Our findings - Museums Association

Our findings

Participation in the research was high, 510 people responded to an open call using an anonymous questionnaire, with a profile representative of the workforce and sector.

The ‘typical respondent’ is a 40-year-old white straight female able-bodied atheist, working in collections, for a national museum, in England. They considered themselves mid-career with 15 years’ worth of sector experience.

The key findings that should drive sector action are outlined below.

  • Targets were most likely to be bullied by their direct line manager, and this bullying continued for more than nine months
  • The most common bullying behaviours were minimising role and contribution; limiting access to essential information; being overly critical of work without justification; and/or micromanagement or undermining individuals in public and private, for example by spreading rumours
  • 25% of respondents felt they were being bullied as a result of a protected characteristic with the most common being gender, followed by age and disability
  • Other underlying factors were also described, for example class, position in the organisational hierarchy and high levels of competence
  • Bullying had negative impacts in work and home domains and affected psychological and physiological wellbeing, and led to actions, for example leaving the organisation and the sector
  • There was a lack of awareness of and trust in formal policies and procedures
  • 10% of all respondents were satisfied with the outcome of the actions, formal or informal taken