Clive Boddy, Professor in Leadership and Organisation Behaviour in the Business School, has been researching corporate psychopaths for over a decade. Here he shares his thoughts on the perceived success of psychopaths in the workplace, and considers whether a psychopath’s personal advancement comes at the expense of colleagues and organisations
Some psychologists have equated psychopathy with personal success because a few of the qualities of psychopaths, such as apparent charm, ruthlessness and coolness under pressure, help them climb the corporate ladder. They get to the top more frequently than non-psychopaths do. However, to me this begs the questions of what this success means for those who work alongside these corporate psychopaths in the organisational sphere? Does the success of psychopaths come at the expense of their colleagues? What impact do they have on organisational productivity? I conducted and examined research in this area to find answers.
Corporate psychopaths are those…
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