Union investigates bullying in IT industry

Trade union Unite has begun research to establish the extent of bullying in the IT profession.

Trade union Unite has begun research to establish the extent of bullying in the IT profession.

The move follows concerns that tight deadlines and a lack of training for managers are contributing to a culture that can encourage bullying in IT departments.

Peter Skyte, national officer at Unite, said, "The sector is probably an example where the lack of management skills does lead to bullying, for two reasons: Firstly, a lot of activity is project-based or time-based, which can lead to pressure to deliver, and consequently bullying. Secondly, people who are very good at technology get promoted to management positions on the basis of their technical skills, not management skills."

Research published by the Chartered Management Institute last week found that 66% of managers believe that a lack of management skills is the major factor contributing to bullying in the workplace.

In the survey of 512 senior managers, authoritarian management styles, the personality of managers, the failure to address incidents, and unrealistic targets were cited as the major factors that lead to bullying.

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