Psychologists in the United States are turning their attention to the scourge of bullying bosses, according to a story in the New York Times.
According to one researcher, many managers bully subordinates for the sheer pleasure of exercising power – a kind of low-grade sadism that starts with one victim and moves on to someone else.
New York Times | Fear in the Workplace: The Bullying Boss
Bullying bosses, studies find, differ in significant ways from the Blutos of childhood. In the schoolyard, particularly among elementary school boys, bullies tend to pick on smaller or weaker children, often to assert control in an uncertain social environment in which they feel vulnerable.
But adult bullies in positions of power are already dominant, and they are just as likely to pick on a strong subordinate as a weak one, said Dr. Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute, an advocacy group based in Bellingham, Wash. Women, Dr. Namie said, are at least as likely as men to be the aggressors, and they are more likely to be targets.