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Study Says 2 In 5 Bosses Lie

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the pointy-hair dept.

Businesses 446

Freshly Exhumed writes to tell us about a Florida State University study of 700 employees indicating that nearly two of five bosses don't keep their word. The study will be published later this year. From the article: "The abusive boss has been well documented in movies ('Nine to Five'), television (Fox's 'My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss') and even the Internet. 'They say that employees don't leave their job or company, they leave their boss. We wanted to see if this is, in fact, true,' said Wayne Hochwarter, an associate professor of management in FSU's College of Business."

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446 comments

grievance committees (5, Insightful)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17433896)

FTA: Finally, he said, "No abuse should be taken lightly, especially in situations where it becomes a criminal act (for example, physical violence, harassment or discrimination). The employee needs to know where help can be found, whether it is internal (i.e., the company's grievance committee) or external (i.e., formal representation or emergency services)."

In most of the companies that I've worked for, the "grievance committee" is merely a shill for management interests.

Re:grievance committees (3, Interesting)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17433982)

Im curious, has anyone been verbally or physically abused by a manager or supervisor? I know I have had terrible managers in the past, some almost could be considered abusive. Just wondered how wide spread it was.

Re:grievance committees (4, Informative)

the_rev_matt (239420) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434070)

I worked for a manager whose style would best be described as "scream, berate, humiliate, threaten". I generally threw up every morning before heading in to work because of the stress. This was during the early 90's recesssion, so finding another comparable paying job (only slightly above minimum wage) wasn't an option.

Re:grievance committees (4, Interesting)

BluedemonX (198949) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434506)

Yeah, but karma is a bitch.

I worked somewhere where the managment took advantage of the REALLY terrible job market to basically say "this will be done ON our unrealistic schedule, without listening to your suggestions, or you can all find jobs elsewhere" (which they knew didn't exist). "If it takes weekends, evenings, it will get done, or you can find another job."

Halfway through the project, at a critical juncture, when they'd sign contracts that committed the company to delivery, an employee cracked and shouted at someone else. They fired him on the spot. Half the team looked at the job market, realised it had since become VERY VERY good, and more than half the team walked out.

Needless to say, managment were on the chopping block in a big way when the promised delivery date rolled around and there was no product. The businesses who had signed big deals for the project were demanding major price reductions or cancelling.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch.

Re:grievance committees (4, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434170)

I had a boss that was verbally abusive. Sometimes he would yell, but mostly he would just quietly berate you. After a couple of years of working for him he had convinced me that I was of no worth to any other company and that I was lucky to have the job.
I liken it to Saruman's hold on King Theoden. I was lucky to see my way through what almost seemed like a spell he had cast on me and my coworkers. I was the third to leave, and in the end 2/3 of the company quit within a space of about 3 months.

Re:grievance committees (4, Insightful)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434222)

Yeah, I think they're focusing on the wrong kind of lying...

In my experience, physical abuse is rare, and emotional abuse is typically somewhat self-inflicted (if your boss doesn't like your work, don't make yourself crazy... just get a new boss).

However, I find lying to some degree is far higher than 2/5. Stock options are the typical one. When you ask "How many shares are outstanding?", the typical response is "Try to imagine that each share is $10." They'll say that even when the current selling price is $0.10. Some bosses also distort information badly, if not down-right lying, to benefit themselves. If you bust your buns making the whole project succeed, it's quite likely your boss will get a bonus or stock options, and you'll get nothing.

In the end, you've got to fend for yourself, while forming a positive relationship with your boss, even though he doesn't always tell you the whole story.

Re:grievance committees (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434408)

This is an excellent point. Most lying bosses want you to think of them as their friend/supporter.

I thought my last boss was great and for the most part he was.
However he had been promising a better position for almost two years claiming he was trying to convince middle-management that I was more than qualified.
Then a person in that position quit, making it easier for me to move to that slot but they hired someone else from outside the team. Then my boss quit.
I now see he was just stringing me along to make sure he didn't lose head-count.

Re:grievance committees (5, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434318)

Never by a manager, but we did have an engineer on a team who thought he was tough sh*t and made threats to that effect.

