More evidence of management-by-bullying during the recession

The evidence of intensified workplace bullying during the recession is piling up.  Two researchers from the University of Phoenix recently completed a study of belligerent management behavior in the midst of the financial crisis:

Belligerent behavior is a “disturbing leadership trend in the financial crisis,” according to researchers Dr. Ruby Rouse and Dr. Richard Schuttler (2009), who received a grant to study supervisor communication during the crisis. In the summer of 2009, 1,150 working adults in the United States evaluated the leadership and communication effectiveness of their supervisors. Open-ended comments from employees contained repeated descriptions of threatening communication, such as:

  • “Be thankful you have a job.”
  • “You can be replaced.”
  • “There are lots of qualified people on the street who would love your job.”
  • “You never know who will be gone tomorrow.”

Rouse and Schuttler recommend that in response, senior leaders “assess the quality and tone of communication during times of crisis” and “develop situational leadership skills.”

Summary of Rouse/Schuttler study:

Full Rouse/Schuttler study:

Previous related posts:

Management harassment and bullying up, reports Labor Notes (

Workplace bullies, jerks, and the recession: Wall Street Journal op-ed gets it wrong (

More on workplace bullying and the recession: WBI Survey (

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: