Topic: Performance, Personality, Self Efficacy
Publication: Human Performance
Article: Acting superior but actually inferior?: Correlates and consequences of workplace arrogance
Authors: R.E. Johnson, S.B. Silverman, A. Shyamsunder, H-Y Swee, O.B. Rodopman, E. Cho, and J. Bauer
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger
It’s probably safe to say that we’ve all had to work with an arrogant coworker or supervisor at one time in our careers. It’s also probably safe to say that these run-ins have been unpleasant and disruptive to our work. Yet, while we arm-chair our theories about the effects of arrogance in the workplace, very little research is available to confirm (or disconfirm) our assumptions and anecdotal evidence. That is, surprisingly little is known about the consequences of workplace arrogance and its relationship with job performance.
In an effort to facilitate research on workplace arrogance, Johnson et al. (2010) created a scale to measure workplace arrogance (the Workplace Arrogance Scale) with a conveniently clever acronym: WARS. The authors conducted 4 independent studies to validate their newly created scale and explore the consequences of workplace arrogance. According to the authors, arrogant employees have exaggerated perceptions of their self-importance and superiority. At work, arrogant employees may manifest these inflated self-perceptions by discounting others’ ideas/contributions, belittling coworkers, asserting control even in situations beyond their area of expertise, etc.
Johnson et al.’s findings point to a fascinating trend: while arrogant employees engage in behaviors that exude superiority, they actually appear to be less intelligent and receive lower performance ratings than employees who are less arrogant.