We talk about good leaders who strive to create healthy organizational cultures, the places where people want to work. We talk about bad leaders who crack the whip, bully, and treat others as expendable parts.
But what about bosses who don’t think much at all about the quality of work life within their organizations? What if notions such as supportive work environments, fair compensation structures, and organizational justice don’t cross their radar screens? What if all that matters to them are profits/revenues, avoiding liability, pleasing their boards & superiors, and getting ahead?
A common practice
I suggest this is quite common — especially in occupational settings where people are hired into leadership positions based, at least in part, on performance factors that have little to do with their ability to manage an organization.
In my twin realms of higher education and law, this happens all the time.
Bosses who practice benign neglect when it comes to organizational culture create a giant void that others fill. If, for example, the immediate lieutenants are attentive to nurturing a psychologically healthy workplace, then everyday working conditions may be pretty decent for the rank-and-file.
By contrast, if those lieutenants are clueless about managing a workplace effectively, then a lot of people may suffer. And if a manipulative, bullying type of individual seizes power within that void, a good number of people will suffer.