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Backstabbers and Bullies: How to Cope with the Dark Side of People at Work
Adrian Furnham

Retail Price: $42.00
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Format: Hardcover, 352pp.
ISBN: 9781472915504
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Pub. Date: July 16, 2015

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

The idea of leadership failure and derailment has been brushed under the carpet for far too long and only now are statistics appearing on the sheer numbers who fail. Backstabbers and Bullies provides the latest psychiatric and clinical perspectives on dark side behaviour, including:
  • Recognising and coping with over-confident, narcissistic and psychopathic leaders
  • Causes of leadership derailment and failure
  • Corrupt corporate cultures and
  • The criminal personality.
Fascinating reading for anyone who has worked alongside a corporate psychopath, business narcissist or histrionic show-off, Backstabbers and Bullies goes beyond the science to explain how to better understand, manage and prevent dark-side behaviour, as well as presenting advice for reducing derailment potential for yourself, your colleagues and your organisation.


At a time when loyalty, honor, and faithfulness seem old fashioned and out of date, the business world couldn't be more in need of this handy guide to identifying and dealing with leaders who are out for themselves more than the greater good. With penetrating insight and a ton of research brought to life with powerful examples, Professor Furnham sheds light on how to prevent a leader's dark side from wreaking havoc on employees and the organization.
—Robert B. Kaiser, President, Kaiser Leadership Solutions and Editor, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research

Professor Adrian Furnham has played a pivotal role in highlighting the potential for disaster in even the most successful of people through personality attributes that are generally highly regarded and frequently very effective. His research and numerous publications have brought this important and fascinating topic to the attention of a wide international audience of professionals and to the general public. This very comprehensive and perceptive treatment is a most welcome addition to the literature.
—Dr Geoff Trickey, Managing Director, PCL

Adrian Furnham is a rare jewel of a psychologist whose natural curiosity and enthusiasm for his subject have driven him throughout his career. In his latest book on the dark side of leadership, his approach is typically comprehensive in coverage and assured in its judgments. This book will appeal to a wide range of readers from scholars, who seek thorough and well-researched treatment of the subject matter, to leaders and HR professionals who need clues about how to deal with the awkward few who dominate their lives and take their time.
—Dr David Pendleton, Chairman, Edgecumbe Consulting

This is an immensely important book, not just for those who are painfully exposed to cycles of backstabbing and bullying, but in particular for all of us who want our organizations to yield higher returns, resilience, flexibility and sustainability. As Adrian Furnham makes abundantly clear, through examples and statistics, there is growing evidence of a strong relationship between healthy leadership and longer-term stock-market success. Conversely, if any book can help you reflect on (and let go of) your own tendencies towards backstabbing and bullying, or on how you are keeping the bullies and backstabbers in place, then it is this one.
—Professor Erik de Haan, Director of the Ashridge Centre for Coaching

Many more corporate careers end in failure rather than success. Professor Adrian Furnham has lifted the lid on this crucial area in this comprehensive, deeply researched but also highly readable and entertaining book.
—Dr Gurnek Bains, co-founder and Chairman, YSC London

The widespread prevalence of managerial incompetence is the dirty little secret in organizational studies. This book provides a timely and briskly written survey of the causes, consequences, and potential remedies of this curse of the working class. Adrian Furnham is unstoppable.
—Professor Robert Hogan, Hogan Assessment, Tulsa, Oklahoma

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About the Author

Adrian Furnham is Professor of Psychology at UCL. He has written over 1000 scientific papers and 70 books and is among the most well-known and productive psychologists in the world, noted for his motivational speaking. Adrian is a newspaper columnist previously at the Financial Times, now at the Sunday Times.

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