August 10, 2009

Self-serving bosses hurt morale, profits

Having a narcissistic -- self-serving -- boss creates a toxic environment for everyone who has contact with such a boss, U.S. researchers said.

Wayne Hochwarter of the Florida State University College of Business asked more than 1,200 employees to provide opinions regarding the narcissistic tendencies of their immediate supervisor.

The study found those who reported working for a narcissistic boss had lower levels of job satisfaction, saw their stress levels increase over the previous year, were less appreciative of their work and organization, reported lower levels of effort and performance and were more prone to sadness and frustration at work.

Most organizations simply do not consider the adverse effects of narcissistic bosses on worker productivity and stress, Hochwarter said in a statement. In fact, many companies encourage it since narcissists are often seen as outgoing and confident -- traits considered necessary for success in any managerial role. However, there is a fine line between self-confidence and selfishness that negatively affects others on the other.