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Ethical Leadership Ends Bullying

Ethical Leadership Ends BullyingWorkplace bullying is a national and international problem.

Researchers have looked at the causes such as financial stress, insecurity, or narcissism.  We also have uncovered that targets are more likely to experience panic attacks, insomnia, and PTSD.  Often we know what a bully looks like and how that bully makes people feel.  Yet, wonder, how do we stop bullying in the first place?

A recent article confirmed that ethical leaders would attract other ethical personnel.  Ethical and empathetic people not only model compassionate leadership, but they also create and implement policies that curtail workplace abuse.  Then such leaders USE these policies to weed out bullies and create a healthy workplace.  In turn, the organization learns what policies and behaviors are valued.  By championing kindness and caring, ethical leaders can end bullying and abuse which would take a back seat and eventually crowded out by ethics.

What is interesting about this ethical cycle of leadership, not only does such leadership stamp out workplace bullying, it galvanizing a happy and loyal staff. When people are treated well at work and are appreciated, they will give more of their time.  The workplace becomes a place people are pleased to engage.

So, how does one look for ethical leadership?  In the day of the Internet, Google, and social media, people’s leadership should be easily identifiable.  Consider if they have written blogs or op-ed pieces.  What behaviors have they previously exhibited?    What values have they demonstrated?  These clues can help a search committee determine who can really inspire a staff.

The formula is quite simple. If an organization wants a happy workplace, take care to recruit ethical and empathetic leaders.  For more information, check out the article below.


Hollis, L. P. (2019). The abetting bully: Vicarious bullying and unethical leadership in higher education. Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education, 3, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.28945/4255 (CC BY-NC 4.0) This article is licensed to you under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0