Defending Jerks at Work

Employers are purging the office of bullies, louts and misanthropes. Too bad, we need some

Jon Feingersh / Blend Images / Getty

Businesspeople throwing paper balls.

There's a niceness campaign overtaking corporate America. It's called the No Asshole Rule, a mantra set forth in a current business best seller of the same title. It is already practiced by the most esteemed employers of the day--Google, Southwest Airlines--and is finding followers even where being a jerk was part of the job description. If the campaign is won, soon all but the pleasantest of us will be banished from the workplace. And I, for one, will be sorry.

Robert Sutton, an organizational psychologist who teaches at Stanford, introduced the rule in 2005 in the Harvard Business Review. He's hardly...

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