I don't look like much, but one day I brought one of my grip exercisers to a meeting. During the meeting (while this bozo was shooting his mouth off), I just sat there quietly, squeezing the handle, but I made sure it was visible to everyone. When the meeting let out, I intentionally left it lying on the table. A few witnesses told me that this guy picked it up and nearly busted his gut trying (unsuccessfully) to move it. After that, he quieted down quite a bit.

Re:grievance committees (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434508)

On the position I stayed in the longest I had a boss who not only would throw tantrums like a badly parented child, but he would make lunges as if he were going to strike me. As that may have been 'profitable' it is something I would prefer to not have to deal with either.

His team had a high turnover rate compared to the rest of our business group too. I stuck it out there at first because I really liked the customer and the mission. Also needed to keep stability of work because of child custody/support concerns. When the family issues were no longer an item I updated the Monster resume with what I had done (had made the mistake of tailoring it too much to what I wanted to do) and several much better job offers appeared right away. In that job, the customers really liked me and my work, I could not stand my boss and several co-workers, nor them me but that clique seemed to have issues with everybody and most had problems with them.

Ended up leaving the first one in a few months, because I had conditioned myself to thinking a place that "does not suck" was good enough. Got along quite well with most all of the people there, especially the customer. However, things did seem to change for some people over night and I was not waiting around for it to happen to me, i.e., the customer would just tell our firm that they wanted someone off the contract immediatly and it seemed to have nothing to do with their work and the person was gone the next day. Some of these folks had been assured by the customer that their work was fine, right before being booted.

Another firm that had interviewed me before I took that job called several more times and I accepted a position there. Got along with new boss and customer great. Had 2 coworkers that were reacting oddly to the automation that I was doing and ended up being annoying. Did not really matter, I was one of the only people the customer liked and the guys who were acting oddly were not liked by her at all. Different problem cropped up. The agency I was supporting was moving their offices several States away. I was offered a new position that was in the area and was not going to move for a while, so I decided to try it out.

Bad news/good news: my customer does not seem to like my work (this is a first for me) and has made some serious complaints to my boss. The complaints are completly non-quantifiable too. The good news is I contacted a higher boss asking about some overseas work we had discussed a year earlier, right before I took current job. He came back with some other options, then my boss from my previous job contacted me about two very interesting items that are in late proposal stage with news of more progress that came in today.

Looks like I can move on and let current customer figure out what he wants without me and I don't really have to worry about missing a mortgage payment and getting a bad name in my industry.

Re:grievance committees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434092)

I'll second that grievance committees are really only interested in identifying people that are problematic. I went to one with a review that was a personal attack by someone not even my boss, but did our reviews because our boss got fired and for some unknown reason, was considered more appropriate than our new boss for doing our reviews. This particular person and I didn't get along, quite possibly because he's a raving lunatic, but that's beside the point. Even with a clearly personal attack on a review, the grievance committee only asked whether I felt any EEOC items had been violated. Evidently they were only interested in whether federal rules had been broken.

My new boss turned out to be a manipulative liar, which was the end of the line for my employment with that company. 3 promises made and broken within 6 months. Turns out I wasn't the only one being manipulated, I just saw it earlier and left first. 50+% turnover when your staff numbers over 100 persons is usually not a good sign. All occurring within 1 year of new management taking over.

Re:grievance committees (1)

lp60068 (727840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434174)

I agree. Do not be naive - grievance committee's and HR only protect the company leaders and when abuse does occur they will often turn on the abused. I have seen V.P.'s terrorize director's, manager's, and associates - going to point of making people emotionally break down. Then when some naive associates and managers bring up the problem to the V.P. or HR they get fired. Best advice when confronted with this bullshit is to start looking immediately.

Re:grievance committees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434404)

Best advice is to start documenting it immediately. Document everything you can. I'm not a fan of litigous bastards, but if H.R. goes on the offensive against you, you've got to protect yourself. Further, there are lots of whistleblower protections that a good attorney can help you with. And yes, abusive behaviour is illegal.

Re:grievance committees (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434190)

Then you really need to shop around for companies to work for that actually have competant HR departments.

