Organisational sociopaths: rarely challenged, often promoted. Why?

Richard J. Pech, Bret W. Slade
  • Society and Business Review, October 2007, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/17465680710825451

Why do the wrong people rise to positions of power?

What is it about?

We've all suffered under poor managers. A high need for power and socio-pathological needs drive the wrong individuals to strive for positions of control over others. Organisations misinterpret displays of confidence as a leadership trait when it is all too often a reflection of a lack of self-awareness of the individual's own shortcomings. Unfortunately bureau-pathological traits are reinforced when acts of managerial aggression, dominance, and manipulation are rewarded in the workplace.

Why is it important?

Decision-makers often hire and promote in their own image, multiplying their own weaknesses. A better understanding of pathologically-motived individuals should help to screen managerial applicants, but organisations also need to take responsibility by changing their structures to appear less attractive to those who are motivated by power and dominance.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Richard Pech