Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers
DAD.info | Fatherhood | Latest News | Choose your bad boss – dysfunctional, or dark

Choose your bad boss – dysfunctional, or dark

Bad bosses generally come in one of two forms: dysfunctional or dark, psychologists say

 

Ricky Gervais attending the world premiere of David Brent: Life On The Road. Bad bosses generally come in one of two forms: dysfunctional or dark, psychologists say, and a prime example of the first kind is David Brent from popular sitcom The Office. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire

A prime example of the first kind is David Brent from popular sitcom The Office, while Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street epitomises the “dark” variety.

Both species of boss can cause a great deal of stress to those unfortunate enough to work for them, according to the US researchers.

Describing the “David Brent” boss, Dr Seth Spain, from the State University of New York, said: “They don’t want to hurt you. Through lack of skill, or other personality defects, they’re just not very good at their job. Largely, that’s what we would call ‘dysfunctional’.”

Dark bosses, in contrast, commonly displayed destructive behaviour and hurt others to elevate themselves.

The “Gordon Gekko” boss was characterised by a “Dark Triad” of personality traits – machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy.

“These are people who enjoy the pain and suffering of others – they’re going to be mean, abusive and harassing in daily life,” said Dr Spain.

The scientists set out to establish a “taxonomy” – or classification system – for identifying distinct types of poor-performing manager.

Not all bosses are such extreme individuals and there are varying degrees to which they might fall into one or other category, they point out.

Dr Spain added: “A person’s direct supervisor is a lens through which they view their work experience. We think, in particular, that a boss can be an incredibly substantial source of stress for people who work for them.

“We believe that these characteristics are extremely important for understanding employee development and career advancement. Understanding the role that these characteristics play in stress experiences at work is extremely important, especially since bad leaders can cause so much suffering for their subordinates.”

The findings are reported in the journal Research in Occupational Stress and Well-Being.

Related entries

Your Guide to the European Championships

Your Guide to the European Championships

Like it or loathe it, the next few weeks are going to be all about football. If you want the basics to keep up with your footy crazy kids we’ve compiled this handy guide to give you an overview of the upcoming European Championships. UEFA.com What are the European...

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

Welcome to the world Baby Lilibet. The Dad.info team loves a baby and the new daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is just the good news we need. https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1401614927236841474 Named for her grandmother and great-grandmother, Lilibet...

Latest entries

The Top 10 Hidden Gem Days Out for Half Term

The Top 10 Hidden Gem Days Out for Half Term

Looking for something different to do this half term? Legal and General have found the top 10 UK days out that are less well-known, with excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. Log Heights, Outdoor Adventure, Harrogate Based in the grounds of Ripley Castle, Log Heights is a...

Can I watch Squid Game with my kids?

Can I watch Squid Game with my kids?

The news is buzzing with stories of children reenacting scenes from the hit Netflix show Squid Game. Kids as young as 6 have seen enough of the violent series to be 'playing' it on the playground, and there are reports of children being hurt. The story of the series,...

Pin It on Pinterest