Management typically is intelligent enough to know that an abusive supervisor is more of a liability than a boon, since it generally costs more to hire and train a new worker than it is to retain someone who already knows the job. Abusive supervisors tend to have far higher turnover than ones who actually know how to do their job, and typically produce poorer quality work.

It's always in a company's intrest to investigate complaints and determine if the problem is with the manager or with the employee (or, as in most cases, a combination of both) and take steps to resolve the issue.

Most HR departments of the companies I've worked for, realize this.

Re:grievance committees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434426)

That would explain the bribery to keep employees onboard that gave indications of leaving by one manager I've seen.

On the other hand, it really depends upon what the company's goals are. Reduce headcount? Reduce salary (get rid of old higher paid/optioned employees and replace with fresh new faces straight out of college now that the startup phase is done with)? Because the entire company's management is full of shitheads?

The reasons go on and on, you're lucky if you find a good company based on the collective experience I'm aware of.

correction (5, Insightful)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17433898)

More like 2 in 5 knowingly lie.

Re:correction (1)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17433972)

I'd go further than that, and correct it with 4 out of 5 knowingly lie, the other one does it out of ignorance. All bosses lie; it's just a matter of how much, and how bad the lie is.

Re:correction (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434150)

Survey says: 2 out of 5 bosses lie - the other 3 lied about whether they lied.

Re:correction (0, Troll)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434208)

Drop dead.

If I say a thing, then my name is upon it, and it is TRUE to the best of my knowledge, and I have made an effort well beyond good-faith to know this. My employees may rely on such things. If by some mischance it was not true, then I either go make it true or inform everyone affected by my error. If it was made untrue, then I'm by-God gonna find out why.

I do not have to lie, not through omission, not through commission, and not through ignorance.

You wanna say almost all meatbags, given power, are tyrannical, deceptive little bastards? Fine by me. But not all of 'em -- or not this one.

Re:correction (1)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434428)

Then you are the exception in my experience, and I sorely wish more people in positions of authority were like you. Every single person I have ever had dealings with who is in a management role has either lied to me, or not gotten his/her facts straight before making an assertion that has caused myself, or others, quite some headache. By and large, people who seek authority do so because they then have a certain influence over the lives of others, and they _LOVE_ that. It's not the work that they do; it's the power, however limited, that they can lord over others.

The worst was when I was being paid less than the minimum rate for the position I held, and was treated like I should be grateful for it because it was $3/hr more than my prior position. This, after I had already been doing the work that the higher-paying job required for over a year while still being paid at my prior position's rate. This kind of thing, as I have experienced, is exactly what every manager I've ever dealt with has wet dreams about pulling off. I was a naive kid back then, though, and will not fall for it again.

Tell me my experience is not common, and that's fine, I can accept that. My experience has to, though, have an influence on the statistics and not just be thrown out as a garbage data set.

Re:correction (1)

oldosadmin (759103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434440)

You wanna say almost all meatbags, given power, are tyrannical, deceptive little bastards? Fine by me. But not all of 'em -- or not this one.

Keep me outta that group, too :) (of course, I've been in management for ~6 months -- maybe the evil has to seep in)

Re:correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434054)

Isn't "knowing" part of the definition of lying? If I say something that's untrue, but I think it's true, it's not actually a lie. I'm just misinformed.

How can this be! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17433924)

This comes as a complete shock! Oh nooooo, Mr. Bill!!!! Mr. Boss is lying to me?? AIEIEIEIIIIE....(plop)

Boss == work?? (4, Insightful)

denebian devil (944045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17433932)

"They say that employees don't leave their job or company, they leave their boss."

I think that's true to a point. In many cases, the environment at a company is colored by the behavior and the policies of the boss (or bosses). So it may be too simplistic to say that the boss is entirely to blame, but they can be responsible for things about a company that don't at first glance appear to be directly their fault.

Re:Boss == work?? (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434244)

In many cases, the environment at a company is colored by the behavior and the policies of the boss (or bosses).

