Mendoza School of Business

Sometimes, the boss really is a psycho

Published: July 25, 2013 / Author: Allison Linn

The following is an excerpt from Today (NBC) that quotes Management Professor Tim Judge on his research on agreeable people in the workplace. To read the entire article visit: Sometimes, the boss really is a psycho 

The bully, the narcissist, the know-it-all, even the psychopath.

We may not like them, or want our children to be like them. But chances are, almost everyone who has worked long enough has a horror story about a superior who generally behaved like Homer Simpson’s boss, Mr. Charles Montgomery “Monty” Burns.

A growing number of researchers are looking into what makes a real-life Mr. Burns, and what they are finding isn’t always pretty.


In general, Timothy Judge, a management professor at the University of Notre Dame, said his research has shown that agreeable people – those who are cooperative, nice and gentle – are less likely to emerge as leaders than disagreeable people. That’s even though agreeable leaders tend to do just as good a job as disagreeable people, he said.
More generally, Judge’s data also has shown that being agreeable can harm many aspects of career success, including salary negotiations, occupational prestige and career attainment.

“We have this quality that we say we really want in people, and yet if you look at the labor market it really punishes that,” Judge said.


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