Inadequate bosses ‘turn into bullies’


Bosses who feel inadequate are more likely to bully subordinates, says a new study

Inadequate bosses ‘turn into bullies’

Inadequate bosses ‘turn into bullies’

Published in the journal Psychological Science , the study says it is so because feelings of inadequacy trigger them to lash out at those around them.

In the study, researchers at University of California, Berkeley and University of Southern California found a direct link among supervisors and upper management between self-perceived incompetence and aggression.

The findings are published in the November issue of the journal Psychological Science .

The new study challenges previous assumptions that abusive bosses are solely driven by ambition and the need to hold onto their power.

“By showing when and why power leads to aggression, these findings are highly relevant as abusive supervision is such a pervasive problem in society,” said Nathanael Fast, assistant professor of management and organization at USC and lead author of the study.

During role-playing sessions, study participants who felt their egos were under threat would go so far as to needlessly sabotage an underling’s chances of winning money. In another test, participants who felt inadequate would request that a subordinate who gave a wrong answer to a test be notified by a loud obnoxious horn, even though they had the option of choosing silence or a quiet sound.

Researchers did not rate participants by an objective measure of competency, but by their self-reported level of competency. This allowed them to investigate how feelings of self-worth are tied to workplace behavior.

“Incompetence alone doesn’t lead to aggression,” said Serena Chen, associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and co-author of the study.

“It’s the combination of having a high-power role and fearing that one is not up to the task that causes power holders to lash out. And our data suggest it’s ultimately about self-worth,” the expert added.

Alternately, Chen said, participants who got ego boosts by scoring high in a leadership aptitude test or who recalled an incident or principle that made them feel good about themselves did not react with aggression.

Advertisements

One Response to “Inadequate bosses ‘turn into bullies’”

  1. Payday loans Says:

    If you need a 6+ year loan to get a better idea as to which bank offers cheap personal loan services.
    Unlike traditional pawn deals, you need to do if they
    have poor to bad credit used personal loan has been crafted specially for
    poor creditors to support and assist their used car buying need.

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: