Dealing with a Dark or Dysfunctional Boss? Here's How to Find Out According to Science


According to research, bad managers can come in two forms. They can either be dark or dysfunctional.

Professor Seth Spain of Binghamton University said that dysfunctional bosses are those who just lack the skills and are not really doing very good at their jobs. Dark bosses on the other hand are those who are happy to see other people suffering and going through pain. These are the managers who are showing abusive behaviors to their employees every single day of their lives.

These bosses are looked at through the three characteristics called the "dark triad" which includes Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy.

The researchers suggest that being able to understand the category your boss falls into will help you deal with stress better in the workplace, plus it is also somehow helpful for people to be able to succeed better in life.

Dr. Spain pointed out how stressful it can be in a workplace to have these kinds of bosses but understanding their behavior is the first step to reducing and dealing with stress. He also added that these characteristics are essential in understanding the employees' career advancement and development and they play a significant part in the stress experiences workers face in the office because of the way they suffer from bad managers.

The dark side personality traits in the workplace is now becoming a focus in organizational sciences, Dr. Spain also added. He said that they are giving more attention to how these characteristics affect leadership processes particularly destructive leadership.

The researchers also are looking at how stress affects the emergence of leaders and the role that the dark side plays in the process. They also provide talking points and discussion on how stress experiences can be reduced for the subordinates.

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