Skip Nav
How to Stay Focused in a World Full of Distractions
Budget Tips
21 Little Ways to Save Money Every Day
Budget Tips
7 Options For Finding Cheap (or Free!) Fitness Classes

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.


Join The Conversation
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Krradford, yes I've heard about parents doing things to their children to make them sick so they get praise for saving their children when they take them to the hospital. How sad is that to think your sick or dying as a kid just to have your parent poisoning you or doing harm to you.
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
my sister who worked as a therapist said there's another form of the disorder where parents will insist their child has an illness when they actually don't.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
Munchausen - a fancy word for selfish co-worker... Sadly, I work with quite a few of these people. I just try to ignore them and do my own thing.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I'm shocked, I feel bad for people like that. They need and crave attention. Just think how their lies effect the people who work above or under them. All that drama - no one needs added stress at work. Especially, BS.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
wow - the lengths that people will go to in order to boost themselves up. i think that if you create stress for no reason - it's going to come back to you. in my work environment, i think that if my boss or my assistant were to create stress just so they look better, it would some how manifest itself into my work, and i would be miserable and then who's the one to look like the hero? i would just get pissed off and then they wouldn't be any better off.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Dude, that's just creepy.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I feel sorry for people like that. Sadly, I must confess I've experienced Munchausen in the family. I've come to learn not to value people's behavior when they act like that.
Reasons to Get to Work Early
Ambiverts in the Workplace
What Is Mystery Shopping?
How to Deal With Being Interrupted
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds