Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 1, 2009 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
Praise for Toxic Workplace!

"Toxic Workplace! describes how to identify and best work with toxic personalities. It also provides a systemic approach for creating a culture that's positive and respectful while improving the bottom line. Kusy and Holloway share how their national research translates into real-world practices in organizations. I endorse their practical, concrete approaches that will make a significant difference in organizations today and in the future."
Gregg Steinhafel, president and CEO, Target Corporation

"Toxic Workplace! brings a rare and valuable view of one of the great challenges facing leaders in today's organizations. It is a significant guidebook to the healthy enterprise of the future, not only because of Kusy and Holloway's systems approach to dealing with toxic personalities, but also their unique practice of creating communities of respectful engagement. This book demonstrates how this impacts both organizational social responsibility and the bottom line."
Frances Hesselbein, former CEO of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.; founding president and chairman of Leader to Leader Institute, formerly The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management

"Transforming the culture to support the strategy and mission is the real stuff of leadership. Toxic Workplace! gives you the research-based tools to identify and deal with the 'dark side' of this important dynamic. Read it and you will engage your organization in new, more authentic, and effective ways!"
Kevin Cashman, author, Leadership from the Inside Out and senior partner, Korn/Ferry Leadership & Talent Consulting


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User Review - Flag as inappropriate

These authors really do a dis-service to the understanding of toxicity in the workplace and their perspective supports a managerial top down approach to dealing with this workplace disease. Their research is very biased--having interviewed only leaders and not employees--and the authors' position is to blame individual employees (subordinates) but never the managers. They do not even suggest that managers-or system failure-could in any way be the source of toxicity--or contribute to the toxicity through enabling others to bully. The scholarly literature on toxic leadership suggests a contrary point of view that the authors ignore. In addition, the 'strategies' that the authors recommend for removing toxic employees are to take their jobs away, ignore them and their emails, and 'work around them.' Are these examples of the very behaviors that the authors deem unacceptable, i.e. shaming, and passive aggressiveness? It also is cruel-and toxic--but more importantly it is a form of bullying and mobbing toward the individual with an aim to get them to leave, rather than for the employer to work with an employee in a way that supports their dignity. Anyone who has read the literature on bullying and mobbing would immediately recognize these behaviors. This book is shaming, and shameful and the authors are advocating for bullying and mobbing as evidenced in their 'strategies' and conclusions.  

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Mitchell Kusy & Elizabeth Holloway you really deserve congrats to write such a wonderful book, that is research based, detailed, yet not at all monotonous.


Understanding Toxic People and Toxic
It Isnt as Easy
Leader Reactions and Strategies That Typically
The Toxic Organization Change
How to Move Beyond

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About the author (2009)

Mitchell Kusy, PhD, is a consultant and full professor in the graduate program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University. A 2005 Fulbright Scholar in international organization development, Dr. Kusy consults globally in strategic planning, leadership development, 360-degree feedback, organization development, and designing organizational communities of respectful engagement. He is a visiting professor at several universities internationally.

Elizabeth Holloway, PhD, is a consultant and full professor in the graduate program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University. A Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology and Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Holloway has had more than 25 years' experience as a practitioner, educator, and consultant with organizations, groups, and mental health clients. She consults globally on system approaches to mentoring, coaching, and creating organizational communities of respectful engagement.

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