bosses are typically poor performers who can drain the bottom line
by slighting subordinates to mask their own insecurities and
creating organisational dysfunction.
A new measure of arrogance, called the Workplace Arrogance Scale
(WARS), developed by researchers of University of Akron and
Michigan State University, can help organisations identify
arrogant managers before they damage them.
Arrogance is characterised by a pattern of behaviour that demeans
others in an attempt to prove competence and superiority.
Stanley Silverman, professor of industrial and organisational
psychology at Akron's Summit College, says this behaviour is
correlated with lower intelligence scores and lower self-esteem
when compared to managers who are not arrogant.
"Does your boss demonstrate different behaviours with subordinates
and supervisors?" Silverman asks.
He says a "yes" answer could mean trouble.
Silverman warns that "yes" replies to these other questions raise
red flags and signal arrogance, the journal The Industrial-Organisational
Silverman and his colleagues Russell Johnson, assistant professor
of management at the Michigan State, and Nicole McConnell and
Alison Carr, both doctoral students at Akron's Industrial and
Organisational Psychology programme, conducted the research,
according to an Akron statement.
Left unchecked, arrogant leaders can be a destructive force within
an organisation, notes Silverman.
With power over their employees' work assignments, promotion
opportunities and performance reviews, arrogant bosses put
subordinates in a helpless position.
They do not mentor junior colleagues nor do they motivate a team
to benefit the organisation as a whole, contributing to a negative
social workplace atmosphere, says Silverman.
Silverman says arrogance is less a personality trait than a series
of behaviours, which can be addressed through coaching if the
arrogant boss is willing to change.
Silverman emphasises that cultivating humility among leaders and
promoting a learning-oriented work climate go far in reducing
arrogance and increasing productive leadership and employee social
WARS will be presented at the American Psychological Association
convention in Orlando August 2 by Silverman.