Project Management

Bullying at Work: An Ethical and Leadership Dilemma for all Project Managers

PMI Canadian West Coast Chapter

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
-- Desmond Tutu, social rights activist and retired Archbishop, South Africa

This quote applies to bullies as well as elephants. Bullying can be as harmful in the workplace as it is in schools and other areas of society, causing the well understood personal emotional impacts, plus a long list of challenges for project managers and the organizations where it is taking place. Sadly, the rates of workplace bullying across the globe, despite efforts to eliminate it, are increasing dramatically. The good news is that increased public awareness, recent research, and expanding illegalization of workplace bullying have paved the way for efforts to prevent it. Employers are becoming more acutely aware of the human, legal, ethical, and financial costs associated with workplace bullying. In order to directly and proactively address this issue, project managers and their organizations need to take action. Fortunately, there are many sources of information and tools available to assist project managers and senior management in this endeavor.

Workplace Bullying: A Definition
Bullying can be as harmful in the workplace as it is in schools and …


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