January 21, 2007

The role of HR and management - older post but worth reading again

'...Most of the available books are far better on giving personal advice to victims of bullying than on providing policy advice to managers who concerned about the impact of bullying on their organisation. This might be explained by the fact that there are far more actual and potential victims in the book market than concerned managers. But there is something deeper involved. Many managers are themselves bullies and many others are supportive or tolerant of peers or subordinates who are bullies...'

From: Insight and advice about workplace bullying
'...If situations of mobbing are diagnosed in a wider organisational context, it could be possible to take preventive measures through changes in work organisation. However, this could lead to a modification in the power relations in the company or institution and would involve making the management responsible for resolving the problem...'

From: Court rulings recognise bullying as 'occupational risk'
'...Lack of leadership in high-level positions leads to nonsense contentions on their part as to no responsibility extending to the target who is being mobbed, no duty of care owed to them, no right of the mobbed to natural justice or procedural fairness. Without the lack of leadership, mobbing could not occur or, if it did, could not prevail...'

From: Mediocrity and the 'No Change' Principle, a recipe for mobbing
'...Personnel management: When management eventually steps in, the case becomes officially "a case". Due to previous stigmatization, it is very easy to misjudge the situation and place the blame on the mobbed person. Management tends to accept and take over the prejudices produced during previous stages. This very often seems to bring about the desire to do something in order to "get rid of the problem", i. e. the mobbed person. This most often results in serious violations of the individual´s civil rights. In this phase, the mobbed person ultimately becomes marked/stigmatized. Because of fundamental attribution errors, colleges and management tend to create explanations based on personal characteristics rather than on environmental factors (Jones, 1984). This may be the case particularly when management is responsible for the psychosocial work environment and may refuse to accept this responsibility...'

From: Heinz Leymann - file 12220e
'...Eventually there is a defining moment when the target asserts their right not to be bullied, perhaps by filing a grievance. At this point, the bullying moves into phase two which is elimination. The human resources department and management are hoodwinked by the bully into seeing the target as an underperformer who needs to be got rid of... In this respect the employer becomes an unwitting victim too...'

From: The hidden cost of a bully on the balance sheet
'...Mobbing is difficult to respond to, legally, or by the usual institutional procedures, because there is typically no single, or identifiable, perpetrator as there is, say, in discrimination, sexual harassment, or workplace bullying. The victim is, typically, at bay: surrounded by an anonymous pack. Moreover, the litany of complaint ("he/she is not doing his/her job, as we are") is, ostensibly, respectable. The mobbee is not being picked on. Legitimate grievance is being aired - democratically...'

From: Mobbing, a term borrowed from ornithology...
'...Respondents saw university HR departments as protecting institutions and helping bullies rather than victims...'

From: Bullying rife across campus
'...Empower HR to handle bullying situations fairly and forthrightly. One of the most common remarks from targets of bullying is how "HR was useless" in handling their complaints about bullying and in some cases turned out to be complicit with the bullies. Effective preventive and responsive measures by HR are key components of any anti-bullying initiative...'

From: The business case against workplace bullying
  • Lesson learnt: HR always works for the employer even if they show sympathy with your situation.
Fight back against compromised HR:

If you have the evidence, you can report all HR mistakes, errors and inappropriate behaviour, to their professional association, the CIPD (The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is the United Kingdom), and we strongly suggest you do so.

From the CIPD Code of Conduct for the members:

[4.2.1] required to exercise integrity, honesty, diligence and appropriate behaviour in all their business, professional and related personal activities.

[4.2.2] must act within the law and must not encourage, assist or act in collusion with employers, employees or others who may be engaged in unlawful conduct.

If you have evidence that your HR colluded to discriminate against you, victimise you, marginalise you, or collude with the employer, then you should report it to the CIPD. Why do they have a code of conduct for their members?


Anonymous said...

This is very helpful.

The stories of victims/targets like myself are needed - but we need so much more if we are to deconstruct wpb.

In between the days of anguish and nights of self pity we need to engage in academic analysis of communities which permit wpb to flourish.

This information is so helpful....

Clearly the role of HR is central.

I shall be constructing my letter to CIPD.


Anonymous said...

The research assessment excercise is creating conditions for grooming certain researchers at the expense of others. Theft of research proposals and handing them over to someone who has been longer at the institution, who will be included in the upcoming RAE is occuring with the support of human resources and faculty principals.

Whom to contact? Academics who might display similar conduct at the RAE?