Corporate Psychopaths, Global Financial Crises, Not So Implausible

A nascent British Marketing Professor Clive Boddy has been studying the effects of Corporate Psychopaths over the past five years. In November of 2011 he has publicized his findings in his book “Corporate Psychopaths: Organizational Destroyers.”

His book presents empirical research that corporate psychopaths can destroy companies, entire industries even cause global financial crisis.

He says people who are categorized as psychopaths, which are approximately 1% of the population, have no conscience or empathy and do not care for anyone other than themselves.


And when they advance to executive levels in large corporations it is a disaster waiting to happen.

He asserts that capitalism lost some of its credibility when the large corporations are destroyed by the actions of the corporate psychopaths.

Boddy also argues in a recent issue of the Journal of Business Ethics that corporate financial scandals have assumed epidemic proportions and corporate psychopaths are essentially responsible from the recent Wall Street based financial crises.

He points out that these people are “extraordinarily cold, much more calculating and ruthless towards others than most people are and therefore a menace to the companies they work for and to society.”

He asserts dynamic and fast paced environment of Financial Industries such as Wall Street are breeding grounds for these psychopaths as they can make their way to executive levels without being exposed.

He emphasizes the role of dark and dysfunctional leaders. “They do whatever it takes to win contracts, take credit for other’s work, over-promise to clients, and use corporate resources for their own ends. They are predators who prey on the easiest source of sustenance and parasitically destroy organizations from within (Babiak and Hare 2006).”

He refers to Robert Hare’s research about the causations of this personality disorder as Hare, the leading research psychologist in this area, states that it is not definitively known that whether this syndrome stems from physical, biological or environmental factors.

He does not mention the role of capitalism in his book as a possible environmental factor but considering the cutthroat nature of competition based means of production, requirement of continual economic growth and blatant materialistic inclination of capitalism; he should look into it.