Why Some Bosses Bully Their Best Employees

Why Some Bosses Bully Their Best Employees

This article presents theories on why some administrators need to abuse their exceptional subordinates. Possible explanations for their actions include:

  • need for power and control
  • need to justify position within organization
  • desire to quash employee that is better than they are
  • quell perceived threats to position
  • pleasure of dominating someone 
  • desire to damage/destabilize organization

... an up-and-coming subordinate who performs beyond expectations might replace them, supersede them, or garner some of the resources normally reserved for them, such as status, attention from higher-ups, or advancement opportunities. ... Since bully bosses cause turnover, senior leaders should be especially disturbed by the knowledge that such supervisors might go after star performers. While no employee deserves to be bullied, driving out top talent by is an obvious threat to the future well-being of the organization.

Harassing bosses happen. A functioning adminstration, human resources, and employee union can step in to address the harassment and restore normal operation before things blow-up. Not at MacEwan, where the harassment leaders are senior officers and administrators:


David Atkinson (President)

Janet Paterson-Wier (VP Academic)

David Higgins (Dean of Arts and Science)

These Administrators have subverted junior administrators and MacEwan Human Resources to do their bidding. They have bullied an already weak Faculty Association to look the other way. MacEwan is heirarchy driven. MacEwan Administration refuses to transform itself from an authoritarian college-style administration to an open-governance university-style administration. (MacEwan became a university in 2009.) MacEwan Administration has failed MacEwan students, staff, faculty, and society.