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  • Dr. David Rosenstein

The Psychopath in the Workspace



You may not know it, but approximately as much as 10% of your colleagues (mostly men) within your corporate organisational workspace have psychopathic traits and according to some organizational and clinical psychological research it may be much more. These traits may include: impulsivity, aggression, manipulativeness, lack of empathy, Machiavellianism, self-interest, narcissism and callousness. These traits are often presented alongside tendencies towards charisma and cooperativeness, however these tend to be displayed mostly expediently or in an instrumental way, depending on the degree to which the individual presents with psychopathic tendencies. 


It has been argued by some that these traits are sought after and even respected amongst individuals in top leadership positions. Although this has been largely controversial in terms of whether thee traits actually assist individuals in climbing the corporate ladder or effectively managing teams without succumbing to much to the emotional demands of their teams psychological stressors or strains. It is important to note that research points fairly firmly towards moderate to high psychopathic trait loading, leading towards poorer work, productivity, interpersonal relations and team dynamics. In the overall scheme having tendencies and traits of psychopathy is probably more detrimental than helpful to an organization.   

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