they would be sissies if they stopped bullying in their organizations)  that there is a physiological basis to the injuries suffered by bullied targets. A tip of the hat to David Yamada for catching the Boston Globe science writer’s recent coverage of relevant research. Emily Anthes wrote about the impact of being bullied as a child on the developing human brain. Dr. Gabor Maté, appearing on Democracy Now! Nov. 24 spoke about how the bully’s brain may develop in abnormal ways.

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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Tutorials About Bullying | 5 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



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