The 5 Absolute Worst Kinds of Bosses

Martha C. White

Which kind do you have?

The characters of fictional Dunder Mifflin in The Office have to work under Steve Carell’s socially-inept Michael Scott. (Or they did for the first few seasons.) Dilbert has an obtuse, pointed-haired drone of a boss. But what’s funny on TV or in comic strips can be miserable if you’re actually living it.

According to career site, one in five employees have had their careers hurt by a boss. Often, this is because bad bosses lead to bad performance, experts say, and the effect can linger for years. “An employee with a bad manager compared to an employee with a good [manager] performs at a level that is 20% lower,” says Brian Kropp, managing director at CEB. “The impact from having a bad manager can actually drive down employee performance for up to five years.”

So, which bosses are the worst? HR pros and academics who study workforce management say there are a few that stand out.

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