Friday, October 29, 2010

why some psychopaths are in leadership positions

A Clockwork Orange - Droog Fight

Psychology Today | It is well observed that psychopaths (a.k.a. sociopaths) are found both in prison and in managerial positions. In "The Sociopath Next Door," Martha Stout analyzed many individuals with psychopathy and most of them were not part of the offender population. I think that leadership researchers have somehow overlooked these types of "leaders" or organizational psychopaths who have inflicted pain to many but succeeded in maintaining their positions (even been promoted).

Robert Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R, 2nd ed.) suggests that psychopathy consists of the following traits:
(1) interpersonal or affective defects (e.g., glibness or superficial charm, grandiose feelings of self-worth, conning or manipulative behavior, lack of remorse or guilt, shallow affects, callousness or lack of empathy)
(2) social deviance and antisocial (irresponsibility, parasitic lifestyle, impulsivity, and unstable relationships, criminal versatility).
(3) other attributes.
However, this inventory is apparently intended only for the forensic population and not for psychopaths who know how to elude the criminal justice system.