Working papers

Are You a Victim of the Victim Syndrome? (2012)

Manfred Kets de Vries

"The victim syndrome in org contexts"

This working paper explores the victim syndrome within an organisational context, and provides lessons on how to manage. People who suffer from the victim syndrome are always complaining about the 'bad things that happen' in their lives. Because they believe they have no control over the way events unfold, they don’t feel a sense of responsibility for them. One moment, they present themselves dramatically as victims; the next, they morph into victimizers, hurting the people trying to help them and leaving would-be helpers with a sense of utter frustration. The author presents three examples of people with this syndrome and a checklist that can be used to identify sufferers.

INSEAD Working Paper, 2012

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