Petty Tyranny in Organizations

Article (PDF Available)inHuman Relations 47(7):755-778 · July 1994with 5,522 Reads 
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DOI: 10.1177/001872679404700701
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Abstract
A petty tyrant is defined as one who lords his or her power over others. Preliminary empirical work suggests that tyrannical behaviors include arbitrariness and self-aggrandizement, belittling others, lack of consideration, a forcing style of conflict resolution, discouraging initiative, and noncontingent punishment. A model of the antecedents of tyrannical management and the effects of tyranny on subordinates is presented. Petty tyranny is argued to be the product of interactions between individual predispositions (beliefs about the organization, subordinates, and self, and preferences for action) and situational facilitators (institutionalized values and norms, power, and stressors). Tyrannical management is argued to cause low self-esteem, performance, work unit cohesiveness, and leader endorsement, and high frustration, stress, reactance, helplessness, and work alienation among subordinates. It is further argued that these effects may trigger a vicious circle which sustains the tyrannical behavior. Research implications are discussed.
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  • ... It should be noted that this study assumes that the inability of a construct to meet one criterion provides sufficient enough reason to stop evaluating it on the subsequent criteria. Ashforth's (1987Ashforth's ( , 1994 model of petty tyranny is quite similar to the construct of abusive supervision. Petty tyranny is defined as the oppressive, capricious and vindicates the use of power by a superior. ...
    ... Petty tyranny is defined as the oppressive, capricious and vindicates the use of power by a superior. Ashforth (1994) envision that petty tyranny consists of six sub-dimensions, namely arbitrariness and self-aggrandizement, belittling subordinates, lack of consideration, forcing style of conflict resolution, discouraging initiative, and non-contingent punishment. However, the majority of dimensions of the petty tyranny captures the behaviours that cannot be considered as hostile (Tepper, 2007). ...
    ... For instance, a supervisor may promote the interests of someone else without being hostile to you. Ashforth (1994) proposed that "forcing style of conflict resolution" where the leader forces followers to accept his point of view is a form of petty tyranny as well. This can be instrumental in making employees feel un-empowered. ...
  • ... Por tanto, el estilo de liderazgo del supervisor tiene una influencia superlativa sobre el bienestar, la salud (Glasø & Einarsen, 2006) y la productividad de los trabajadores a su cargo (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Los estilos tiránicos (Ashforth, 1994) y laissez faire e inconsistentes están muy presentes en las organizaciones donde se reportan casos de VPT (Hauge, Hoel, Glasø, Hetland, Cooper & Einarsen, 2010). Los líderes tienen el poder de influir ante la vulnerabilidad de sus subalternos de ser expuestos a la violencia, mediante la señalización de cuáles son los comportamientos apropiados y cuáles no (Aquino & Thau, 2009) cuando esto falla, también se expone al equipo de trabajo a riesgos de violencia. ...
    ... Una mención especial requiere el estilo de manejo de conflictos y su relación con la VPT (Baillien, 2011;Van de Vliert, 1997). Cuando la distancia de poder que se establece entre superiores y subalternos es menor, pueden derivar en maneras más constructivas, abiertas y cooperativas en el manejo de los conflictos (Einarsen, 2000;Van Oudenhoven, Mechelse & de Dreu, 1998) en tanto, cuando la distancia es mayor y autoritaria, la resolución tenderá a ser -50más arbitraria e inhibidora de otros comportamientos (Ashforth, 1994;Friedman, Tidd, Currall & Tsai, 2000). Una resolución productiva de problemas intenta comprender las razones, busca soluciones, compagina los intereses de las partes involucradas de una manera más integradora (por ejemplo, Weingart & Weldon, 1991) mientras que los estilos de manejo de conflictos del tipo dominación y evitación incrementan la experiencia de problemas sin resolver y estrés (Friedman et al., 2000). ...
  • ... People showing, and empowering themselves via, such organisational misbehaviour might be called 'petty tyrants' (Ashforth 1994), 'Machiavellians' (Rayburn & Rayburn 1996), 'egotistic leaders' (Aronson 2001), or simply 'modern careerists' (Vickers & Kouzmin 2001). But, however they are called, they share the common feature that their main concerns and deliberate actions are primarily geared towards personal gain (under an official rhetoric of serving the greater good and masked by demonstrating the etiquette of collegiality) and belittling others. ...
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  • ... Yılmaz (2018) tarafından yapılan tezde, toksik liderlik ile örgütsel davranış türleri arasında yapılan korelasyon analizinde, toksik liderlik ile örgütsel adalet, örgütsel bağlılık ve örgütsel güven arasında yüksek düzeyde anlamlı ve negatif yönlü bir ilişki tespit edilmekle beraber iş tatminine olan etkisi araştırılmamıştır. Oysa ki toksik liderlik hem liderin hem de onu izleyenlerin tatmin ve ego davranışlarıyla da ilgilidir (Ashforth, 1994). Toksik lider, sistematik olarak izleyenlerinin motivasyonlarını, iş doyumluluğunu sabote eden tutum ve davranışlar içerisinde bulunur (Reyhanlıoğlu ve Akın, 2016: 445). ...
  • ... Personally, they are colourless, dull, unimaginative, anti-social, anti-intellectual, mean, self-serving, and manipulative. They lack both empathy and social and emotional intelligence; they treat others in rather functionalistic and disrespectful ways; and they overall show low levels of moral development and decency (Bassman & London 1993, Ashforth 1994, Rayburn & Rayburn 1996, Vredenburgh & Brender 1998, Vickers & Kouzmin 2001, Diamond & Allcorn 2004, Vardi & Weitz 2004, Boddy 2006. ...
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  • ... They maintain that power can be misused to strategically maintain order, reinforce rules, and maintain the status quo. This misuse of legitimate power can result in a tolerance of bullying within an organization (McMahon et al., 2013) and creates a culture of institutional tyranny (Ashforth, 1994). ...
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