Bullying at the University of Newcastle (Australia)

We are working to highlight and stop academic workplace bullying at the University of Newcastle, Australia. We are a group of staff and students who have been bullied for speaking out about misconduct.

Help make a difference –

*answer our survey,

*contribute to the blog, or

*contact us.

This will help us gather as much information as possible so that we can put an end to this bullying with its’ decades-long history.

“Systemic bullying, hazing and abuse generally are identified with poor, weak or toxic organizational cultures. Cultures that are toxic have stated ethical values that are espoused but not employed, and other non-ethical values which are operational, dominant, but unstated.

Such cultures thrive when good people are silent, silenced, or pushed out; when bad apples are vocal, retained, promoted, and empowered; and when the neutral majority remain silent in order to survive. Those who are most successful in such a toxic culture are those who have adapted to it, or adopted it as their own”. (McKay, Arnold, Fratzl & Thomas, 2008)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Workplace bullying or office politics?

In a well-researched article, Vadim Liberman (Senior Editor of the Conference Board) has provided some clarification on "workplace bullying".

  • "Bullying goes beyond everyday rudeness and incivility—it’s repetitive, enduring, and escalating, entwined with perceived power disparities and matters of intent"
  • "Explicit workplace bullying entails yelling, name-calling, belittling of opinions, insults, inappropriate jokes, false accusations, verbal and nonverbal intimidation, spreading of rumors, public humiliation, discounting of accomplishments, destructive criticism."
  • “workplace bullies use organizational tools to help them bully,”... Such actions include threatening disciplinary action and job loss, giving poor performance appraisals, assigning unreasonable amounts of work, shifting deadlines and other goals, stealing credit, laying undue blame, allotting busy work, creating unrealistic demands, and micromanaging."
  • "Often, acts of omission inflict the greatest harm: Withholding necessary information and resources, removing job responsibilities, preventing access to opportunities, holding back praise, raises, and promotions, and excluding one from meetings are among the more clandestine acts of aggression."

The bullying experiences at the University of Newcastle reported to us in our survey or in comments on this website certainly fit into these descriptions of workplace bullying.


To clarify the "grey" areas around workplace bullying, Bar-David, a workplace consultant, uses the following test:-  


 “Here’s the test I use to make the gray fade away,” Bar-David says. “If you looped a video of a manager engaging in the behavior, would you be willing to proudly display that video above your establishment’s entrance?”


So, would the University of Newcastle be willing to put clips of the bullying behaviour we have reported on their website or include it in their promotional videos?

1 comment:

  1. It's horrifying to know I have suffered all that's listed in your post at the UoN.

    I am often amazed that it is still standing given the level of bullying there is.

    I wish I'd never wasted my life there, one minute was too much. Feel really sorry for the poor students.

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