Now, a formula to identify arrogant managers

Researchers have devised an arrogance measuring scale to spot arrogant managers that may be hurting employee morale

Arrogant managers hurt an organisation in many ways—they cause people to leave the organisation, they affect the morale of those around and also dilute the general atmosphere of the workplace. And all this directly affect work productivity and, of course, that all-important bottom line. How much grief it will save everyone if there was a way to find out if a manager is arrogant before the damage has been done.

Thanks to researchers from The University of Akron and Michigan State University, now there’s a tool for measuring arrogance in managers that companies can use for their benefit.

Known as The Workplace Arrogance Scale [WARS], these scale has a series of questions for subordinates. If the subordinates answer “yes” to these questions, it could mean trouble. The questions include:

  • Does your boss put his/her personal agenda ahead of the organisation’s agenda?
  • Does the boss discredit others’ ideas during meetings and often make them look bad?
  • Does your boss reject constructive feedback?
  • Does the boss exaggerate his/her superiority and make others feel inferior?

According to Stanley Silverman, industrial psychologist from The University of Akron and co-creater of the scale, arrogance is characterised by a pattern of behavior that demeans others in an attempt to prove competence and superiority. Silverman says this behaviour is correlated with lower intelligence scores and lower self-esteem when compared to managers who are not arrogant. Left unchecked, arrogant leaders can be a destructive force within an organisation, notes Silverman. He recommends that organisations incorporate an assessment of arrogance into the employee review and performance management process. Cultivating humility among leaders and promoting a learning-oriented work climate go far in reducing arrogance and increasing productive leadership and employee social interaction, believes Silverman.

The University of Akron


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