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OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 1.

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Presentation on theme: "OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 1 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada OB on the Edge The Toxic Workplace

2 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 2 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada What’s Happening in Today’s Workplace? Workplace civility –Behaviour “involving politeness and regard for others in the workplace, within workplace norms for respect.” Workplace incivility –“Involves acting with disregard for others in the workplace, in violation of workplace norms for respect.”

3 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 3 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada Incidents of Negative Behaviour A survey of 603 Toronto nurses found that 33 percent had experienced verbal abuse during the five previous days of work. Another recent study found that 78 percent of employees interviewed think that workplace incivility has increased in the past 10 years. Although men and women are targets of disrespect and rudeness in equal numbers... men instigate the rudeness 70 percent of the time.

4 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 4 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada Workplace Violence Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to [his or her] work by either customers, co-workers or managers. –Includes all forms of harassment, bullying, intimidation, physical threats, assaults, robbery and other intrusive behaviour.

5 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 5 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada What Causes Incivility (and Worse) In the Workplace? Excessive demands in workplace: –Overtime –Downsizing –Rapid technological changes –Company restructuring –Difficulty balancing the demands of job and home

6 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 6 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada What Causes Incivility? Breakdown in trust –Breakdown in psychological contract: the expectations that employees and employers form about their relationship to each other. Can lead to employees taking revenge –Don’t perform tasks. –Refuse to pass on messages. –Other behaviours that stop tasks from getting done.

7 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 7 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada Managerial Toxic Behaviour Actor Fragmentor Me-first Mixed-messenger Wooden-stick Escape-artist Source: L. McClure, Risky Business (Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, 1996).

8 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 8 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada Workplace Cultures That Foster Toxic Behaviours Macho culture Specialist culture Elitist culture Office-politics culture Change-resistant culture Workaholic culture Source: L. McClure, Risky Business (Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, 1996).

9 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 9 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada The Toxin Handler The toxin handler helps others around him or her deal with the strains of the organization, by counselling, advising, shielding employees from the wrath of angry managers, reinterpreting the managers’ messages to make them less harsh, etc.

10 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 10 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada How Toxin Handlers Alleviate Pain They listen empathically. They suggest solutions. They work behind the scenes to prevent pain. They carry the confidences of others. They reframe difficult messages. Source: P. Frost and S. Robinson, “The Toxic Handler: Organizational Hero—and Casualty,” Harvard Business Review, July-August 1999, p. 101 (Reprint 99406).

11 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 11 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada FactBox In 2000, only 49% of working Canadians say they are committed to their employer. In 1991, the level of commitment was 62%. More Americans report commitment to their employers than Canadians: 55% of Americans vs. 49% of Canadians. Of those who experience rudeness, 12% quit their jobs in response, 22% decrease their work effort, and 52% lose work time worrying about it. Employees over the age of 55 express the highest degree of commitment to their employers.

12 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 12 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada FaceOff Manners are an over- romanticized concept. The big issue isn’t that employees need to be concerned about their manners. Rather, employers should be paying better wages. The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” should still have a role in today’s workplace. Being nice pays off.

13 OB on the Edge: The Toxic Workplace, Nancy Langton and Stephen P. Robbins, Fundamentals of Organizational Behaviour, Third Canadian Edition OB Toxic 13 Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education Canada Your Perspective 1.Is it reasonable to suggest, as some researchers have, that young people today have not learned to be civil to others, or don’t place a high priority on doing so? Do you see this as one of the causes of incivility in the workplace? 2.What should be done about managers who create toxicity in the workplace while being rewarded because they achieve bottom-line results? Should bottom-line results justify their behaviour?


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