Abuse of power rampant in Japanese workplaces: Survey

Bullying most likely to manifest as abusive language and intimidation
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 02/13/2008

Many Japanese workers have complained about superiors abusing their authority to strong-arm subordinates, according to a recent survey.

The survey by the Japan Industrial Counsellors Association found 81 per cent of industrial counsellors, who deal with the psychological welfare of employees, have witnessed or consulted with someone regarding workplace bullying.

The survey asked counsellors to identify the form of bullying, how it manifests and who is perpetrates it. They were given multiple choice answers and were allowed to choose more than one answer per question.

According to the counsellors, the most common form of bullying was abuse of authority (78 per cent), followed by interpersonal conflict or degeneration (59 per cent), bullying over work mistakes (44 per cent) and sexual harassment (36 per cent).

The most common way in which the bullying manifested itself was abusive language, shouting or intimidation, at 68 per cent, followed by ignoring or ostracizing someone (54 per cent) and making trouble for someone (50 per cent).

The overwhelming majority of harassment, 85 per cent, occurs by superiors toward subordinates, followed by between employees (56 per cent), between people of the same sex (43 per cent) and by older people toward younger people (30 per cent).

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