Roundup: On organizational change rhetoric, strategic planning, and consultants

Keeping us up to date as always. Thank you David Yamada!

Minding the Workplace

Hello dear readers, over the life of this blog, I’ve sometimes taken aim at certain popular management practices. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorites:

Using the empty rhetoric of change to justify or impose change (2015) (link here) — “With apologies to Bob Dylan, the times are always a-changin’. But if you buy into the rhetoric of certain practitioners of management-speak, then you’d think that the impetus for change occurs at those magic moments when they happen to be in charge.”

“Strategic planning”: All too often, a time-sucking bridge to nowhere (2011) (link here) — “My friends in management consulting may toss me out of the visitor’s lounge for saying this, but two words uttered together send a chill up my spine: Strategic planning. . . . Organizations should engage in smart, inclusive planning and evaluation. But there’s something about mega-processes like strategic planning…

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Workplace bullying & mobbing: Applying Jennifer Freyd’s framework of institutional betrayal vs. institutional courage

I recommend following David Yamada’s blog in power & abuse in society, workplace bullying, mobbing, etc. This one focuses on Professor Jennifer Freyd (U. Oregon) sharing how organizations see workplace bullying and mobbing. Very interesting ! There is so much more to do.

Minding the Workplace

Psychology professor Jennifer Freyd (U. Oregon) is helping us to understand organizations in ways that illuminate the dynamics of workplace bullying and mobbing. Last year (link here), I highlighted her work on “DARVO,” which stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” I cited DARVO as an important concept for understanding how some workplace aggressors try to play the victim role.

Dr. Freyd’s latest contribution (link here) is framing the distinction between institutional betrayal and institutional courage.

Freyd defines institutional betrayal as “wrongdoings perpetrated by an institution upon individuals dependent on that institution, including failure to prevent or respond supportively to wrongdoings by individuals (e.g. sexual assault) committed within the context of the institution.”

By contrast, institutional courage is “the antidote to institutional betrayal. It includes institutional accountability and transparency, as when institutions conduct anonymous surveys of victimization within the institution.”

When organizations fail to…

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Using scholarship to make a difference

Sharing an article David Yamada. Bullying is still plaguing the workforce.

Minding the Workplace

I’ve been spending large chunks of recent weekends working away on a law review article about therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ), the school of legal thought that examines the therapeutic and anti-therapeutic properties of laws, legal systems, and legal institutions. In this article I’m trying to pull together many aspects of TJ as a field of study, scholarship, and practice. As steady readers of this blog may know, I’ve been deeply involved in the TJ community for many years. TJ’s emphasis on the psychological impact of the law and the importance of human dignity has strongly shaped my own thinking and scholarship.

When I first became a law professor, I was skeptical about the potential of legal scholarship to influence law reform. My intention was to do scholarship in sufficient volume and quality to earn tenure, and then to pursue writing and activist projects that didn’t involve lots of citations and footnotes.

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Minding the Workplace is 10 years old!

Wow, congrats to David Yamada! Read about the last 10 yrs…and we are still hopeful that a law will be put in place.

Minding the Workplace

Ten years ago this month, I launched this blog. Some 1.1 million page views, 1750+ subscribers, and 1650+ articles later, Minding the Workplace has become a popular source of commentary on work, workers, and workplaces. Thank you, dear readers, for being an integral part of this ongoing journey.

MTW has been a steady platform for pieces about workplace bullying, mobbing, and abuse. I am especially grateful for comments and notes from readers, sharing how this blog has helped them to understand and process their own difficult experiences in the workplace. When I started this blog in 2008, I didn’t anticipate how it could serve that clarifying and validating purpose.

