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Bullies lack management skills

28 August 2007

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Two thirds of managers believe that their peers can become bullies in the workplace due to a lack of supervising skill, a poll suggests.

The Ban Bullying At Work campaign questioned 512 senior managers across the UK.

Some 56% said that managers can become bullies when they are authoritarian at work while another 57% say that bullying behaviour may be due to the manager’s personality.

Another 27% cited managers setting unrealistic targets and 37% said that managers who fail to address incidents could become bullies in the workplace.

Misuse of power was thought to be the most common type of bullying in the workplace, closely followed by overbearing supervision and verbal insults.

Liley Witheridge, CEO of, said: “It is clear that managers now acknowledge that bullying behaviour in the workplace takes many forms and creates deep repercussions.

“We are challenging businesses to speak out against bullying to create workplaces where employees can see clearly that bullying behaviours will not be tolerated.

“We want to inspire managers to speak out and instil a culture where business is not frightened to standup to the bullies.”

The Ban Bullying At Work day will take place on the 7 November, spearheaded by the Andrea Adams Trust.

Bullying At Work

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

“I believe that a extreme lack of appropriate managerial skills, or none at all, is the main reason for bullying by management, seconded by personal motives – ie, a manager hires a ‘buddy’ to clean up alleged trouble employees, who may not always agree that the manager’s views are correct or at times appropriate” – Tom Madore, Ottawa Ontario Canada

“I think verbal abuse, discrimination/racism, violent physical triggers, lies as well not following up on promises, malicious gossip, unreasonable demands, and calling at odd hours (about a personal issue) qualifies as bullying! Also, I totally see bullying as mixing some “nice” behaviour with inappropriately abusive behaviour, which is not right and messed up!” – Samar Misra, Bham, AL

“I would say that abuse of power is top of the list, along with personality and fear of being exposed when they do not have the necessary management skills to manage their own and others workload. The other thing is that some managers are so good at convincing others that they are highly skilled, so when they make mistakes they blame others in order to gloss over their incompetencies” – Name and address supplied