Societal Impact Assessment

The Costs of Bad Bosses

We can calculate the costs of bad bosses for companies. But can we also do that for society?

Is there a societal impact of Bad Bosses?

Results from a poll by the Employment Law Alliance in 2007 found that “44% of American workers have worked for a boss who they consider abusive.”

That means: sarcastic jokes (60%), public criticism of job performance (59%), “interrupting … in a rude manner” (58%), yelling or raising one’s voice (55%) and “ignoring you/co-worker as if you/he/she were invisible” (54%). calculates that a good manager has a $192,000 to $218,000 higher value than their bad. So the cost for US companies is $360 billion.

Is the impact of bad bosses on employees and on companies the true societal effect?

For example:

  • Did the employee who left get a worse paying job?
  • Do they spend less?
  • And does this mean there is a broader economic effect of bad bosses?
  • If a bad boss causes frustration, does this mean the employee projects that at home?
  • Does this have an effect on their health?
  • Their children and the ability to concentrate at school?
  • Does is have an impact on their marriage? Do bad bosses cause more divorces?

The societal impact of bad bosses may reveal hidden costs that we pay as a society. But it may also reveal a new set of possible interventions to prevent the worst cases from arising.