May 08, 2007

Courage Without Martyrdom

What to expect: Classic Responses to Whistleblowing - Targeting dissenters: The tactics of retaliation

Intimidation and fear are the ultimate objectives of classical organizational reprisal techniques. The goal is to convince employees that the power of the organization is stronger than the power of individuals - even individuals who have truth on their side.

The following is a list of tactics your employer may use in the effort to silence you, fire you or harass you into resigning. They illustrate examples of how bureaucracies attempt to keep the majority silent by making examples out of troublemakers such as whistleblowers.

...The first commandement of retaliation is to make the whistleblower, instead of his or her message, the issue: obfuscate the dissent by attacking the source's motives, credibility, professional competence, or virtually anything else that will work to cloud the issue. The point of this tactic is to direct the spotlight at the whistleblower, instead of the alleged misconduct.

...A related technique is to open an investigation - and then deliberately keep it pending for an indefinite period. The idea is to leave the whistleblower 'twisting in the wind', with the cloud of an unresolved investigation hanging over his or her head.

...Employers can be creative in devising grounds for an investigation or a smear campaign against a whistleblower. Any allegation will do, no matter how petty... Some employers will display real chutzpah in selecting charges, attempting to select and make stick the most outrageous or far-fetched charges possible... [a] self-effacing individual may be branded a loud-mouth egomaniac

From: The Whistleblower's Survival Guide


Anonymous said...

A related technique is to open an investigation - and then deliberately keep it pending for an indefinite period.

The employer will make that process subject to a confidentiality agreement, so that the complainant can't discuss the investigation.

I agreed to mediation and months (more than one year) later I am under notice that discussing the process would show bad faith, yet within the process I perceive only bad faith from the employer....

Anonymous said...

Monsters Inc.

Anonymous said...

Some employers don't allow employees they want to get rid of to undertake mediation unless they admit that they're at fault IN ADVANCE of the mediation. That's a recipe for a no-way-out dismissal. I thought mediation was about resolving diferences caused by miscommunications and without assigning blame. Am I mistaken?

Anonymous said...

The mediation I (the first poster here) agreed to is "a non-confrontational alternative to adversarial litigation", i.e. to resolve differences without court action, minimising cost and exposure for both parties. But I feel I have been sucked into a who-blinks-first game where they are behaving in a boorish manner intended to push me into breaching the terms of the mediation contract (see for an example of the process).

Anonymous said...

When you fear your Union and around you people will feel the same, that is the time to think that fascism has taken over.

Certainly there is no need to spend time to learn on this.


BTW: Mussolini had only 1 union.

Anonymous said...

It feels like there is an unusual silence on the blog...

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

So... even within a mediation process the employer is unable to proceed in a manner that might resolve the issues.

Is this deliberate?

Is it because there needs to be a much higher level of support to help universities to manage the mediation process?

Has anyone researched the process of mediation?
I seem to remember that HEFCE had/has a project linked to mediation.

Why are some universities able to manage their staff in an appropriate and effective manner and others are not?

The reason may lie with the leadership team.

What is it that effective leadership teams are able to do to ensure that staff can work productively together?

If there are examples of best practice then universities who struggle can maybe learn from the best practice of others.

It is crucial that universities do learn to manage staff effectively because western society is struggling to survive. In my area of education there are many questions that as academics we need to be asking.

Workplace bullying drains energy and prevents effective engagement with the issues that society still expects academic to be addressing.

Public money is used to fund universities.

There is an expectation that universities can manage themselves effectively.

I suggest that public bodies who are reading this blog need to address the poor practice that exists in many of our universities.

Maybe someone could post up an example of a university where there is best practice to move the debate forward.

We seem to be going round in ever increasing circles of despair.

In solidarity

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

From HEFCE's website:

Finance and assurance

We are responsible for substantial sums of public funding - £7,137 million in 2007-08, announced in HEFCE 2007/06. This money is provided by the Department for Education and Skills, and allocated by us according to principles laid out in our funding method. In doing this, we work to ensure value for money and that funds are used for the intended purposes.

This would seem to be a substantial sum of money.....probably not intended to be used to play playground games of bullying.... but rather for research and teaching....

Does anyone from HEFCE read this blog?

We would welcome your response to the issues that are raised here.

They are a cause for concern for those of us who contribute to this blog.

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

Ask questions .....

Ask the b***** questions.

No Answers?

The road is there for your protest.

Ask the b***** questions to all the "I-WANNA-BE-THE-CLEVER-AND-BULLY-MANAGER."




Anonymous said...

And finally


Aphra Behn