Is Witch Hunt The New Way of Solving Problems In Organizations? How Does Witch Hunt Work In Organizations?

Organizations today are full of witch-hunting and it looks like witches are full in the workplace. Some employees who hold positions of leadership find themselves engaging in witch-hunting to save their faces. Such managers look for someone to blame and hold responsible for problems facing the organization hoping that the difficult situation or crisis will somehow be resolved. They simply create a scapegoat instead of solving the problem.

“Witchcraft” in an organization is simply heretical and harmful behavior, meaning anyone that wishes you harm is simply a witch in the workplace.  Witchcraft in an organization occurs when there is an extreme and consistent violation of norms and total disregard for what is accepted as the normal way of doing things for the convenience and benefit of the “witch”.

A witch is someone who holds their interests above those of the organization. They are the kind of people in leadership who are self-centered, egocentric and don’t care about others as long as their interests are taken care of. Such managers will engage in a witch-hunt and a fishing expedition to try and find anything they can pin a breach of the code of conduct for an employee they don’t like or cope with. Those that are unable to pin you on any misconduct, will deny you opportunities for growth. Some will use unsubstantiated allegations to soil your name.

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They are simply sadists who wish their colleagues evil and stagnation. They feel bad if their member of staff or an employee is doing better than them. They will go out of their way to see the downfall of another employee, and if in higher authority will even block promotions for those they dislike. Ever come across someone who will swear that so and so will never be promoted for no reason? that is simply a witch.

The sad reality is that some of the “witches” will smile with you but once you are gone the backstabbing starts in earnest. They will sometimes pretend to be the ones on your side and show you how others are not.  The worst type of them is those with an inflated ego who will misuse their positional power to bully employees and deny them their rightful opportunities. You must therefore be strategic to know who really is on your side.

If you hold any position of leadership, stop witch-hunting and do what you were employed to do. Power is temporary and you must use it to better others. Treat everyone well for you know not what they may be tomorrow.

Have you suffered or experienced a witch-hunt in your organization?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

Dr. Mary Mugo
Strategy, Governance, and Management Consultant.




13 thoughts on “Is Witch Hunt The New Way of Solving Problems In Organizations? How Does Witch Hunt Work In Organizations?”

  1. Very correct description of the current state affairs in most organizations particularly those headed to collapse because of the same witchcraft and related ills. In fact I tell people that there are more witches in certain organizations than there are in remote villages of rural Kenya. It’s absurd.

  2. ☝️Therein lies a correct description of the current state of affairs. People are busy establishing “egosystems” rather than ecosystems. They are on the trajectory of self aggrandizement. Totally forgotten that the role of every player in an organization matters and therefore worth rewarding.

  3. I am tagging a wizard I know in our organisation. What I know is that they can do all they want but i am there to stay untill i decide otherwise.
    Nice and informative read.

  4. Esther Nyambura

    The exact situation in Egerton University, all employees are under siege, no salaries n nobody cares.

  5. If you are in a probationary period, this gives employers carte blanche to witch hunt. I am 52 and about to come out of a probationary period. I have made the company a reasonable amount of money, more than my annual salary by far and they are about to “not pass my probation” so as to avoid paying my commissions. This is the modus operandi for my current employer.


  7. I know someone who went through decades long of periodic witch hunt in their organization. There is a very good chance this person I know is neurodivergent, efficient, dedicated to the job, and have accomplished things that would seem impossible for this person to accomplish due to their socioeconomic status or even ethnicity. There are people in the workplace who seems to be not happy for this person’s success as an introvert and capacity to achieve things they cannot. I just feel bad that microaggression is being applied as well in so many areas, kind of like being nitpicked to find flaws and stains to prove them right and imply things to taint the person’s reputation and even livelihood.

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