Work Abuse: How to Recognize and Survive It

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9780870471094: Work Abuse: How to Recognize and Survive It
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Millions of people hate their jobs. They may think the problem is stress or burn-out, but for most of these people, the true problem is an abusive work environment: one that disempowers people and destroys self-esteem.
Work abuse is the dehumanizing of people through patterned ways of interacting at work. This includes systematic denial that the abuse is happening, as most abusive managers consider such poisonous treatment to be "the way the world works." Work abuse can affect a whole organization, or it can be focused on one individual scapegoat. What's worse, our society as a whole tends to reinforce this attitude, placing the blame on the traumatized victim. When the abuse cannot be redressed at work, it often reappears at home as addiction or family violence.
Intended for individual workers and their families, therapists who help them, and managers and union leaders responsible for work systems, this book explains how and why work abuse happens and offers a practical plan for healing, including in-depth case studies, exercises, and worksheets to guide the reader.

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Over the recent past, the concept of what constitutes abuse has broadened. No longer is it limited to the domestic setting, and no longer is it restricted to physical harm. Some of this change in thinking has not gone without controversy. Now Wyatt and Hare up the ante, and they are certain to stir opinion. The authors are organizational consultants and licensed psychotherapists who coined the term work abuse in 1988 in a report to the California state legislature's own oft-debated task force on self-esteem. They define work abuse as "the flagrant mistreatment or silent neglect of people." This abuse may take the form of neglect, chronic scapegoating, or denial of due process. The only solution to the problem of this abuse, Wyatt and Hare argue, is for democracy to be brought to the workplace and to eliminate authoritarian work organizations. The authors' equating of work abuse with child abuse, on-the-job sexual harassment, and discrimination will offend many. David Rouse

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Chauncey Hare; Judith Wyatt
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