Your immediate boss doesn't "color" your environment; they are the single individual that has the most to do with creating your environment. They set your deadlines and goals, help you get resources, evaluate your performance, give you permission to take time off... it's a big list.

I've never worked for a big company that wasn't dysfunctional and overbureaucratic to some degree. I think it's just in the nature of organizations of a certain size. It can be a pain, but it's something you deal with. But a bad boss makes your life hell, no matter what the general environment is.

Re:Boss == work?? (4, Insightful)

lazlo (15906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434286)

The flip side of this study is also true. In the last 15 years, I've worked for 9 different companies. I've had 2 bosses. I've had many of the same co-workers.

Loyalty is to people, not organizations.

Re:Boss == work?? (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434298)

Just anecdotally, I've seen a few cases where the entire team was great, the problems existed above the boss at the level that manages him or her.

85-15 rule. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434312)

85% of all issues are due too management. 15% are due to employees.

I love my work. I love my co-workers. I love my Users. They are all good people. But the in-fighting, pissing matches and all round incompotence of the middle management here is the reason I am looking for a new position outside the company. The IT department alone has been the source of significant cost overruns, poor services, and general missmanagement, mostly for the sake of a middle manager that is too prideful and untrained. Combined with a HR staff that has their hands tied and some extremely poor personel management decisions by other managers, this place is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Moral is high at the moment, coming off of a few short weeks and some much deserved pay increases. But prior to that, things were pretty ugly. My guess is that in a few weeks, the x-mas good cheer will wear off, the middle management will continue to treat IT employees (and others too) like crap. And the turn over will continue. You would think that an 80%+ turn over rate in 2 years would shoot up some red flags to the upper management.

And is it just me, or should the phrase "It's very political" not be a f'ing excuse?

Re:Boss == work?? (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434384)

From what I have found, the best bosses are usually those which act as advocates for the employees benieth them. This means that your boss will act in your best interests at all times; there are lots of benefits to the company from this in that Employees are usually happier, more productive, take less sick days and stay around longer. Someone who is deceptive is usually attempting to protect themselves and is typically not acting in the best interests of anyone else; whether they lie to others (taking credit for your work) or lie to you (about upcomming work) they are not looking out for you.

As an example of how a boss can act as an avocate for you, I have worked in a company where we ended up doing (paid) overtime through November and into mid December in order to complete a project on time. My boss at the time worked it out with HR for everyone to recieve extra vacation time in order for everyone to have the week off between Christmas and New Years; it was a small gesture, but the additional 2 (or 3, I can't remember) days off made everyone happier and more refreshed when we came back and most people felt far better towards the company for giving them the time off. I'm not positive, but I suspect the extra days off probably prevented sick days from being taken in January through March because most people didn't become over tired.

Re:Boss == work?? (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434540)

So true. I have recently gone from a bad boss (guilty of lying and so much more) to a boss who does exactly as you describe, providing what we as employees need and insulating us from upper management and office politics. Otherwise, he pretty much stays out of our way, and we get our work done. I don't have much experience in the work force, but I can tell you that I'm infinitely happier now than I was working for my previous employer.

Re:Boss == work?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434390)

It's worth remembering that the converse is also true. If my boss (CTO of a tech hardware company) were to leave, he would take a slew of good people with him, even if they didn't end up working for him at his next company. He is great at insulating us from the idiocies of the rest of the management, and we all know that. (And I for one try to tell him how much he is appreciated at every opportunity.)

Re:Boss == work?? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434522)

There's a saying that goes something like this...

There's no such thing as a bad soldier, just bad leadership.

Some managers just can't manage and don't have any better people skills than the social misfits they have firing authority over.

Oh really? (3, Funny)

Azathfeld (725855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17433950)

Studies show that 100% of my employees are mouthy SOBs who don't know what side their bread is buttered on. Lie at work? Abusive relationship? You shouldn't have talked, kids; now you'll really know what an abusive boss is like!

Re:Oh really? (1)

BobNET (119675) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434328)

Studies show that 100% of my employees are mouthy SOBs who don't know what side their bread is buttered on. Lie at work? Abusive relationship? You shouldn't have talked, kids; now you'll really know what an abusive boss is like!

