How to measure arrogance in bosses

Researchers from the University of Akron (UA) and Michigan State University have developed a new measure of arrogance for bosses. It is hoped the new guidance will help companies identify managers of this type, who often achieve poor results but disparage their workers in order to disguise their lack of ability.

The Workplace Arrogance Scale - which is being presented at the American Psychological Association convention in Orlando, US, with details also published in The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist - aims to highlight such bosses before their insecurities have a costly impact on the firm they work for.

Stanley Silverman, Dean of the UA Summit College and University College, noted people who try to prove their own superiority by demeaning others typically have lower self-esteem and do not score as highly on intelligence tests as those who do not resort to such tactics.

Mr Silverman explained there are a number of indicators employees can look out for to judge whether or not their manager is arrogant, such as putting their own agenda ahead of the company's and discrediting the ideas of others to make them look bad, adding: "Does your boss demonstrate different behaviours with subordinates and supervisors?"

Chartered Psychologist Dr Michael Reddy comments:

"A workplace arrogance scale – What next? It will be interesting to see the various levels of arrogance: so some bosses are more arrogant than others and some bosses are even more arrogant than them?

"The serious side to all this is that there is a range of misbehaviours in any organisation which threaten its business targets. It is more typical that miscreant behaviour in employees is analysed more frequently than management and Board behaviour, so this will help redress the balance.

"The reality is that any organisation will be losing on a daily basis through conflictual and poor citizen behaviour, with a light sprinkling of full blown personality disorders. It is a situation that's worthy of something more substantial than a rating scale."