Over the years, MTW has been included in several lists of leading blogs on bullying, organizational psychology, and workplace relations. MTW blog posts are now popping up as sources in academic and professional books and journal articles, which suggests that it…

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Pixar animated film captures workplace diversity challenges in 8 minutes

New blog by DAVID YAMADA-Check it out. Workplace Diversity

Minding the Workplace

Pixar has released a great little animated film that beautifully captures the challenges of building workforce diversity in the midst of a white male “bro” culture, starring a ball of yarn named Purl. Emily Canal, writing for Inc., explains:

In Pixar’s new animated short, Purl enters the office on her first day of work and quickly realizes she doesn’t look or behave like the other employees. For starters, they’re all white men clad in identical suits and acting just like their company’s name, B.R.O. Capital, might suggest. Meanwhile, Purl is a fuzzy pink ball of yarn.

…The short emphasizes the importance of workplace inclusivity and diversity as Purl is ignored, shut down at meetings, and excluded from out-of-office bonding events simply because she’s different. The film’s writer and director, Kristen Lester, drew on her own experiences in the animation industry for Purl’s story. 

“My first job, I was…

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Are workplace abusers “emotional terrorists”?

This is a very informative blog by David Yamada. Please share your thoughts.

Minding the Workplace

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” (1893)

In my last post, I discussed a lengthy investigative piece in Variety magazine from December, detailing the story behind Live Nation Entertainment’s decision to place leading producer Heather Parry (“A Star is Born”) on leave, in the wake of multiple accusations of severe workplace bullying and verbal abuse. The Variety piece is loaded with anecdotes from former Live Nation employees, including this one from one-time development executive Wynn Wygal:

Wynn Wygal went to work as a development executive at Live Nation Prods. in November 2017. She said she immediately noticed that her colleagues tensed up whenever Parry walked by.

Wygal soon found that she was prone to angry outbursts, and her moods were impossible to predict.

“Heather berated me on a regular basis for a whole slew of trivial reasons,” Wygal says. “She didn’t like my tone of voice on a call. She…

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A Commonwealth employee passes away on the job after administrators allegedly refused to accept her doctor’s note

Oh my goodness! At what point will the system recognize that we have to deal with this bullying in the workplace issue. Please read the MA Healthy Workplace blog. If you have a story to share, see the email. The education has to continue.

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Sarkis: How to identify a gaslighter

Enjoy this, it is crucial to understand and know what you are dealing with. Sarkis: How to identify a gaslighter by David Yamada…

Minding the Workplace

Joining the growing literature on gaslighting behaviors is Dr. Stephanie Sarkis’s Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People — and Break Free (2018). Sarkis is both a counselor and a mediator, and her experiences in clinical practice brought gaslighting and gaslighters to her attention. The results of her work make for this welcomed contribution to our understanding.

Dr. Sarkis writes:

Gaslighters will convince us that we are crazy, that we are abusive, that we are a huge bundle of problems and no one else will want us, that we are terrible employees who haven’t been fired yet just by the grace of God, that we are terrible parents who shouldn’t have had children, that we have no idea how to manage our own life, or that we are a burden to others. They are toxic.

…Gaslighters use your own words against you; plot against you, lie to your face, deny your needs, show…

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How administrators bullied a state hospital nurse after workplace violence

Sharing info from the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Bill -A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the bill into law blog. This is a concern, you are hear the voice of the victim. If you have comments please share. I believe there should be more discussions about bullying in the workplace.

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A lot of deniers are simply playing a sick, sociopathic game

There are non-believers out there regarding bullying in the workplace. I agree with Yamada that most do not believe what they are saying. They see it and are witnesses…denial is a heavy burden to carry. Read this article by Yamada and share what you think.

Minding the Workplace

(Drawing copyright Aaron Maeda)

Denier behavior occurs at many levels and in many situations.

There are those who deny that the Holocaust ever happened, claiming that millions of souls never perished at the hands of the Nazis.

Those are those who deny that innocent children were gunned down at Sandy Hook, claiming that the victims’ parents are participating in a big ruse.

As we are witnessing at this very moment in America, there are those who deny the realities of sexual assault, claiming that the victims are making it all up.

In my own work, I see those who deny that people can be bullied out of their jobs and livelihoods, claiming that the targets (not the aggressors) were the problems, or chalking it up to “personality differences.”

Truth is, I think that many of these deniers don’t actually believe what they’re saying. They know what’s going on.

However, they…

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