That's what you get for being self-employed!

Perhaps a more universal truth ... (1)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17433954)

would be to say that 2 in 5 people lie/don't hold their word. Where do people think that boss's come from? Hell. There are just a proportion of the population.

Re:Perhaps a more universal truth ... (1)

schnooka_boy (1023007) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434024)

A more universal truth would be to say that 5 in 5 people lie/don't hold their word. I'd like to see someone try to find 3 people in the entire world who haven't lied or purposely misled someone.

Re:Perhaps a more universal truth ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434396)

Well, there is me of course, and my good friend Bill Gates. As I was saying to Bill the other day, you did an outstanding job on that there Vista thing. He said he couldn't have done it without the honesty of Schnooka Boy. So by my count, that makes three of us you can count on. Which, come to think of it, means you were trying to mislead people. Make that two.

Re:Perhaps a more universal truth ... (4, Funny)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434026)

Where do people think that boss's come from? Hell.

Truer words were never spoken...

Re:Perhaps a more universal truth ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434342)

Especially if your boss happens to be the sysadmin ;) (BOFH anyone?)

Re:Perhaps a more universal truth ... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434064)

Only 2 in 5? Either my definition of 'lie' is different, or it's a LOT higher than 2 in 5.

"To tell an untruth." ?

I looked it up: "to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive." That's pretty close.

I like to think of myself as a paragon of virtue, and even -I- lie. It's unavoidable sometimes, and it's just plain polite other times.

"How are you today?"

"My stomache hurts, I feel like I'm going to puke on your shoes." -> "Fine, thanks for asking." ---- LIE!!!

If you just go for "don't hold their word", I still think 2 in 5 is a pretty good number, but absolutely reprehensible for someone that holds something as important as my paycheck.

Re:Perhaps a more universal truth ... (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434084)

Where do people think that boss's come from?
They used to be normal people, just these people lied to get ahead.

Lockheed Martin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17433976)

Ok that would four out of five for Lockheed Martin. I am glad I don't work for that organization anymore. Lockheed is run by a bunch of good ole boy retired colonels and generals, who consistently lie to their employees. It's ok so long as they make the bottom line.

do they lie about not lying? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 7 years ago | (#17433996)

so how did they get their results?

Hopefully it was a bit deeper than simply asking the bosses "do you lie?"

Also, can we therefore assume that 40% of the survey is lies?

Re:do they lie about not lying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434194)

so how did they get their results?
Hopefully it was a bit deeper than simply asking the bosses "do you lie?"

If only there were some sort of "linked article" you could have looked at in the time it took you to post this!

Incidentally, how exactly is a prank show parodying The Apprentice "documentation" of reality?

The other 3 only tell lies that MIGHT be belived. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434002)

2 out of 5 knowingly lie. They also know that they are doing it openly for all to see.

The other 3 of 5 only lie when they think they will be believed.

So put another way 3 out of 5 bosses still care about their credibility. The other two have already written it off.

This just in... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434004)

...managers are human.

C'mon - did you read the list?


  Thirty-one percent of respondents reported that their supervisor gave them the "silent treatment" in the past year.
  Thirty-seven percent reported that their supervisor failed to give credit when due.
  Thirty-nine percent noted that their supervisor failed to keep promises.
  Twenty-seven percent noted that their supervisor made negative comments about them to other employees or managers.
  Twenty-four percent reported that their supervisor invaded their privacy.
  Twenty-three percent indicated that their supervisor blames others to cover up mistakes or to minimize embarrassment.


Bosses might actually have been better than if you interviewed coworkers. I know this is going to sound sexist, and maybe it is, but if I think of the offices which are mostly women, I would expect number in the high fifties to low eighties on items 1-4.

This podcast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434014)

This podcast [apple.com] talks about pretty much the same thing as this article.

The other 3... (5, Funny)

onion2k (203094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434038)

The other 3 lied in the survey.

And now I add some more text, ruining the joke, because the lameness filter has no sense of humour.

Re:The other 3... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434346)

And now I add some more text, ruining the joke, because the lameness filter has no sense of humour.

Uh huh. Sure. That's just what you want us to believe...

