Employees who love working for abusive bosses may be psychopaths, a study claims. The report published in the Journal of Business Ethics states that people who thrive under bosses or supervisors that are problematic tend to have higher levels of psychopathy.
According to the report that was made available to Gizmodo, such individuals are calm, collected and do not show the stress, fear, or anger that other people would normally exude if they had a boss from hell.
Charlice Hurst, main author of the study and assistant professor of management in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business pointed out that there are two levels of psycopathy: primary and secondary. The assistant professor explained that both dimensions demonstrated top levels of antisocial levels, but that individuals who score high in primary psychopathy are the ones that thrive best in the workplace because they are fearless, calm, and unmoved emotionally.
Hurst pointed out that the secondary psychopaths also showed the similar traits, but had the tendency to be sometimes impulsive and hotheaded. According to the Mail, the team of researchers analyzed the responses of 419 working adults from two studies. In the first study, the respondents were asked to react to the profiles of managers portrayed as positive or abusive.
Notre Dame study: employees who are best equipped to cope with a psychopathic manager are those who are also psychopaths — largely because they are not especially upset by being treated badly. https://t.co/pdLJJTlc4D
— John Hamlin (@JWHamlin) January 25, 2018
The researchers noticed that there were differences in anger with the participants bordering on high and low levels of primary psychopathy. However, those with a higher level of primary psychopathy showed happier emotions and could imagine themselves working for the abusive bosses.
In the second study, the respondents judged their bosses based on a few traits including gossiping, not keeping their promises, invading their personal space, rudeness, and taking credit for their work.
The end product was similar to the first test showing those with high levels of primary psychopathy, less angry and more positive with working for these toxic bosses. All in all, the results show that while some people might be hurt or embarrassed when a boss rubs them wrongly, a primary psychopath would regard it as “water off a duck’s back.”
— Judigal (@Judigal) September 14, 2016
Hurst speaking to The Pulse revealed that psychopaths that were allowed to work under such a climate would easily get ahead of their peers. The researcher warned that even though companies like Wells Fargo saw it as a way of doing good business, it could lead to something more dangerous long-term by raising a “workforce of psychopaths.”
In 2016, Wells Fargo was investigated by federal prosecutors for using illicit tactics of fear and intimidation on employees, according to Forbes.