Identifying the Corporate Psychopaths

This paper presents a case study analysis based on Bad bosses: The Psycho-path to Success and examines how corporate psychopaths are challenging the success pathways of the organization. The first part of this paper presents an overview of how psychopaths operate in the business world and what strategies to be considered to identify them. The second part presents a critical examination of whether the case presents an appropriate overview of issues of corporate psychopathy. How do psychopaths operate in the business world? Psychopaths are those people who, due to abnormal brain connectivity and other mental disabilities, lack a conscience and exhibit few emotions and inability to have any feelings, sympathy or empathy for others or their feelings. The psychopathy is mainly caused by abnormal connectivity and chemistry in the area of the amygdala of the brain as this area is a highly critical segment of the brain for processing socially relevant information (Boddy, 2011, p. 256). This gives a scientific explanation for how and why psychopathy leads to socially inappropriate behavior that causes organizational losses and destruction. People who are almost psychopaths or subclinical psychopaths are found in the business world as they are attracted to money and power and that they have intruded upstanding positions in corporate and in society. Schouten (2012, p. 147) emphasized that psychopaths are not only in prisons but also in Stock Exchanges and that they can create havoc by creating dissension in sales or other departments through their charming, manipulative, credit-stealing or colleague-blaming conducts. Voigt (2012) underscores in his article ‘Bad Bosses- the Psychopath to success’ a famous comment by Dr. Robert Hare that there are many psychopaths in the boardroom. Organizational or corporate psychopaths are estimated to be between 1 to 5 percent of the total population (Boddy, 2006, p. 1461) and this highlights the view that one in 25 business leaders are found to be psychopaths (Morris, 2011). A study conducted by New York psychologist Paul Babiak suggested that psychopaths in the business world play with their charm and by manipulating others and thus they disguise the business conditions by hiding behind their supreme positions. Successful psychopaths are those who effectively encroach into the highest levels of management and business leadership positions and they use their charm and manipulation to exhibit fewer transgressions. One of the most significant characteristics of psychopaths, especially in the business world, is that they have no conscience and are incapable of experiencing others’ feelings. Boddy (2006, p. 1461) described that psychopaths tend to appear to be worthy of promotion and are behaving as smooth and adroit in manipulating conversations to whatever they want to talk or justify. Psychopaths in the business are found to be willing to put others down and are accomplished liars. For fulfilling individual ambition or to behave with bias and prejudice, the psychopaths in the business and management levels are often ruthless and opportunistic and are calculating without remorse. Corporate psychopaths are able to get employed and to climb up the organizational hierarchy with their charmand networking skills.

You Might Also Like