The Ohio Connection
Janey worked as an executive assistant to a product manager at her company: Ohio Connection. Overall, she loved her job; she was happy to work with a company that provided great benefits, and she and found enjoyment in her day-to-day work. She had the same product manager boss for years, but last year, her manager left Ohio Connection and retired. Recently her new manager has been treating her unfairly and showcasing bullying behavior.
Yesterday, Janey came into work, and her boss decided to use their power as her manager and her “superior” to demand that she stay late to cover for him, correct reports that he had made mistakes on, and would not pay her overtime. She was going to be late to pick up her son from soccer practice if she stayed late; she told him this, and he was not happy.
Over subsequent days, her boss consistently would make comments about her performance, even though she had always had good remarks on reviews, and created a very negative work environment. The next time she was asked to stay late, she complied for fear of losing her job or having other negative impacts on her job. Janey’s situation was not ideal, but she didn’t feel she had a choice.
- What type of power did Janey’s boss employ to get her to do the things that he wanted her to do?
- What negative consequences are apparent in this situation and other situations where power is not balanced in the workplace?
- What steps should Janey take do to counteract the power struggle that is occurring with her new manager?
Sources: A. Morin, “How to Prevent a Workplace Bully from taking Your Power,” Inc., June 25, 2018, https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/how-to-prevent-a-workplace-bully-from-taking-your-power.html; V. Giang, “The 7 Types Of Power That Shape The Workplace,” Business Insider, July 31, 2013, https://www.businessinsider.com/the-7-types-of-power-that-shape-the-workplace-2013-7; B. Weinstein, “10 Tips for Dealing with a Bully Boss,” CIO, accessed October 13, 2018, https://www.cio.com.au/article/198499/10_tips_dealing_bully_boss/.