Wednesday, November 08, 2020

Undermining Dignity at Work

Today, I found Bob Sutton's article called: “Randy Hodson’s Dignity at Work”. It refers to the importance of maintaining dignity in the workplace, and references an academic book by Randy Hodson in which he analyzes the major challenges to dignity at work and “the strategies through which dignity is attained and defended.”

Hodson defines dignity as “. . . the ability to establish a sense of self-worth and self-respect and to appreciate the respect of others.” Here is the key paragraph from the article:
Hodson . . . digs into causes including mismanagement and abuse, overwork, challenges to autonomy (e.g., undermining freedom and control at work), and “contradictions of employee involvement,” where employees are blamed for organizational performance problems, are asked to work harder and get more involved, but they don’t actually have any control. Or when employees are asked to work harder to avoid layoffs—but when they do work harder, layoffs happen because the organization has become more efficient.
What a marvelous list of the most typical manifestations of Hamburger Management! By Bob Sutton's definition—or by anyone else's—such people are grade 1 assholes.

Undermining people's dignity is a classic expression of passive/aggressive pathology. It is negative, manipulative, cowardly, and pathetic. Sadly, it is also extremely common amongst useless bosses the world over.

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