This is a subject close to my heart at the moment, well when I say close it is more like a painful sliver of Kryptonite embedded in my chest, but I digress, The McKinsey Quarterly has an interesting article about workplace jerks and their effect on a company, it is also available as downloadable audio file and well worth a listen, here are a few choice quotes;
Researchers who write about psychological abuse in the workplace define it as “the sustained display of hostile verbal and non-verbal behaviour, excluding physical contact.” At least for me, that definition doesn’t quite capture the emotional wallop these creeps pack. The workplace jerk definition I use is this: do people feel oppressed, humiliated, de-energized, or belittled after talking to an alleged jerk? In particular, do they feel worse about themselves?
… there is a business case against tolerating nasty and demeaning people. Companies that put up with jerks not only can have more difficulty recruiting and retaining the best and brightest talent but are also prone to higher client churn, damaged reputations, and diminished investor confidence. Innovation and creativity may suffer, and cooperation could be impaired, both within and outside the organization—no small matter in an increasingly networked world.
… bad things happen when the bullies win using personal attacks, disrespect, and intimidation. When that happens, only the loudest and strongest voices get heard; there is no diversity of views; communication is poor, tension high, and productivity low; and people first resign themselves to living with the nastiness—and then resign from the company.
The McKinsey Quarterly is the the business journal of McKinsey & Company a world renowed business and management consultancy firm. It may not be an obvious choice as a website for a “techy nerd” to browse but does occasionally have some interesting articles, for instance that have an interview with Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker about open source innovation as companies are now reaching beyond their old boundaries to find and develop ideas.