Bosses Are Jerks, USC Study Confirms

Comments (0)


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 8:03 AM
click to enlarge TRUMP.COM
  • trump.com

If you ever had a boss that gave you a virtual backhanding, you can take solace in new research from USC's Marshall School of Business.

Scott Wiltermuth, assistant professor of management and organization, and co-author Francis Flynn of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, discovered that people entrusted with boss-like power suddenly feel much more certain about the difference between right and wrong. And they come down on wrong harder:

In research destined for an upcoming edition of the Academy of Management Journal, the duo set up four experiments in which they gave subjects sudden power over others, including the administration of reward and punishment.

One thing they found was that these newly minted bosses were quicker to decide between what's moral and immoral, with few of them saying "it depends," a more common answer among underlings.

Another finding: Once these bosses were found their "moral clarity" they were more like to deliver punishment for the immoral than to reward the do-gooders.

Sound familiar?

Typical human behavior. Wiltermuth:

Our findings do not imply that having this moral clarity leads people to obtain power. Rather, the findings imply that once you obtain power you become more likely to see things in black-and-white.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

Related Content


Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Scenes from the O.J. Simpson Circus
    In the months after O.J. Simpson's arrest for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in the summer of 1994, the drama inside the courthouse riveted the masses. But almost as much mayhem was happening right outside the building, as well as near Simpson's Brentwood home. Dissenters and supporters alike showed up to showcase art inspired by the case, sell merchandise, and either rally for, or against, the accused football star. Here is a gallery of the madness, captured by a photojournalist who saw it all. All photos by Ted Soqui.