ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2011) — Ever wonder why that government clerk was so rude and condescending? Or why the mid-level manager at your company always doles out the most demeaning tasks? Or, on a more profound level, why the guards at Abu Ghraib tortured and humiliated their prisoners?
In a new study, researchers at USC, Stanford and the Kellogg School of Management have found that individuals in roles that possess power but lack status have a tendency to engage in activities that demean others. According to the study, “The Destructive Nature of Power without Status,” the combination of some authority and little perceived status can be a toxic combination.
Also see Does a Fat Face Mean Fat Profits?, Bush Was a Sane Leader and That’s Why He Failed?, Do People Make a Big Deal Out of Nothing Because of Aggression and Status? and 10 Self-Made CEOs Who Started With Nothing