People who work for bosses who display psychopathic and narcissistic traits feel more depressed due to their bosses bullying behavior and they are also more likely to engage in undesirable behaviours at work, says a recent study.

A total of 1,200 participants completed questionnaires relating to their own psychological wellbeing, the prevalence of workplace bullying in their organisation and their manager’s personality. The samples were chosen from a wide range of industries across various countries.

According to the data collected, people working for leaders who display these negative traits had lower levels of job satisfaction. They also recorded higher levels of depression.

Incidents of counter-productive work behavior and workplace bullying were higher at such workplaces. This may also ruin employees’ well- being and reputation.

“Those high in psychopathy and narcissism have a strong desire for power and often lack empathy. This toxic combination can result in these individuals taking advantage of others, taking credit for their work, being overly critical, and generally behaving aggressively,” explained Abigail Phillips, lead researcher from the University of Manchester.

While workplace bullying is unpleasant for the target, it also creates a toxic working environment for all those involved.

“Bad bosses, those high in psychopathy and narcissism, have unhappy and dissatisfied employees who seek to ‘get their own back’ on the company. Overall the picture is clear; leaders high in dark traits can be bad news for organizations,” added Phillips.

The study conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Manchester was presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference of the Division of Occupational Psychology in Liverpool.


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