Arrogant Bosses Insecure, Disparage Others


AKRON, Ohio (UPI) — Arrogant bosses are typically poor performers who cover up insecurities by disparaging subordinates and can hurt a company’s bottom line, U.S. researchers say.

Professor Stanley Silverman, dean of the University of Akron’s Summit College, and colleagues at Michigan State University, developed a Workplace Arrogance Scale to help organizations identify arrogant managers before they have a costly and damaging impact.

Arrogance is characterized by a pattern of behavior that demeans others in an attempt to prove competence and superiority, Silverman said.

Silverman said arrogance in managers was correlated with lower intelligence scores and lower self-esteem compared to managers who are not arrogant.

“Does your boss demonstrate different behaviors with subordinates and supervisors?” Silverman asked. “Does your boss put his/her personal agenda ahead of the organization’s agenda? Does the boss discredit others’ ideas? Does your boss reject constructive feedback? Does the boss exaggerate his/her superiority and make others feel inferior?”

An answer of yes to any of the questions could mean trouble, Silverman said. Left unchecked, arrogant leaders can be a destructive force within an organization, leading to organizational dysfunction and employee turnover, Silverman said.

“With power over their employees’ work assignments, promotion opportunities and performance reviews, arrogant bosses put subordinates in a helpless position,” Silverman said. “They do not mentor nor do they motivate, contributing to a negative social workplace atmosphere.”

The findings were presented at The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist.

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