Humans will almost always be motivated by greed and pride. That’s a fact I truly subscribe to.
Having been a corporate denizen for 13 years, I’ve seen people consumed with the drive to have more than what they require. I’ve seen men and women step on toes just to get to the top. Honestly, as much as I believe that people are naturally greedy, I still cannot accept that they can be overcome by this animal-like desire.
The most common form of toe-stepping in the corporate world is backstabbing. Backstabbing eliminates competition and lets management see your “best foot.” Seriously, I’d like to stick that best foot up these backstabbers’ rear ends.
Backstabbers disrupt the normal flow of energy in the workplace. It disrupts the nature of meritocracy in the company. I can say that companies without a clear-cut goal framework for employee promotions will always be prone to such activity. Backstabbing adds to the strain to the corporate structure, much to the bane of a human resource professional. If allowed to go on unchecked, you can see people polarizing towards camps. Eventually, this type of activity will erode the morale of the people in the company.
However, as I’ve pointed out in an older post, politics will always exist in any size of organization. Human nature dictates that people will almost always try to manipulate people and circumstances to their benefit. Is it all for economic benefit?
While greed points to economic benefit, pride may lead to a deep-seated psychological need to “look better than most.” In this matter, more on false pride. If the person who loves to backstab is lacking in accomplishments, the natural course to take is to bring down a guy ahead of him or her.
Heck, with all this psychobabble analysis I’m trying to do, maybe it’ll be easier to just think of a simpler reason. Maybe the backstabber is just on a silly revenge trip for some emotionally torn-up boyfriend/ girlfriend who got fired from the company for doing some silly thing. Sounds better for a television or movie screenplay, doesn’t it? 😉