How many of us can relate to the movie Office Space and the infamous boss Bill Lumbergh? Most people would say that they can easily point to a boss that they currently have or have had who could have served as a role model for the movie character.
In face-to-face conversations, both non-verbal and verbal communication are often about positioning yourself in relation to others, so that you can achieve your goals and reinforce your sense of yourself. Oddly, power dynamics play out differently via email.
Machiavelli's theory of "the end justifies the means" may sound interesting when you're sitting in a college lecture hall, but it has a hollow ring when you have to spend 8-10 hours a day around an employee that is bullying everyone.