Corporate bullying puts employees under strain

first_img Previous Article Next Article New research claims that “corporate bullying” such as excessivemonitoring is more damaging than intimidation by other members of staff. A study by a London University professor has found that employees are more likelyto suffer from an organisation’s institutionalised practices than from bullyingby managers. “Like the McPherson report on racism in the Met, this research showsthat by focusing solely on the bad apple in the barrel, institutionalisedpractices can continue unchallenged,” said organisational psychologist DrAndreas Liefooghe. “Companies can claim to have taken action because they have producedanti-bullying policies. In reality this means institutionalised bullying suchas excessive monitoring continues unchecked.” The research, which was presented at the British Academy of Managementannual conference last week, challenges the belief that workplace bullying isperpetrated by a few individuals. It reveals that employees feel their companies create policies andprocedures that are in themselves bullying. Most employees feel unable to speak out even through their unions for fearof reprisals which might damage their careers, Dr Liefooghe claims. The study also shows staff think they are bullied by organisational demandsto cut costs while striving to achieve ever-increasing targets. Dr Liefooghe, said, “I’m not denying that interpersonal bullying doeshappen at work but institutionalised bullying is much more insidious anddifficult to tackle. “Focusing on individuals lets companies off the hook. Whether they willbe prepared to do anything about it is a different question. As one directorsaid to me, ‘If that is what is they [the employees] call bullying, perhaps weshould do more of it’.” Dr Liefooghe talked to more than 500 employees working in the financialservices, telecoms, new media and catering sectors about their personalexperiences of bullying in the workplace. By Ben Willmott Corporate bullying puts employees under strainOn 11 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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