London, Dec mber 24: Aggressive, bullying managers are more likely to rise to the top because people are impressed by their dominance, according to a new study.
A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia found that people who were dominant had a greater influence on others, and could be easily and quickly picked out of a crowd, the Daily Mail reported.
In one study, the researchers allowed 200 participants to complete a problem-solving task in small groups while being videotaped, with volunteers rating each other’s dominance, prestige and influence during the task, as well as their own.
Prestige is defined as the appearance of skill and competency, and dominance as having the ability to impose ideas on others through bullying and intimidation, according to the researchers.
Results, reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, showed that those who were more dominant or prestigious had a greater influence on the task and were seen as more influential by the participants.
In the second study, 60 extra participants watched a total of 120 seconds of short videos of the initial group interactions while wearing an eye-tracking device.
The team found these participants paid significantly greater attention to individuals who appeared more dominant or prestigious, indicating their higher levels of influence.
The study also revealed that while participants preferred leaders with prestige, they were more likely to choose dominant leaders, and were more forgiving of their behaviour.
The researchers say the findings could explain the number of aggressive leaders in business and politics.
The findings suggest there are really two ways to top the social ladder and gain leadership – impressing people with your skills or powering your way through old-fashioned dominance, said lead author Joey Cheng. (ANI)