RE: “The decadence of the people’s car” (The New Times, September 28).
These corporations won’t reform themselves; they will just make cosmetic changes and then continue as if nothing happened. These mega corporations are disproportionately led by psychopaths. Psychopathy is best thought of as a syndrome, a cluster of characteristics.
Some of those characteristics include superficial charms, egocentric, absence of guilt and remorse, callous and lack of empathy, deceitful and manipulative, shallow emotions, irresponsibility, recklessness…often people associate psychopaths with notorious serial killers but there are others more clever and are craving for power and control by all means possible.
These characteristics allow them to do what they want when they like, without worrying about the social, moral or legal consequences of their actions.
In their book “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work”, Paul Babiak and Robert Hare assert that while psychopaths may not be ideally suited for traditional work environments by virtue of a lack of desire to develop good interpersonal relationships, they have other abilities such as reading people and masterful influence and persuasion skills that can make them difficult to be seen as the psychopaths they are.
A variety of studies assert that between 3-25% of corporate executives could be assessed as psychopaths, a much higher figure than the general population figure of 1%.
Manifred Kets de Vries, a Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change, calls the corporate psychopath the “SOB, Seductive Operational Bully”.
SOBs don’t usually end up in jail or psychiatric hospital but they do thrive and prosper in an organizational setting. SOBs can be found wherever power, status, or money is at stake.
Increasingly, numbers of corporate psychopaths have brought suffering and misery to the lives of millions of people, societies, economies and entire countries for their own gain and without any sense of guilt.
For them, the end always justifies the means.
The common sense would suggest that after the 2007/2008 financial crisis governments would learn from it to keep at bay these financial sharks but alas. Instead, the very same corporate psychopaths, who caused the crisis by their self-seeking greed and avarice, are now advising governments on how to get out of the crisis that’s why we are now far from the end, of the crisis.
These multinational corporations have to be regulated by governments because in an unregulated world, the least-principled people rise to the top. And there are none who are less principled than corporate psychopaths.