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Multidisciplinary Study Shows Bystanders Can Bring Powerful Change

In New Zealand certain public hospital workloads for doctors are so bad the one doctor said she became suicidal after repeatedly being told by her bosses that patients would die if she took time off.

Against this back drop, Dr. Mike Webster of the The University of Auckland, asserts that it is the bystanders turned upstanders who are the key to the massive change in culture that is needed. "We will no longer collude with workplace intimidation," is Webster's battle cry.

The bystanders may be designated office-holders or informal thought leaders, but whatever their roles, they will have subscribed to the belief that workers carry the capability to produce cultural change and will constructively confront perpetrators.

Perhaps we have had it upside down, expecting those at the top to fix corporate culture. The 80% of workers who make up bystanders may have more incentive to work for change than those at the highest levels with lots to lose.

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