If the boss doesn’t care, why should the employees? Poor management is a surefire path toward fiscal failure, but new research also finds a bad manager can lead to a nastier work environment for everyone.
Researchers at the University of South Australia cite poor management as the biggest risk factor for workplace bullying. In collaboration with scientists from the Centre for Workplace Excellence, the University of Queensland, and Auburn University, study authors developed a new evidence-based screening tool that identified the nine major risk areas associated with workplace bullying.
These risk areas are very much embedded in typical day-to-day business practices, leading study authors to conclude the burden falls on organizations and employers to address the issues.
The research team analyzed 342 legitimate, real-life bullying complaints filed in South Australia. Notably, 60 percent of those complaints came from female employees. Meanwhile, the largest portion of complaints originated within health and community services, the property and business sector, or the retail sector. That analysis revealed the most prominent risk areas associated with workplace bullying across organizations, researchers explain.
“Workplace bullying predominantly shows up in how people are managed,” lead study author Professor Michelle Tuckey says in a university release. “Managing work performance, coordinating working hours and entitlements, and shaping workplace relationships are key areas that organizations need to focus on.”
“It can be tempting to see bullying as a behavioral problem between individuals, but the evidence suggests that bullying actually reflects structural risks in the organizations themselves.”