How Toxic Colleagues Corrode Performance - a commentary

Today, most of the executives perceive competence diversity, mutual trust, and team spirit as crucial factors in cultivating knowledge-sharing behaviors. Successful management of tacit organizational knowledge sharing requires a deep understanding of the specific cultural values that underpin both behavior and organizational culture. In some cultures it is taken very seriously. For example, Singaporean-Chinese values are rooted in the Confucian ethos, notions of kiasu (the fear of losing out to others), guanxi (social relationships), and xinyong (the use or the usefulness of trust) (Koki, 2006). It is very important for the organizations to establish a civil and social work environment where employees can share their knowledge willingly and easily. Rude behaviors of managers are a source of a highly toxic and dysfunctional organizational behavior; borderline personality disorder in a manager may serve as a systemic toxin for an organization (Goldman, 2006). There are possible solutions to reduce or even eliminate toxicity in an organization. Recognition, and the use of toxin handlers to eliminate, reduce, or avoid the permeation and spreading of these toxins can be possible solutions for the organizations that suffer from or would like to prevent toxicity in the workplace (Appelbaum and Girard, 2007).

Appelbaum, S.H. and Girard, D.R. (2007), “Toxins in the workplace: affect on organizations and employees”, Corporate Governance, Vol. 7 Issue. 1, p.17-28, ISSN: 1472-0701
Goldman, K. (2006), “High toxicity leadership: Borderline personality disorder and the dysfunctional organization”, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 21 Issue. 8, p.733-746, ISSN: 0268-3946
Koki, H.C. (2006), “Cultivating Knowledge Sharing: An Exploration of Tacit Organization Knowledge in Singapore”, Journal of Asian Business, Vol.22/23 Issue 2/3/1, p.169-187, ISSN: 1068-0055