Some time ago I remarked on the fine book The No Asshole Rule by Bob Sutton. Sutton's thesis is that allowing aggressive, uncivil behavior by so-called "top performers" hurts a company's bottom line in the long term. His thesis has more support now, based on a study by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. This article in the Boston Globe says that the Swedish researchers discovered that people who report to bad bosses (assholes, using Sutton's term) are at increased risk for heart disease.
Interesting story. I'd also be interested in seeing research that explains why companies allow bosses and "top performers" to abuse co-workers and subordinates. Perhaps if we understood why the behavior was allowed to occur - and even rewarded - it would be possible to design effective interventions.
In the meantime, I'll give Scott Adams the last word on bad bosses. I find this strip hysterically funny because it happened to me. The name of the book the manager tried to give me was Crucial Conversations.