This is a resource page on psychopaths in the workplace. This is especially important considering that psychopaths do naturally gravitate towards positions of power and control, as this allows them to more easily dominate and subvert others to their will.
Due to their lack of morality and conscience psychopaths can also often “do a dirty job” in sacking and mistreating others and not have the same internal resistance against doing so that normal people would. For this reason they often tend to climb the corporate ladder quite well as their ruthless traits can serve a company well. People who would rather not do these things themselves leave them to the psychopath who has no empathy.
Books on Psychopathy in the Workplace
NB. Links to these books are affiliate links.
Snakes in Suits – Psychopathy expert Robert Hare and organizational expert Paul Babiak team together in this excellent book on psychopaths in the workplace. In it they go into detail on the common behaviour patterns of psychopaths in a work environment and how to spot and defend against psychopaths in this setting. There is an ongoing bitesize chronological story at the end of each chapter that perfectly describes how a psychopath manipulates in the workplace. Highly recommended reading.
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Nothing Personal, Just Business – A Guided Journey Into Organizational Darkness – An excellent book which takes apart the now commonly held view in western world business world that the deletion of empathy and poor treatment of others is justified in the name of “business”. A good antidote for anyone who has experienced firsthand the dehumanizing effects of psychopathic colleagues and work cultures, where degrading, intimidating and humiliating treatment have become the norm.
Formal Studies on Corporate Psychopathy
Here are links to a couple of academic studies carries out by Robert Hare and Paul Babiak on the prevalence and consequences of corporate psychopathy
- Corporate Psychopathy – Talking the Walk (2010)
- Factor Structure of the B-Scan 360 : A Measure of Corporate Psychopathy (2012)
- A Dark Side of Leadership – Corporate Psychopathy and it’s Influence on Employee Well Being and Job Satisfaction (2013)
Also click here for all blog posts on psychopathy in the workplace.
Videos on Psychopaths at Work
Sam Vaknin interview on Workplace Psychopathy & Narcissism
Documentary with plenty of information on workplace psychopathy
More from Sam Vaknin on Toxic Employers
TedX Talk on Corporate Psychopathy & Bullying