Where is the line between strong leadership style and bullying?  |  Hungarian sound

Where is the line between strong leadership style and bullying? | Hungarian sound

MP Institute for Human History (Source: MPG)

The scandals that have rocked the German Max Planck Society for years are getting stronger and have now reached a level that calls into question the foundations of the operating model of the network of research institutes. The directors of the institute are replaced one by one (although they are not fired) because their subordinates accuse them of harassment and abuse of power, but the replaced directors also mention abuse and gender discrimination when they counterattack. Now the reputation of one of the world’s most prestigious scientific institutions and its unprecedented independence from the state are at stake.

Where is the line between strong leadership style and bullying? This question has been on the minds of the staff and students of dozens of research institutes of the German Max Planck Society (MPG) for at least four years (but perhaps decades beneath the surface). Sometimes directors of company research institutes make derogatory comments about their subordinates, humiliate them, and slander their assets. However, according to the leaders who spoke, this is not harassment, in most cases poorly performing subordinates cannot accept criticism and demands. Scandals within the MPG are certainly not considered scandalous in the ranks of science, because in this traditional authoritarian world, abuse of administrative power and talking about low-ranking and prestigious colleagues does not occur, but is common in many places.

• What abuses are investigated with managers?
• How does the Max Planck Society try to solve these issues?
• Why could such unfortunate circumstances develop in perhaps the best network of research institutes in the world?

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