Everyday sadism in the business area


  • Faculdade FIPECAFI, and Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo da Fundação Getúlio Vargas
  • University of Illinois
  • Universidade Federal do Ceara


Organizational behavior, Dark personalities, Everyday sadism


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to identify sociodemographic factors that are predictive of the level of everyday sadism (SAD) in the business area.

Design/methodology/approach – A survey was conducted on 424 graduate and postgraduate students from business schools in Brazil and the USA. SAD was quantified by the assessment of sadistic personality proposed by Plouffe Saklofske and Smith (2017). The variables included age, gender, managing experience, education and nationality.

Findings – The average level of SAD was low. SAD was negatively associated with gender, age and nationality and positively associated with managing experience and education.

Practical implications – As individuals ascend professionally and academically, they display higher levels of everyday sadism. Depending on the context, dark personalities can cause either benefit or harm to the company’s business and to society. However, the literature shows that seeking pleasure and dominance with no regard for consequences affects the business area directly or indirectly.

Originality/value – Very few studies have addressed everyday sadism in the business area, let alone evaluated predictive factors and discussed possible implications.


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Research Paper