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Munchausen at Work

Definition: Munchausen at Work


Munchausen is a psychological disorder in which people seek attention for themselves by making up an illness or inducing sickness. Business professor Nathan Bennett coined the term "Munchausen at work" to describe people who fabricate problems to make themselves look better when they solve the issues they created in the first place.

For example, Bennett says the behavior was at work in the case of a manager who made up layoff rumors so he could be the hero a few weeks later and tell workers he'd saved their jobs. Another case involved an employee who told a co-worker she'd smoothed the strained team environment, when she was the one who caused problems by telling her team members they shouldn't trust her.

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