Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • World View
  • Published:

Workplaces must respond better to the bullied boss

Bullying comes in many forms, including when subordinates bully a manager. Sara Branch argues that workplaces should implement policies to combat all types of bullying.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. D’Cruz, P. & Rayner, C. Econ. Ind. Democracy 34, 597–619 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Patterson, E., Branch, S., Barker, M. & Ramsay, S. Qual. Res. Organ. Manag. 13, 32–52 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Branch, S. Upwards Bullying: An Exploratory Study of Power, Dependency and the Work Environment for Australian Managers. PhD thesis, Griffith University (2006).

  4. French, J. & Raven, B. in Studies in Social Power (ed. D. Cartwright) 150–167 (Univ. Michigan, 1959).

  5. Branch, S., Ramsay, S. & Barker, M. J. Manage. Organ. 13, 264–281 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Mahmoudi, M. Nat. Hum. Behav. 7, 466–467 (2023).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Branch, S., Ramsay, S., Shallcross, L., Hedges, A. & Barker, M. in Pathways of Job-related Negative Behaviour (eds D’Cruz, P. et al.) 1–32 (Springer Singapore, 2018).

  8. Shallcross, L., Ramsay, S. & Barker, M. Negotiation Confl. Manage. Res. 6, 191–213 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Branch, S., Ramsay, S. & Barker, M. in Advances in Organisational Psychology (eds Glendon, A. I. et al.) 93–112 (Australian Academic Press, 2007).

  10. Senge, P. The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organisation, 2nd edn (Random House, 2006).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sara Branch.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Branch, S. Workplaces must respond better to the bullied boss. Nat Hum Behav 7, 1607–1608 (2023).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing