Weeding Out Corporate Psychopaths

Topics: Psychopathy, Hare Psychopathy Checklist, Antisocial personality disorder Pages: 9 (2377 words) Published: October 12, 2013
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INDU1111: Org Behav 1: Manag'g Perf of I
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Weeding Out Corporate Psychopaths

“Corporate Psychopaths are managers with no conscience who are willing to lie and are able top present a charming façade in order to gain managerial promotion via a ruthlessly opportunistic and manipulative approach to career advancement” (Boddy, 2005, pg.30). There is a growing realisation that corporate psychopaths are thriving in today’s workplace, however they are often overlooked and mistaken for excellent leaders. The paper will examine an account of what corporate psychopaths represent and the dangers they pose in the workplace. It will then go on to examine the case study, ‘Weeding Out Corporate Psychopaths’ to see whether it gives a convincing account into the understanding of corporate psychopathy.

“Corporate psychopaths are merely the one percent or so of people who are psychopathic and who work in corporations” (Boddy, 2010, pg.301), they ‘have a genetically inherited biochemical condition that prevents them from feeling normal human empathy’ (Case Study). They are not insane like the psychopaths you would find in a prison, they are simply self-interested individuals with a clear detachment from other people. They “are willing to lie and manipulate others to get what they want” (Boddy et al, 2010, pg 130), which is why they will try to blend in and hide their differences. They are accomplished at faking emotions which they do not have, this makes them seem normal to those around them (Boddy, 2006).

They are more likely to be found at senior levels in organizations such as public services and financial organisations (Boddy et al, 2010). Hare (1999) states that “it is power, prestige and money that attract corporate psychopaths” therefore it would seem logical for them to be attracted to larger commercial or financial organisations where they can progress through the ranks to gain these elements of power, prestige and money (pg 304). Hare’s psychopathic checklist (Multi-Health Systems; 1991) found that psychopathy is underpinned by four correlating factors. Firstly interpersonal which portrays a superficial charm, glibness and pathological lying. Secondly affective, this is the lack of remorse or guilt, lack of empathy and failure to accept responsibility for actions. Thirdly lifestyle, they have a need for stimulation, lack of realistic long-term goals and irresponsibility. And lastly antisocial, this is poor behavioural controls, early behaviour problems and criminal versatility (Babiak et al, 2010). “Psychopathy is a syndrome – a cluster of related symptoms” (Hare, 1993). “It is the combination of all four dimensions present at high levels, chronically over time, and in many contexts, that typifies the psychopathic individual” (Babiak, 2010, pg.189).

In a study of nearly two hundred senior executives Hare and Babiak (2010) found that three and a half percent of these were corporate psychopaths measured by the psychopathy checklist (pg.126). Corporate psychopaths “are this defined as those work-place employees who perceived to exhibit a score of 75% or more on the traits identified as psychopathic in Hares”...

References: Babiak, P. Neumann, C and Hare, R. (2010) Corporate Psychopathy: Talking the Walk. Behavioral Sciences and the Law. 28(1), pp.174-193.
Boddy, C. (2005) The Implications of Corporate Psychopaths for Business And Society: An Initial Examination And A Call To Arms. Australasian Journal of Business and Behavioural Sciences. 1(1), pp.30-40.
Boddy, C. (2006) The dark side of management decisions: organizational psychopaths. Journal of Management History. 44(10), pp.1461-1475.
Boddy, C. (2010) Corporate Psychopaths and organizational type. Journal of Public Affairs. 10(1), pp. 300-312.
Boddy, C. (2010) Corporate Psychopaths and Productivity. Management Services. 54(5), pp. 26-30.
Boddy, C. Ladyshewsky, R and Galvin, P. (2010) Leaders without ethics in a global business: corporate psychopaths. Journal of Public Affairs. 10(1), pp.121-138.
Gudmundsson, A and Southey, G. (2011) Leadership and the rise of the corporate psychopath: What can business schools do about the ‘snakes inside’? E-Journal of Social & Behavioral Research in Business, 2(2), pp.18-27
Hare, R. (1993) Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. New York: The Guilford Press. Pp.210-129.
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