Washington: Researchers have developed a new measure of arrogance that can help organisations identify egotistical managers before they have a costly and damaging impact.
Arrogant bosses can drain the bottom line because they are typically poor performers who cover up their insecurities by disparaging subordinates, leading to organizational dysfunction and employee turnover.
Arrogance is characterized by a pattern of behaviour that demeans others in an attempt to prove competence and superiority.
Stanley Silverman, dean of UA’s Summit College and University College, says that this behaviour is correlated with lower intelligence scores and lower self-esteem when compared to managers who are not arrogant.
“Does your boss demonstrate different behaviors with subordinates and supervisors?” Silverman said.
According to him, a “yes” answer could mean trouble.
Silverman warns that “yes” replies to these other questions raise red flags and signal arrogance.
Left unchecked, arrogant leaders can be a destructive force within an organization, notes Silverman. With power over their employees’ work assignments, promotion opportunities and performance reviews, arrogant bosses put subordinates in a helpless position.
They do not mentor junior colleagues nor do they motivate a team to benefit the organization as a whole, contributing to a negative social workplace atmosphere.
He said that arrogance is less a personality trait than a series of behaviours, which can be addressed through coaching if the arrogant boss is willing to change.
The findings of the study will be published in the July 2012 issue of The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist.