In our culture, we are supposed to resent and dislike bosses. Bosses get paid too much, are mad with power, seek profits over people, etc. In fiction, we are mainly willing to see bosses as good when they run a noble work group, like a police, military, medicine, music, or sport group. In such rare cases, it is ok to submit to boss domination to achieve the noble cause. Or a boss can be good if he helps subordinates fight a higher bad boss. Otherwise, a good person resents and resists boss domination. For example:
I think the dichotomy you describe comes about because the fiction you are referring to is written by writers and writers are not typical people. They see themselves as artists and are rivalrous with business people. The bad boss is one trope reflecting their worldview.
It's similar to how in the movies, the woman always goes with the creative / artsy / spontaneous guy, not the rich / business-y guy.
"I'd guess even more so in blue collar work: someone with experience with building or whatever would be far better than me at leading on a construction site, even if he had no higher education and had a much lower IQ than me."
You'd still want the most intelligent builder to be the leader of the bunch in the vast majority of cases. Someone obviously less intelligent than you can be an excellent boss, just not for you: if you are working for him that means you also have the skills relevant to the trade, so your boss can't claim his trade specific skills as a reason to be the leader, unless you're socially dysfunctional or your trade is one where experience matters above all, but those aren't common situations I'd wager.
The Bad Boss is a useful trope IN FICTION because it's a handy way to provide adversity for the hero/worker to overcome. After all, if you're having problems on the job, a sympathetic and understanding boss lowers the tension, which is terrible for fictional drama.
But life isn't fiction. A boss who constantly increases the tension and drama in his workers' lives isn't doing the thing he's paid for.
In the jobs I've had, the majority of bosses were intelligent, decent, and encouraging. Life isn't fiction.
I think the trope is about 'the boss' (as in the big boss in charge of the whole organisation or at least your bit), but I don't know if that's what people would mean in the survey.
Whenever we have staff surveys (and we do a fair bit: I work in a large government department and they do that sort of thing), almost everyone says they like/respect/get support from their line manager, but confidence in the people at the top of the department is far, far lower.
Mind you, government again, I don't think the top team are seen as mad for profit, or even really as bullies (maybe occasionally), They're just seen as a bit useless and making bad decision.
I have equal or possibly slightly more education than my boss. I may well be smarter. He's still better at his job than I would be. Being better educated and more intelligent does not immediately make you better at every job: there can be specific skills involved! I'd guess even more so in blue collar work: someone with experience with building or whatever would be far better than me at leading on a construction site, even if he had no higher education and had a much lower IQ than me.
More common than you think in psychology and sociology. And then there are the surveys that are technically correct but use manipulative questions, and others select a convenient sample (like this survey did by not including the sizeable part of the population that chooses not to work for a boss, because not having a boss is a major reason for people to start their own business).
Bosses represent one of the ugly faces of productivity, is all right not to like them. I think is more like a Stockholm Syndrome relation ship.
The one I found most incredible was:
You would not change a thing about your boss 59%
Who would honestly say of anyone "I would not change one thing about" the person?
Employees become dissatisfied with bosses when they fail to abide by the governing hierarchical norms. A problem with our hypertrophied work hierarchies (relative to the attenuated hierarchies of foragers) is that unnatural power induces arrogance, which precipitates departures from the norms.
(But the hierarchical norm isn't alpha male. Humans expect the role-appropriate reciprocities, and leader arrogance elicits counter-norms favoring equality.)
I think this is the right answer.
In fiction where bosses are dedicated, strong willed heroes, EVERYONE (or at least most) in the group is also. We like to imagine sports teams and police squads are like this--full of passionate hardworking people (including the bosses). If there is business fiction where the company is full of super dedicated employees dreaming big, the overbearing boss will be a hero there too. The Facebook and Steve Jobs movies come to mind. TV shows of competitive professionals (Drs., Lawyers) also often have impressive bosses who 'demand excellence' from their ambitious and dedicated underlings.
Consider--if there was a hard driving fictional boss on a talentless, rec. softball team would they be considered a hero? No, just a jerk.
I see that "hypocrisy" is one of the tags of this post ... although off topic, here is an example of hypocrisy: a leader of a country that used Agent Orange in one war considering going to war with a county using chemical weapons now
Yes, but how common is this? Fight big studies with big studies, not with small anecdotes.
Which comes back to my point above: you can respect someone as a person but still believe they shouldn't rank above you, the latter is more relevant in this discussion. When people complain about some system being rotten because it promotes the wrong people and/or is more hierarchical than need be that does not mean they think every boss is a horrible person, perhaps just incompetent, less competent or competent but in a position that should not exist in the first place.
Nothing to see here, just move along...
The devil is in the details. There may have been a question along the line of 'do you think your boss is an OK human being' that then gets "translated" into 'do you respect your boss'. You can make a survey say anything you want really.
Sure, I can see respecting someone who isn't as smart or well educated as I am. I actually respect a lot of such people today.
> Employees regularly voice (frequently negative) opinions of their employers on Facebook completely unsolicited.
From the survey:
> about one in 10 are worried about their boss seeing what they post online.
> One-third of those connected to their boss [on social networks] wish they weren’t and nearly half have taken steps to ensure their boss cannot see certain aspects of their profile. Interestingly, employees fear their opinions or beliefs may be more do more damage than photos/videos.