Danger: Passive Aggression at Work
In the workplace, one rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch, especially when the bad apple is in a leadership position. Passive-aggressive leaders create toxic work cultures that reward compliance and punish dissent or criticism, even if it is constructive.
In their 2005 Harvard Business Review article, The Passive-Aggressive Organization, authors Gary Neilson, Bruce Pasternack, and Karen Van Nuys describe a healthy organizational culture as one in which “managers have access to good, timely information, the authority to make informed decisions, and the incentives to make them on behalf of the organization, which promptly and capably carries them out.”
Unfortunately, in a Booz Allen Hamilton survey of more than 30,000 people around the globe, only one in five respondents described their organizations that way. The largest number of respondents described their workplace as passive-aggressive.