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  1. Feb 2021
    1. The cornerstone to recognising bullshit isknowing how it masquerades. This involves recog-nizing how colleagues go about framing statements(in written, spoken, or graphical form) that arewithout regard for the truth. Typically, suchstatements are abstract and general in nature andcome across as the opposite of plain English. Thestatements will lack details, sources, and logic,and they will be full of logical disconnects andgaps. Furthermore, if a statement is riddled withmeaningless language, acronyms, buzzwords, andjargon, then it is likely to be bullshit.
    2. The bullshitter makes adecision to further that agenda through commu-nicative acts and decides on a message and amedium that will help them to achieve thatagenda. Crucially, while doing so, they disregardthe truth, in the sense that they are not concernedwith the truth, inaccuracy, or falseness of theirmessage but only in its efficaciousness in promot-ing the desired agenda
    3. when we engagein work, we must distinguish between this type ofsocial bullshit, which can be harmless or evenhelpful to the organization (because it can enablethe development of normal interpersonal re-lationships), and other types of bullshit that canhave damaging impacts on the organization.

      This points out the difference between personal bullshit and work bullshit; the later may help at times, but largely, corporate bullshit is anti-intellectual and damages the workplace.

    4. the more often colleagues at work are asked tocomment on matters about which they know littleor nothing, the more bullshit there is
    5. Bullshit has become socommonplace that it is suggested that businesscommunications are dominated bytruthiness(inwhich the validity of something is based on how itfeels),post-factlanguage (taking a position thatignores facts), andecho chambers(where positive-feedback loops create cravings for and fuel thespread of bullshit
    1. We assume that the people who are in the bestposition to accurately assess the degree of bullshit in their organizations arethe people who work there; therefore, we set out to develop a reliable andvalid scale to measure employees’ perceptions of the extent to which bullshitexists in their organizations. Next, we turn to how we developed theOrganizational Bullshit Perception Scale (OBPS).
    2. Applying the logic of Petrocelli (2018), leaders will be driven to bull-shit when the social and professional expectations to have an opinion are high,and when they expect to get away with it. These two conditions are subject tohow (un)knowledgeable their audience is. Similarly, if leaders exhibit high levelsof overconfidence, and believe they are popular amongst their peers, this willmake them likely to engage in more bullshit-related behavior (Jerrim et al.,2019).
    3. McCarthy et al. (2020) refer to a number of bullshit expressionssuch as “blue-sky thinking” or “out-of-the-box thinking”, which are often usedas vague buzzwords with minimal substance. This vagueness serves the interestsof bullshitters, because communication targets are less likely to ask questionswhen they find it difficult to understand what has been said (McCarthy et al.,2020).
    4. ll respondents assessed their overallperceived bullshit in their organization on a simple 4-point scale ranging from 1indicating ‘there is no bullshit in our organization’, through 2 indicating ‘there isa little bullshit in our organization’, through 3 indicating ‘there is some bullshitin our organization’ to 4 indicating ‘there is a lot of bullshit in our organization’.The overall perceived bullshit in the organization was regressed on the threeperceived bullshit scale factors. The R2value of 0.36 indicates convergencebetween the OBPS and the overall bullshit perception measure, withregardfor truthandthe bossbeing significant predictors of the overall bullshitperception.
    5. The second dimension,the boss, confirms that employees believe that theirsuperiors are key players in the dissemination of bullshit. Bullshit aims only toserve an immediate end – whether to puff up one’s reputation or to advancetheir point of view or argument (Gibson, 2011). Further, employees are likely tohave to take action based on any bullshit communicated by their bosses. As aresult, employees are likely to be acutely aware when their superiors use bullshitto advance their own self-interests.
    6. The final dimension,bullshit language,considers some of the commonly usedtypes of language employed by bullshitters, namely the excessive use of acro-nyms and jargon. The finding that employees perceive that the excessive use ofsuch language is a form of bullshit confirms that they are not oblivious to its usein the workplace. They may share the opinion of McCarthy et al. (2020, p. 258),who argued that “if a statement is riddled with meaningless language, acronyms,buzzwords, and jargon, then it is likely to be bullshit.” It is possible that theexcessive use of acronyms and jargon may occur to employees as an exclusion-ary mechanism in the workplace, whereby those unfamiliar with the terminologymay not be able to meaningfully contribute to the conversation or voice theirconcerns.
    7. Workplaces are awash with many forms of bullshit that manifest in manydifferent ways, including misrepresentation, where leaders make statementswithout knowing the facts; meaningless job titles (Graeber, 2018); fake andshallow company slogans (e.g. Lee et al., 2020); and workplace puffery suchas resume padding (Grover, 2005). Under some circumstances, organizationalbullshit, usually referred to as “banter”, “badinage” or “joshing” can be harm-less, often creative, and even contribute to a congenial atmosphere in an orga-nization. Organizational bullshit may even have a positive effect when leadersarticulate inspiring futuristic, but largely uncertain visions, that are meant toinspire others to act (Christensen et al., 2019). On the other hand, other scholarshave outlined a number of detrimental effects of bullshit. McCarthy et al.(2020), while acknowledging there can be positive effects of organizational bull-shit, also caution that it can result in lower job satisfaction among the organ-ization’s members, increased distrust in leadership, a reduction in productivity,and ultimately a negative impact on overall performance (McCarthy et al.,2020)
    8. As bullshitters don’t care what the truth is, this affordsthem freedom to say whatever it takes to further their agenda (McCarthy et al.,2020). This freedom from truth and evidence can mean that bullshit is some-times misperceived as something profound (Pennycook et al., 2015) or, alterna-tively, viewed as an empty claim (Spicer, 2020)
    9. Drawing on Frankfurt (2009), McCarthy et al. (2020, p. 254) define workplacebullshit as “as taking place when colleagues make statements at work with noregard for the truth”.