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From Kellogg Insight

Of all the annoyances the workday can entail — that too-early alarm, rush hour traffic, late nights stuck at your desk on deadline — having a bad boss can be the most insidious.

“Nobody wants to go to work when they don’t get along with their boss,” says Jon Maner, a professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School. “It really weighs on people’s everyday life.”

Kellogg Professors Jon Maner, left, and James B. Shein

Maner has studied bad bosses, with the goal of understanding their behavior so that it can be curtailed. He has focused in particular on power-hungry bosses who are surprisingly willing to sideline their best performing employees — and promote incompetent team members — in order to keep themselves from being out shined.

(You can read more about Maner’s research into why bad bosses sabotage their teams here.)

“Top performers are really, really valuable members of the group,” Maner says. “These are the people who are often innovating, they’re creating, they’re pushing the organization forward. That can make power-hungry bosses nervous because these are the people who are probably the most able to take over some of their power.”

And, of course, bad bosses are not simply unpleasant for employees. They also can be disastrous for companies.

Learn about what motivates bad bosses and how to manage them from Kellogg faculty members Jon Maner and James B. Shein in this month’s Insight in Person podcast.

Do you have a burning question about how to deal with a bad boss, or how to avoid becoming one yourself? Ask your questions here and Professor Jon Maner will answer a selection of questions next week in a special Kellogg Insight article. Submissions will remain anonymous.

Kellogg Insight is an online publication where faculty bring their latest research and expertise to you in an accessible, engaging format. Kellogg Insight provides ambitious business leaders with the research and expertise needed to drive growth.