(Only retailing and manufacturing has less bullying.) But Cary Cooper, a workplace psychologist at the University of Manchester, UK, who co-authored the study, says that this under-represents the true problem in universities.
His survey had a relatively strict definition of bullying: workers qualified as being bullied if they had experienced persistent demeaning and devaluing treatment.
If employees do not achieve their goals, good supervisors will give specific and constructive feedback, she says.
Naomi Ellemers, a social psychologist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands who has studied how people are treated in academia, adds that supervisors on the right side of the line will give people the time, support and resources to achieve their goals, and treat them respectfully.
‘Tough’ supervisors are not bullies if they set up clear expectations and communicate them directly to reportees.
They will also acknowledge and appreciate staff members who meet those expectations.It even withheld certain findings from the Wellcome Trust because they contained highly confidential personal information.The secrecy — and the resulting confusion — are prime examples of the difficulties that scientific institutions and researchers face in dealing with the thorny issue of bullying.Three months on, many more people from Rahman’s lab have left the institute.Yet most of the details about the case remain hidden from the public: Rahman has not commented about the allegations and the institute has released little information.In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and Java Script.In August, accusations of bullying roiled the Institute of Cancer Research in London, one of the leading science centres in the United Kingdom.A bully, by contrast, is typically not interested in developing relationships that allow their subordinates to grow professionally, says Keashly.They might also dish out bullying behaviour on a whim, whether or not the person they are targeting has failed to perform well, she adds.It can take the form of someone spreading malicious rumours about another, undermining their work and opinions, or withholding information necessary for them to do their jobs.Supervisors can become bullies if they are overbearing, constantly changing a person’s duties or giving them impossible workloads or unachievable deadlines.