If You Think Your Boss is Crazy You Might be Right

Posted on January 29, 2012

Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work

A research paper, The Corporate Psychopaths: Theory of the Global Financial Crisis, recently published in the Jounal of Business Ethicis, lays the blame for the fiscal crisis on corporate psychopaths. The paper by Clive R. Boddy follows a 2010 study that found there are more psychopaths among senior managers than there are normally found in society. The study found about 4% of senior managers displayed psychopathic tendencies, compared to about 1% of people overall.

An in-depth feature on CNN investigates the study about crazy bosses. Paul Babiak, author of Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, told CNN that psychopaths are drawn to positions of power. Babiak says, "They like to play head games with people and make good money at it."

Clive Boddy, who is also the author of Corporate Psychopaths: Organizational Destroyers, told CNN that psychopaths are skilled at bullying. He says, "They are cunning and manipulative, and great at engineering situations. Although they don't have emotions themselves, they can create emotional situations. The rest of us don't even realize we're being manipulated until it's too late."

CBS News reports on the study, which suggests many people who say their bosses are crazy may be right. There are apparently hundreds of thousands of psychopaths in charge of U.S. companies. The difficult economy also helps to bring out more crazy bosses and more crazy boss behavior. Take a look:

A feature on Psychology Today covers bad bosses calling them bullies and narcissists. Some of them start out bad while others become corrupted by power.

Photo: HarperBusiness



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