Bosses are using "unacceptable" management theories and techniques to batter employees in Scottish workplaces, a TUC report said today.
It said performance management, which tries to measure the unmeasurable of how a worker performs, has resulted in fear, intimidation and staff losing their jobs.
The three-year report found textbook techniques, which many academics see as highly subjective, affect thousands of workers and are having a "significantly negative impact."
They also tie up a lot of management's time and effort and "serve merely to create a deep well of discontent amongst a highly pressurised workforce," the report said.
The report - Performance Management and the New Workplace Tyranny written by Professor Phil Taylor of the University of Strathclyde - put its main spotlight on financial services and telecoms sectors.
STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said: "Management practices described in great detail in this report are totally unacceptable.
"The sad truth is that far too many people in Scotland encounter fear and intimidation in the workplace on a daily basis, rising incidence of stress and other mental health problems is the inevitable result.
"This is ultimately unsustainable for businesses and the Scottish economy in general. The STUC looks forward to discussing the report with policymakers at UK and Scottish levels."
The report's author Professor Taylor said: "Employees' experience of performance management in the workplace contrasts starkly with the version presented in textbooks.
"People are certainly not being treated as an organisation's most valued asset. Instead the widespread experience of employees is of top-down, highly pressurised and intensified work.
"Workers are being increasingly tightly monitored and measured and then placed into performance appraisal categories.
"'Underperformers are then put on improvement plans, sometimes known as PIPs, which can cause huge anxiety and stress because they can be almost impossible to get out of." Usually meaning being shown the door.
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