Rooting out corporate dysfunction

Oct 29 2003 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Psychological testing in the workplace isn't a new phenomenon, but according to a piece in Business2, recent corporate scandals have led to a boom for the profiling industry.

The reason? Well according to Stephen Kelner, a management appraisal expert at executive search firm Egon Zehnder, companies "no longer trust their gut because their gut has gotten them in a lot of trouble lately. They want something 'objective' in case of lawsuits -- like a test you can show the board and say, 'Hey, the guy's got good numbers.'"

But as tests get more sophisticated and more targeted, they are uncovering some unwelcome facts.

According to business psychologist Robert Hogan, more than half of managers in American corporations are unfit for their jobs. Another psychologist says that sub-criminal psychopaths (i.e. self-serving, narcissistic schemers who display a stunning lack of empathy, but are not criminally inclined) tend to show up more in management ranks than elsewhere in companies.