Not very scientific (2, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434056)

I'm not saying there aren't bad bosses, but there are a LOT more bad employees than bad bosses, just because of the raw numbers. Given the bosses are just employees (duh, I hope), the rate of bad employees ought the be the same as the rate of bad bosses. If we assume that the average boss has an average of ten grunts, then we have ten bad employees for every bad boss.

So how many of these employees are bad-mouthing their boss because they're lazy idiots who expect a paycheck for as little work as possible and skewing the statistics? This study doesn't seem too interested in this question.

Re:Not very scientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434160)

the point is that a bad boss can make life for his underlings a living hell.

a lazy employee may be bad for morale, but it isn't going to poison the work environment the same way an abusive boss will.

Re:Not very scientific (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434392)

If we assume that the average boss has an average of ten grunts...

Ditzy secretary: "I've never had a boss last that long."

Re:Not very scientific (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434418)

Given the bosses are just employees (duh, I hope), the rate of bad employees ought the be the same as the rate of bad bosses.

Huh? You think managers are representative of the people that work for them? If promotions were decided by cutting a deck of cards, that would be true. But they're not. Managers are chosen, and by criteria that are very different from those used to hire the people under them.

Two groups that have similar labels don't automatically have similar statistical features.

And there's a body of thought that says that the average manager is less competent than the general work force. It's called The Peter Principle [bartleby.com].

Re:Not very scientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434524)

the rate of bad employees ought the be the same as the rate of bad bosses.

One would presume that if a working promotion system was in place, the "bad" employees would be removed, and the ones qualified to be "good" bosses would become managers.

Apparently, there are simply too many drinking buddies and nephews to go around to use such a system, so we're stuck with getting bad bosses.

In other news... (2, Informative)

DivineOmega (975982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434058)

Scientists discover grass is green, the sky is blue and dirt tends to be a brownish colour.

In other news *people* lie. (5, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434060)

  • Thirty-one percent of respondents reported that their employee gave them the "silent treatment" in the past year.
  • Thirty-seven percent reported that their employee failed to give credit when due.
  • Thirty-nine percent noted that their employee failed to keep promises.
  • Twenty-seven percent noted that their employee made negative comments about them to other employees or managers.
  • Twenty-four percent reported that their employee invaded their privacy.
  • Twenty-three percent indicated that their employee blames others to cover up mistakes or to minimize embarrassment.


The truth is, we're all like that.

I'm pretty certain everyone has experienced a boss not give them credit where it's due - and I'm pertty certain, whether we want to admit it or even recognize it ourselves, others have complained about us doing exactly the same.

Bosses fail to keep promises? And no employee has ever failed to deliver a project they swore they'd deliver? They've never cut corners on something they promised would be thorough?

Bosses make negative comments to other colleagues? How dare they? Don't they realize that no employee has ever bitched about the boss?

The sad truth is: we all do things that people consider negative. It's not a boss quirk, it's not an employee quirk, it's a human quirk.

Then again, it's always easier to judge others than look at ourselves.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434062)

They control teh means of production. DUh!

seen from the other side (1)

born4fun (1045582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434076)

In the other news: About 60% of all employees aren't honest, when being asked about how they feel about their managers...

It depends on the culture (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434082)

"It is important to stay positive, even when you get irritated or discouraged, because few subordinate-supervisor relationships last forever," he said. "You want the next boss to know what you can do for the company."
I've worked with (note, with, not for) my current boss for ten years or so. Most of the Unix support team I work for have worked together for that sort of length of time. Whilst this may mark me out as stick-in-the mud and unambitious the benefits of working with a team that you know realy well and can trust completely are one of the biggest job related benefits I know. You would have to offer me 20K GBP over and above what I earn now (which is about industry average) to make me even think of changing jobs.

Where is the Dilbert love? (2, Insightful)

mhokie (988228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434098)

"'The abusive boss has been well documented in movies ('Nine to Five'), television (Fox's 'My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss') and even the Internet.'"

What.... no mention of Dilbert?

It's FSU... Not Harvard or Princeton! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434106)

So technically the report doesn't matter

Easy to identify (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434108)

They are the ones moving their lips.


