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Bullying as a Business

by Miki Saxon

bully-freeBullying has gone high profile over the last few years; it’s not that bullying is new, but in the wired world its results are magnified and the effects include death.

The problem of bullying in the workplace isn’t new, either, and is finally being acknowledged, although still often swept under the rug or rationalized.

Bullying is serious; it saps moral, drains productivity, kills creativity and innovation and because the bully is often the manager it gooses turnover to new heights.

While bullying is a disaster for companies, it is a boon to entrepreneurs and is becoming big business.

In a classic chicken-and-egg twist, the purported rise of the office bully has turned anti-bullying experts into well-paid gurus. Valerie Cade, an anti- bullying coach in Ontario, gives 40 speeches a year for up to $7,500 apiece.

Gary and Ruth Namie are two of the biggest start in the new anti-bullying firmament.

…their book, The Bully at Work, which has since sold 80,000 copies and remains the magnum opus of the genre. In 2003 they renamed their group the more important-sounding Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute, later boiled settling on the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), which still sounds pretty important. In 2008, they took the bold step of establishing WBI University, the first college of its kind, in Bellingham. The university’s three-day seminars cost $4,600 for individuals and $6,000 for corporate representatives. Next semester is already sold out.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a need and the Namies actually have strong creds for what they do, but I have ten bucks that creds will dilute quickly as the money from books, tapes, online classes and speaking opportunities increases and every therapist and coach on the planet jumps into the fray.

Seems like dealing with bullies is all grown up.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pointshoot/2500644518/

2 Responses to “Bullying as a Business”
  1. MAPping Company Success Says:

    […] fall I wrote that the prevalence of bullying, especially in the workplace, was giving rise to an anti bullying industry and I’ve seen nothing to change my mind about […]

  2. MAPping Company Success Says:

    […] world is not only a corporate hot topic, but also fast becoming a business. (I wrote about that here and corrected misunderstandings of that post […]

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