Supervisors who manipulate employees may just have what’s coming to them. According to a new study, a surprising number of employees commit acts of sabotage against their bosses.
A study from the University of New Hampshire found that approximately 20% of employees admitted to engaging in underhanded tactics in an effort to make their boss look bad.
Some did it as a way to seek revenge. Making their supervisors appear to be incompetent, foolish, or oblivious is a way to inflict punishment. Embarrassment is a technique employed by those who cannot “fight back” outright–or at least not without the risk that they’ll be disciplined or fired.
Others were more calculated, using backstabbing as a way to get around a boss who might otherwise block them from career success. Goal-oriented retribution, you could say.
To accomplish these “goals,” employees reported to spreading false rumors and trying to sabotage their bosses’ work.
The researchers concluded that abusive bosses were the targets of this conduct. Not surprising, considering the suffering that a Jerk at Work can impose on a colleague, coworker, or direct report.
Source: Abusive bosses invite retribution, Study: Angry workers burn supervisors (The News & Observer)