But seriously; in some cases, lying might just be a symptom of the boss' lack of authority in the corporate structure. The boss might have promised you that raise and genuinely meant it. But when the unit chief tells him that the funds are needed to hire yet one more of his idiot nephews, there's not much your boss can do about it.

So Obvious it hurts (1)

tommyatomic (924744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434136)

Many employers and bosses have irrational and unreasonable demands. No one with a IQ above 80 is going to perform those demands without some incentive. A paycheck is an incentive to meet reasonable and rational demands. for the unreasonable demands a little extra is required. Hense the broken promises (lies) begin. The boss offers some incentive for the employee to meet the rediculus quota, performace metric, complete the project in half to alloted time. Its a wonder that more companies dont suffer huge internal financial losses from disgruntaled employees.

Decontructing the Headline (5, Interesting)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434146)

Study says most bosses honest.

Re:Decontructing the Headline (4, Funny)

bwalling (195998) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434260)

Study says most bosses honest.

Nice way to lose some useful data in the translation. Do you work in Marketing?

Re:Decontructing the Headline (2, Insightful)

melonman (608440) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434292)

40% of bosses always lie about everything and 60% of bosses never lie about anything? This seems to indicate a market for a third type of boss.

Who did they ask again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434164)

40% of bosses lie? Wrong: 100% of bosses lie. Bosses (for now) are humans, and like the rest of us every one of them tells lies once in a while. If they're talking about serious work-related lies... how many employees lie to their bosses? (Remember to ask the bosses that one, just to be fair).

Also, while I agree that in general bosses aren't liked, and often deserve it, I get the feeling "2/5 people feel that their boss has at least once lied, or forgotten a promise, or changed their mind, or been forced to change their mind by *their* boss" would be more accurate. I guess not so catchy, though.

Here's the answer (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434168)

I have been a victim of lying bosses, but since leaving that work environment, I have found happiness in a unionized work environment. Over here, your boss cannot do a thing to you. All workers appear to be treated equally which is good. This environment has its problems I agree, but I like it anyway.

So the answer to lying bosses could be: UNIONIZE!

Re:Here's the answer (1)

easter1916 (452058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434214)

Curious; where is "over here"? Never heard of unionized IT employees, even in Europe.

Re:Here's the answer (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434500)

Curious; where is "over here"? Never heard of unionized IT employees, even in Europe.

I will borrow a leaf from politicians and therefore not comment on individual situations. But what I can say is that I am very happy "over here." The other thing is all workers are in a union and are not segregated on a department by department basis.

That's our strength. In addition to all other perks, we get subsidized training on new technology.

Re:Here's the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17434488)

But I'm an Engineer. I'm special. I'm not like all that unwashed rabble that has to have a union to make themselves artificially valuable. I'm intrinsically valuable!

Even worse... (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434216)

The boss in charge of this study lied about it - it's actually 4 out of 5 bosses that lie!

Oh, and the fifth one recommends sugar-free gum.

Well documented (4, Funny)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434230)

FTFA:"The abusive boss has been well documented in movies"

Well documented in the ... movies?! ...

How about also well documented in Mad Magazine...

Picture in article (2, Funny)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434240)

Did anyone look at the picture of Prof.Wayne Hochwarter, and assume this was an actor posing to look like a jerk boss for the article?

Nine to Five? (1)

Herr Ziffer (1042828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434248)

>>The abusive boss has been well documented in movies 'Nine to Five'), Nine to Five? That's one lie my boss never told me. So what ever happened to the Nine to Five day?

Lies! All lies!! (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434264)

I'd just like to point out that I have no less than total and complete respect for and faith in my boss, and I'll stand by that statement for as long as it takes me to get home and post to Slashdot via a connection he doesn't run or monitor.

Study Says 2 In 5 Bosses Lie (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434272)

Also, 40% of sick days happen on Mondays and Fridays.

Actually, to be honest, I'm shocked that 5 out of 5 bosses don't lie.

Culture of abuse = $$$ (1, Flamebait)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434326)

Not saying it should be this way, but during the gravy period at Microsoft, abuse WAS the culture.

