Ross Research Shows Bossy Bosses Bad for Bottom Line


Nobody likes an overbearing boss, but new research from U-M Ross Professor Leigh Plunkett Tost shows that kind of behavior isn’t just bad for morale – it’s bad for the bottom line. The research is in the October issue of the Academy of Management Journal.

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Tost and her co-authors found that people in groups with assertive leaders are less likely to speak up and share ideas, and that lack of input hurts the business.

“These types of performance problems are most likely to emerge when leaders let their power go to their heads,” Tost, professor of management and organizations, told MarketWatch. “They end up dominating the conversation, the teams don’t work as collectively, and they aren’t able to perform as well.”

The paper was also featured in the Financial Times and the Courier-Mail in Australia. The co-authors are Francesca Gino from Harvard Business School and Richard Larrick of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Read the abstract.

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