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In his article The End of the Job, Bridges argues that the changing nature of employment will necessitate a shift from authoritarian to democratic management. Bosses will morph into partners, and employees will assume roles with increased power. Flattened hierarchy will then be the great equalizer that promotes voice within each person. Firms will (by necessity) need to recognize the importance of the people making the profit.

The cessation of power plays is a far cry from the overbearing need for boss power. Although managers on average may be high in n Pow (and low in n Aff, or need for affiliation), leaders in the new era should be high in need for socialized power. These persons will look for ways to develop others, and to be helpful to those lesser experienced. Instead of expecting people to bow and scrape, they will be expected to serve their fellow workers. Relatedly – low n Aff will be substituted by the need to belong to the collective. Absent will be the bad behavior which currently stalks unsuspecting employees.

Bullying is organizational occupation – through non-speech and silence of the vanquished parties. It is instigated by people who derive their sense of importance from clawing the backs of their peers. Bullies occupy employees’ minds, they occupy spaces of privilege, and they occupy seats of power. They are frightening caricatures traipsing through workers’ thoughts, leaving them quivering in their respective cubicles. As such bullying is a self-affirming cycle. It dehydrates the portal through which employee creativity flows, and it renders targets helpless.

Bullies are representative of what’s wrong. If they’re not chastising you to your face, they’re complaining about you behind your back.

In the new era firms will move from behavior which is officious [e.g., assertive of authority in an annoyingly domineering way, esp. with regard to petty or trivial matters] to empowering [increasing the strength, control, and discretion that people exercise at work]. Corporate assault occurs in places where kindness is a rarity, and where only a few brave souls buck the system. In companies that practice egalitarianism these are the souls who will call the shots.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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