When Bosses Feel Inadequate & Incompetent

David and Saul

David and Saul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 2007 study done by Workplace Bullying Institute and Zogby International revealed that 37 % of American workers—roughly 54 million people have been sabotaged, bullied, and verbally abused by their superiors.

When and why do bosses seek to harm subordinates – the classic Saul and David situation? Researchers Nathanael Fast (U.Southern California) and Serena Chen (U.C.Berkeley) examined the idea that aggression among the powerful is often the result of a threatened ego. They found in 4 separate studies, they concluded that high self-perceived incompetence was associated with aggression among high-power individuals.This means that power and incompetence leads to aggression. They also found that participants who were incompetent in a high-power role were likely to display greater aggression than those who were competent in a high-power role, as well as incompetent but not in a high-power role.

They concluded that the self-perceived lack of competence elicits defensive aggression among those in power or the elite, but not among the powerless. This is perhaps due to the position of power increases the degree which causes one to feel that one ought to be competent. It is also not true that power is likely to cause one to attain a derogatory position over others. On the contrary, it is personal incompetence of a person in power that makes him aggressive as he seeks to protect both the position and the ego. This is perhaps also why subordinates tend to resort to flattery to artificial assist the power holder to maintain the ego, but this is likely to also cause his demise as he quickly gets out of touch with reality, and may become deluded.

The actual article is published by the Association for Psychological Science (Nov 2009, Vol 20, Issue 11)

J.CJ

Follow the Magazine:
https://businessleadershipmanagement.wordpress.com/subscribe-follow-the-magazine/
(After you have filled in your email address in the column at the right hand side of the screen, a confirmation email will sent to your email address. You will have to confirm it before subscription begins)

Follow us on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/BusinessLeaders

Like us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/BusinessLeadershipManagement

**As part of the Magazine’s drive to reward subscribers/followers, we will be providing subscribers/followers special access to exclusive content which will not be otherwise available to normal visitors. Please be sure to subscribe to the Magazine. Many visitors have given us positive comments that they will be bookmarking the site, but as the system is unable to capture a working email address to which the passcodes for exclusive content will be sent, they will miss out on this content. Do note that passcodes are locked to each exclusive content, not a one-for-all access, so do provide a working email address that you check regularly so as not to miss out on them!
Advertisements

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