Charlotte Talks: Bosses Behaving Badly

Jan 8, 2018

Monday, Jan. 8, 2017

Bullying and abuse in general by bosses have been intertwined with reports of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Credit Flickr / Tayloright

A look at the cultures of fear, abuse and misbehavior in the workplace that are coming to light. How does this behavior start?  What should you do about it? 

The national conversation about what is appropriate behavior in the workplace began with the #MeToo movement shining a lot on sexual misconduct by bosses.

Intertwined with that behavior are reports of workplace bullying and abuse in general, including yelling and belittling of co-workers. Abuse by former public radio host John Hockenberry was described as "normal," and those who thought about complaining were told they would "disappear."

Wake Forest University business professor Sherry Moss says these environments lead to “a whole set of negative consequences for employees,” and they encourage the bullied “to become bullies themselves.”

Corporate leaders were quick to speak out about sexual harassment, but what is being done in the workplace about people in power mistreating employees? Why has that behavior been tolerated before? And what causes bosses to become bullies in the first place?

Mike Collins asks experts in management about cultures of abuse in the workplace.


Sherry Moss, professor of organizational studies, Wake Forest University

Stephanie Dillon, manager of HR advisory services, The Employers Association*

Craig Chappelow, senior faculty, Center for Creative Leadership; co-author of The Toxic Boss Survival Guide