It was so common, that instead of shrinking from it, 99% of those abused took it as a challenge, instead of a personal slight. In the course of an hour, you could go from Genius to Asshole comments about you from the same boss. If you had worked 20 days straight and needed a day off to see a doctor about feeling dizzy, you were branded a slacker or a pussy if something needed to ship and your module was late.

Only when Microsoft started hiring more women and minorities did things change to a large degree. Of course, Microsoft's productivity also took a hit right around that time too.

So, what am I saying? Decide that for yourself.

it's more like .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434380)

"that nearly two of five bosses don't keep their word"

It's more like zero in five bosses keep their word. Welcome to the wonderfull world of work.

So very true (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434398)

I've only been in the work force for about 2 years now, but I've already changed jobs once - and it was for exactly the reason of leaving my boss. I'm not going to go into too many details, but it was for not only lying, but also for verbal abuse based on unwarranted assumptions and a generally hostile attitude (not anything so drastic I could make a legal case about, unfortunately, although it would be hard to get blood from a rock). It also didn't help that the HR department consisted entirely of the boss's wife, who tried to turn any of our problems with the boss back around into criticisms of the employees and the insinuation that we needed to work harder (although after the first couple of meetings with her to clear the air, her motives became pretty clear). I'm much happier at my new job, and making a considerable amount more money there as well. I've done my best to put the old job behind me, as my only fond memories of the place were in the friendships formed with coworkers. Mostly I try not to think about the place, as it only makes my blood pressure spike.

Honesty (1)

kabloom (755503) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434442)

I doubt that the results would be any better if you surveyed a the general public to find out whether they told the truth or lied. Honesty is an important that's sorely lacking in our society, one that we each need to indepenantly work to develop. When you take your 13 year-old child to an amusement park, do you say to him "you look 12" and use that to get a discounted children's rate? Do you lie your way out of parking tickets? Honesty is a trait that everyone needs to develop. You can't expect your boss to be truthful if you're not.

Number is Higher (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434444)

All too often socially discouraged behavior is very hard to quantify in a questionairre.

In questionairres where the socially/morally disapproved behavior is put directly to the interviewee you get a really small number of truthful responses. ex. do you use heroin?

If they tested the behavior in a more indirect way. Ex. When I party with my friends I use A) alcohol, B) Pot, C)Heroin. And then a little later on a similar question. Ex. I prefer A) alcohol B) pot C) heroin. If the truth is being told, there's a correlation between certain questions.

So, that only 2 bosses admit this is suspect. Research on other non-approved behaviors suggests it's probably much higher. How high? Not sure.

Thank god they lie! (1)

EraseEraseMe (167638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434460)

While I was in college, I worked in the tech support department of a small mom-and-pop ISP (with 8000 customers or so). The department 'manager', if you will, wasn't as technically adept as the snot-nosed brats he had to look after, but he kept a good sense of humour about him.

His big joke was to fire me at every staff meeting.

Lumburgh Approves This Message (2, Funny)

fatnicky (991652) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434466)

I had a boss like lumburgh. Always missing the point and rewarding butt kissers who spent all day emailing so they didn't have to do any actual work. The greatest glory I received was an email, forwarded to me by a friend, after I had quit. It was from HR and advised anyone caught defacing the bathroom or tampering with the "mechanical function" of the toilets would be fired. I left a steaming sub in each of the men's rooms the night I quit. I quit on a Friday.

There are liars and then there are liars... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17434504)

At one company I worked at, the supervisors in my department would compete against each other for the monthly award of having a top team. My project had priority for overtime on a Saturday but my supervisor's rival was in charged and he assigned all my testers for his projects that had a lower priority. The producer noticed that there was no new bug reports in the database and I told him why. I got in trouble with the supervisors for telling the truth to someone outside of the department. I wasn't the only one who had this problem and management spent a month explaining how not to tell the truth without lying. It got to the point that I was willing to be fired for telling the truth. After my supervisor was promoted out of the department, my supervisor's rival gave me "his way or the highway" speech and I resigned the following week. Go figure.
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