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Thursday, November 02, 2020

Bullies and Hamburger Management

Thanks once again to Management Issues, I noted this research from the British Chartered Management Institute. Here is a summary:
New research by the UK-based Chartered Management Institute (CMI) released in the run up to national 'Ban Bullying at Work Day' on November 7 reveals that workplace harassment is often social in nature.

In all, the CMI identified eleven types of intimidation based on responses to their survey from more than 500 Britons.

The most common type of bullying involved the misuse of power, something that seven out of 10 said they had seen or experienced at work.

Almost as common are other power-plays, including overbearing supervision (cited by 63 per cent) and being undermining by overloading and criticism (68 per cent).
It also seems that the problem may be growing. Around 60% of respondents said that bullying is increasingly common across the UK; and about a third believe that their organization is ineffective at deterring such bullying behavior.

Hamburger Managers don't even realize that they are acting like the worst kind of schoolyard bullies. They have been brainwashed into thinking of their actions as "hard-charging," "go-getting," and "tough-minded"—all seen as pluses in the Hamburger Management universe.
Hamburger Management is bullying by its very nature. It is based on "overbearing supervision" and people being undermined by "overloading and criticism." All the haste and pressure, coupled with the implicit threats of "get on or get out," are essential if you want to push people to work harder and harder for the same (or less) reward. Do such managers do this deliberately? Maybe some do, but my guess is that most Hamburger Managers don't even realize that they are acting like the worst kind of schoolyard bullies. They have been brainwashed into thinking of their actions as "hard-charging," "go-getting," and "tough-minded"—all seen as pluses in the Hamburger Management universe.

It is said that people who have been sexually abused as children are more likely to become abusers in their turn. I suspect that people bullied and driven by Hamburger Managers come to see it as a normal hallmark of "practical management." They repeat what happened to them because that is what they think they must do. Besides, it is what their organizations seem to demand of them.

Organizations must stop this process before more people get hurt. Any business that allows, let alone encourages, such behavior seems to me to be skating on very thin ethical (and maybe legal) ice, should society finally decide to challenge their right to push others around like this.

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4 Comments:

g23 said...

I agree completely. My current boss is a Hamburger Manager, virtually identical to your description, and I can't take their negative, pessimistic, agressive management style any more. So my new job elsewhere stars in 3 weeks! Can't wait.

7:49 AM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Good for you, g23!

The very best of luck with your new job. You deserve it for your courage and sense of independence.

Keep reading, my friend.

8:51 AM  
Katy said...

"I suspect that people bullied and driven by Hamburger Managers come to see it as a normal hallmark of "practical management.""

Ack! I hope not! Having been the victim of a couple of bullying managers I am certainly not going down that route!

10:10 AM  
Carmine Coyote said...

I'm sorry you have suffered from such bullies, Katy, but the mere fact that you have done so more than once shows how common they are.

Fortunately, you have the good sense to see their behavior for what it is and avoid doing the same yourself. I'm sad to say that quite a few other people (especially men and women with macho tendencies anyway) don't get the point. They simply excuse it as "the rough and tumble of working life" and tell anyone who protests that they are "soft" and "cannot stand the heat."

Until enough people stand up and fight back, it will continue.

Keep reading, my friend. I truly value your input.

10:26 AM  

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