Malicious ComplianceMalicious compliance is a term often used in business and management settings to describe a person who has an odd way of inflicting harm of the company. When most people think of a trouble making employee, they think of one that causes a ruckus or one reactivating unemployment or back from a lay off and doesn’t follow orders. Malicious compliance , however, features a person who exhibits passive aggressive behavior in following the exact guidelines of management. They do this because they know that following such rigid guidelines will, in some cases, inflict harm on the company either in a financial or ethical sense. Thus the term Malicious Compliance.
A simple way to think about malicious compliance is that it is a very demented form of sabotage used by people who don’t like their managers. Workers engaging in malicious compliance feel the need to somehow inflict harm on a manager’s reputation, so they make it a point to do things that will cause that damage. As where normal sabotage would involve doing something out of line to hurt the company, malicious compliance is a round about way of staying within the rules while knowingly hurting a manager’s ability to perform the job. That is the extremely important thing to remember about this kind of passive aggressive behavior. The intent and will to do damage has to be present, along with a couple of other conditions.