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The Need for Managers to Negotiate Effectively with Their Subordinates

By Charles B. Craver

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Over the past fifteen to twenty years, I have noticed a significant change in the way many managers interact with their subordinates. Instead of working with those persons, they act in a dictatorial manner which most employees find highly offensive. They almost never praise their effective personnel, and simply order those persons to do what they want. These actions have negative consequences for employers, as worker morale declines and many competent individuals seek positions with other firms.

I frequently mediate employment disputes, and have observed this change in employment discrimination cases. Employees file charges alleging that their supervisors are treating them negatively because of their race, sex, religion, age, or disabilities. In a few instances, the evidence has suggested that particular persons are being treated badly because of one of these factors, but in most cases, the supervisors in question are treating all of their subordinates badly. In these cases, the adversely affected workers have no claims, because of their inability to demonstrate some form of unlawful discrimination. Most private sector workers in the U.S. are employed on an “at will” basis. Under this uniquely American doctrine, employers may discharge their personnel at any time for “good cause, bad cause, or no cause.” Only the relatively few private sector workers covered by collective bargaining agreements, which only permit discipline for “just cause,” enjoy protection against wrongful terminations. As a result, many managers do not hesitate to treat their subordinates harshly, knowing that if such persons object, they can simply terminate their services. So long as they do not target specific persons because of some factor covered by the different civil rights statutes, this is entirely legal.

The Need for Managers to Negotiate Effectively With their Subordinates By Charles B. Craver


Copyright © 2014 Charles B. Craver
Copyright ©   2014  The Negotiator Magazine
The Negotiator Magazine  October 2014