Scientific Proof Your Boss is a Jerk

LiveScience.com

Workers who have long thought their bosses are arrogant jerks now have scientific proof on their side.

A new tool, called the Workplace Arrogance Scale (WARS), has been developed by researchers at The University of Akron and Michigan State University. The goal is to use the tool to identify arrogant tendencies and mitigate them and the problems that result from them.

The researchers who developed the scale found that arrogant bosses often lead to increased employee turnover and a negative overall work atmosphere. This is because arrogant bosses often lead in a way that attempts to prove superiority and competence. In actuality, those behaviors correlate with lower intelligence and self-esteem than non-arrogant bosses, the research found. 

Identifying arrogant bosses and avoiding the headaches caused by them can be as simple as answering the below questions included in the WARS test.  A yes to any of the questions signals arrogance in bosses. 

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  • Does your boss put his/her personal agenda ahead of the organization's agenda?
  • Does your boss demonstrate different behaviors with subordinates and supervisors?
  • Does the boss discredit others' ideas during meetings and often make them look bad?
  • Does your boss reject constructive feedback?
  • Does the boss exaggerate his/her superiority and make others feel inferior?

However, lead researcher Stanley Silverman, dean of the University of Akron's Summit College and University College, said that changing these damaging behaviors does not occur simply by answering the questions.  Instead, Silverman said that arrogance assessments must be a part of employee reviews and the overall management process to prevent problems that come from arrogance.  Humble leadership,though, remains the best option for bosses. Previous research found that humility in a leader helped to increase productivity and improve the work atmosphere of the organization.

This research will be presented at the American Physiological Association Convention and was published in the July 2012 issue of The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist. The research was a collaboration between Silverman and colleaguesRussell Johnson, assistant professor of management at the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, and Nicole McConnell and Alison Carr, both Ph.D. students in The University of Akron's Industrial and Organizational Psychology Program.

This story was provided by BusinessNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow David Mielach on Twitter @D_M89 or BusinessNewsDaily @bndarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

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