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ERIC Number: EJ838026
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Defending Collegiality
Fischer, Michael
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v41 n3 p20-25 May-Jun 2009
In his provocatively titled recent book, "The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't", Robert I. Sutton argues for zero tolerance of "bullies, creeps, jerks, weasels, tormentors, tyrants, serial slammers, despots, [and] unconstrained egomaniacs" in the workplace. These individuals systematically prey on their co-workers, especially the more vulnerable ones, leaving their victims feeling humiliated, belittled, and demoralized. Although he goes on to cite many businesses (Southwest Airlines, Costco, Google, and Men's Wearhouse, among others) that have implemented the zero tolerance policy that he advocates, Sutton does not explore the reluctance of universities to hold faculty members to the rules of conduct that many businesses are implementing--rules that supplement standard prohibitions against harassment and discrimination--even while they apply them to staff. At the author's own university, for example, exempt and non-exempt staff are explicitly required to "cooperate and collaborate with other employees in a spirit of teamwork and collegiality" as a condition of their employment. Faculty members are not. The reluctance to adopt a code of conduct for faculty members stems in part from a belief also expressed in corporate workplaces: that geniuses must be jerks and that some belligerence, indifference to others, and rudeness are inseparable from the achievements of a Steve Jobs or Bobby Knight. The author's intent for this article has not been to legislate collegiality but to make sure that in those rare instances when enough is enough, when egregious behavior persists and reaches a carefully defined tipping point, faculty members and administrators are in a position to do something about it. (Contains 7 resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A