Status Hierarchies and Harassment in the Workplace
During the shooting of Terminator 4, actor Christian Bale was caught on tape verbally abusing the director of cinematology for allegedly messing up a shot. The internet is now buzzing with news stories, blogs, the actual audio tapes, as well as spoofs regarding the incident. Listening to the audio of the actual incident, cringing, I imagined myself on the set having to bear witness of such abuse. One has to wonder what variables play into an individual’s willingness to release all impulses and behave like such a tyrant.
No doubt status hierarchies are involved and one has to wonder if this is the type of verbal abuse that can take place in “public space” with a director of cinematology being the victim, what is the extent with the power differentials are even greater and it takes place behind closed doors. For additional reading on workplace harassment, please see link below for journal article in which Lopez and his colleagues discuss their findings from workplace ethnographies which support the use of a routine activities model to highlight key organizational features implicated in workplace harassment.
News Story: Christian Bale Goes Balistic
Power, Status, and Abuse at Work