Your manager is a pain in the neck. He takes credit for your ideas, orders you around, second guesses himself and is horribly indecisive. His subordinates can’t stand him. But you are all too scared to complain to the Big Boss – who knows what the repercussions will be? But the Big Boss does get some sense that things are not going well. Some projects don’t work out because they are badly conceived and poorly executed. At one point, she just takes away some of the responsibilities of your manager. At the same time she heaps him with effusive praise. Why?

She and he know that her praise is insincere and that the manager has been demoted. What effect could her insincere praise have?

Even though you know the Big Boss’s statements are empty, does everyone else? You don’t know. Maybe some of them think she means every word she said. They will treat your former manager with respect. You could enlighten them. But that would ruin the workplace atmosphere and make you seem churlish. So you keep your mouth shut. So does everyone else. So you all act as if the Big Bos’s words were true. As you all live the big lie, so can your former manager. He does his work diligently and the Big Boss is happy.