Blogs

Jo Geraghty

Director

Abusive leadership

Date added: 24th Aug 2014
Category: Leadership

A report published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology has cast an interesting light on the effects of abusive leaders. The study which was lead by Professor Crystal Farh from Michigan State University reveals that when bosses belittle and ridicule workers, they not only affect those targeted; other members of the team are also influenced to act in a hostile manner towards one another.

A report published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology has cast an interesting light on the effects of abusive leaders.  The study which was lead by Professor Crystal Farh from Michigan State University reveals that when bosses belittle and ridicule workers, they not only affect those targeted; other members of the team are also influenced to act in a hostile manner towards one another.

Commenting on the study Professor Farh said “it’s not just about individual victims now, it’s about creating a context where everybody suffers, regardless of whether you were individually abused or not.”  The overall effect of this abuse is not only to create a team in conflict but also to create a situation in which productivity falls and others outside the team are negatively influenced in turn.

Professor Farh suggests that the effects seen could be explained by social learning theory in which people learn and model their behaviour by observing others.  When the model is the leader of a team the entire group is affected by the leader’s behaviour.  Professor Farh goes on to suggest that the findings could have implications for leaders who are trying to turn around a team following abusive supervision.  It is not enough to work only with those who were the target of the abuse; rather the entire team will need help in re-establishing interpersonal relationships.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

OTHER Blogs

VIEW ALL Blogs

BACK