back to article Power corrupts, says workplace bullying survey

Two-thirds of UK managers believe that lack of management skills is the major factor contributing to bullying at work, according to new research. Misuse of power was listed as the most prolific type of bullying used within the workplace. A survey by the Ban Bullying at Work campaign questioned 512 senior managers across the UK …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And management tell IT people they need business skills!

    "The other main factors, given by managers themselves, which contribute to bullying at work included unrealistic targets (cited by 27 per cent); authoritarian management styles (56 per cent); personality (57 per cent); and failure to address incidents (37 per cent)."

    I first read 'personality failure' but may be that's my cynicism surfacing.

    So, which is a cause and which is an effect?

    Are the unrealistic targets and failure to address incidents the effect of authoritarian management styles?

    "Two-thirds of UK managers believe that lack of management skills is the major factor" for the "frustration by management regarding an individual's performance" which is measured by the singular whim of that management. Could training, or lack thereof, be a factor here?

    "training managers on these [anti-bullying policies ] policies" is all very well but a bullying person will always be a bullying manager, it's in their personality.

    Even as an IT developer I know that managing people is a vital business skill. On that premise I have met a large number of people with the word 'manager' in their title that are not managers nor business people.

    'The customer always comes first.' Management speak for putting the people producing the goods for the customer last.

    'We want people to work' so we managers don't have to.

    Yep, cynicism is kept floating on management hot air.

  2. Dai Kiwi

    Lord Acton proven right... again

    Having worked in several countries for organizations large & small, public & private, as a pleb & as lower management the one thing I consistantly urge peole to do is this: If there is a Union that covers your workplace then join it. Think of it as a form of insurance. You might not need it, but if things go titsup for you it could make the difference.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unions ?

    Don't make me laugh. I have never yet met a Union that was worth 1/10th of the fees. And that's from both sides of the fence.

    Mind you, my job title is 'Controller', read into that what you may.

  4. Raheim Sherbedgia


    "Ban workplace bullying campaign"??? If Lyn Witheridge was living in the U.S. he'd have his ass kicked for talking like that. What a wuss.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unions, don't be silly

    There are a few companies that are being run into the ground because they have to meet union guidelines that are unrealistic, and the unions won't compromise. Conversely, there are companies that are doing extremely well without unions, primarily because they treat their people like people. It doesn't (or shouldn't) take a genius to realize that the better you treat your people, the more willing they're going to be to do their best for you. Loyalty to a company is a two way street.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wrong Target

    Aren't *senior managers* exactly and precisely the wrong people to ask about bullying at work?

    Why don't they try again, this time asking those who are most likely to be the victims, rather than the perpetrators?

  7. Morely Dotes

    Morally bankrupt; a job requirement for managers in the UK?

    "The report also looked at the reasons why organisations should tackle bullying at work. Improving low morale was the most cited answer, followed by improving productivity and reducing absenteeism."

    It is glaringly apparent that it never occurs to these people, when asked why bullying should not be permitted in the workplace, that "it's morally right to ban bullying" is the best answer.

  8. Spike Ravenscroft

    The right skills for the job.

    I've worked all over the world and I've seen the same thing happen again and again.

    One person in a department is good, really good at their job and so they are promoted to manager.

    The problem is that although they were brilliant at their job, they have NO management skills.

    So, they don't know how to deal with these staff that they now have.

    And thats where the bullying starts.

    Sometimes its the manager who bullies, or sometimes, its someone else within the team who has more management skills who now finds that they can bully the manager.

    Its a horrible situation to work in and business really needs to learn to promote people with (potential) management skills into these positions if it wants to combat bullying in the work place.

    Good managers are like gold dust!

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