Appreciating organizational psychopaths

Psychopathology is a little-publicized branch of science. This monograph in particular received surprisingly little acclaim when it was published:


The Dark Side of Management Decisions: Organisational Psychopaths,” Clive Roland Boddy, Management Decision, vol. 44, no. 10, 2006, pp. 1461–75. [AIR 15:4] (Thanks to Martin Gardiner for bringing this to our attention.) The author, at Middlesex University Business School in Perth, Australia, reports:

“This paper defines organisational psychopaths as being those psychopaths who exist at an incidence of about 1 percent of the general population and who work in organisations. The paper describes how these organisational psychopaths are able to present themselves as desirable employees and are easily able to obtain positions in organisations. Without the inhibiting effect of a conscience they are then able to ruthlessly charm, lie, cajole and manipulate their way up an organisational hierarchy in pursuit of their main aims of power, wealth and status and at the expense of anyone who gets in their way…. The paper suggests that having organisational psychopaths running corporations that are themselves, at best, amoral is a recipe for negative consequences.”