Employment relations and bullying In Academia: a case of Academic Staff at Makerere University
Wanyama, Seperia B.
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While institutions of higher learning are ordinarily believed to be the epitome of knowledge and custodians of focal principles that guide sound practices and performance, they are certainly not immune to the prowl of bullying and mobbing, which are antecedents to poor employment relations. This article presents results of a study conducted to examine the nature of employment relations and the prevalence of bullying amongst academic staff at Makerere University. It analyses the prevalence, perceptions, and manifestations of bullying; the nature of employment relations and the existing supportive systems to deal with the vice at this premier university of the eastern and central African region. Results show that bullying and mobbing exist in University academic units. It has thrived on deficiencies in legal and policy framework, poor leadership styles and centralised control of decision-making, the nature of the working environment characterised by scanty resources and facilitation support to task holders. In spite of its incessant nature, it is often trivialized and relegated as a non-issue that deserve little, if any, serious attention. The authors posit that tolerating a culture of human abuse in any form undermines the very essence of a higher institution of learning. Thus, the university must develop a respectful organizational culture that fortifies colleagueship and harmonious coexistence through policy and open systems of communication with empowerment and participatory decision-making. Effort should be made to invigorate rigorous academic debate, research, and other scholarly endeavours, that promote intellectual resonance, as opposed to schemes of undermining practices.