Saturday, January 3, 2009

Organizational Change: A Hotbed for Bullying

What's going on in the organization where you work? Are major changes taking place? Organizational changes are widely associated  with bullying behaviors, and it makes sense.

Global competitiveness, downsizing, restructuring, intensified workloads, technological change,  mergers, and acquisitions create STRESS. Many researchers believe these organizational changes  are risk factors for bullying. Frankly,  I doubt employees need researchers to reveal this fact: Almost forty percent of employees are living it.

Stress within organizations is no exception to the rule that for every action, there's a reaction. One  chain reaction that occurs looks like this:

Greater Job Insecurity  >  Increased Stress  >  More Authoritarian Management Practices  >  Inappropriately Coercive Managerial Behaviors  >  Employees Less Likely to Challenge Aggressive Treatment  >  The Bullying Continues

This is an example of environmental factors, such as the depressed economy, interacting with organizational factors to contribute to workplace bullying. In the current economical environment,  I anticipate that bullying, which is already a worldwide epidemic, will continue to increase, and I strongly urge targeted employees to take defensive action to protect your careers and your health. I also urge supervisors and managers to evaluate how stress is affecting your behavior. 

As employees or employers, you can't afford workplace bullying.

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