In project management, a death march is a project where the members feel it is destined to fail, or requires a stretch of unsustainable overwork. The general feel of the project reflects that of an actual death march because the members of the project are forced to continue the project by their superiors against their better judgment.
(quote from Wikipedia)
It is creepy to find that some real-life situations are so common that they already have creepy names.
Gamification is a very interesting concept for motivating individuals and teams for business objectives, by using concepts usualy found in games, and more specificaly in computer games. For example, I have been involved in the development of a tool for motivating contact center agents using leaderboards and KPIs.
I have stumbled upon this interesting video/lesson where these concepts are explored for educational purposes:
Recent research has demonstrated that many psychopaths are in control of senior management positions.
“A surprising research has found out that there could be an increased number of psychopaths in high levels of businesses especially at senior managerial positions. This correlation has been demonstrated by a talented undergraduate Carolyn Bate, aged 22, of the University of Huddersfield.
According to Bate, her project was triggered when she read about research which showed that while one percent of population were categorized as psychopaths, the figure rose to three percent when it comes to business managers.”
“Leadership styles are reviewed and reassessed given recent research that links
destructive leadership behaviours exhibited by unscrupulous executives with traits commonly identified as indicators of corporate psychopathy.”
Destructive leadership and the rise of the corporate psychopath
exploration of the ‘dark side’ of leadership is equally critical because of the negative impact that these leaders have on
productivity (Ouimet, 2010),
employee morale (Boddy, 2011)
the financial performance of the organisation (Takala, 2010)
Clinically, psychopathy is a disorder of the personality (Andrews & Furniss, 2009),
involving a lack of empathy and attachment to other s, superficial charisma and charm,
manipulation, and the violation of social norms (Hart, et al., 1994)
Put simply, people without a conscience or empathy may be categorised
as psychopaths (Hare, 1999)
Searching to explain unethical, deviant and criminal executive behaviour, scholars haveidentified a number of corporate executive leaders that portray sub-clinical psychopathy traits,
Such leaders have been referred to in the literature as successful corporate
psychopaths (or executive psychopaths, industrial psychopaths, organisational psychopaths, or organisational sociopaths) in an attempt to distinguish a psychopathic individual operating in
business from other successful psychopaths
Successful corporate psychopaths have been characterised as
shameless, and yet who are also charming, manipulative and ambitious
“It may be the case that higher levels of intelligence facilitate the regulation of emotional responses in individuals with high levelsof psychopathy. Given that psychopaths have been demonstrated to be capable of regulating their GSRs (Steinberg & Schwartz,1975), these individuals may
understand and be able to reproduce normative physiological responses to
evocative stimuli, which could facilitate their remaining undetected in wider
society. Thus, our findings may have implications for understanding the phe-
nomenon of corporate psychopaths (Boddy, Ladyshewsky, & Galvin, 2010)”
Boddy, C. R. (2011). The corporate psychopaths theory of the global financial crisis. Journal of Business Ethics, 102(2), 255-259.
Boddy, C. R. (2010). Corporate psychopaths and organizational type. Journal of Public Affairs, 10(4), 300-312.
Ashforth discussed potentially destructive sides of leadership and identified what he referred to as petty tyrants, i.e.leaders who exercise a tyrannical style of management, resulting in a climate of fear in the workplace.
In a study of public-sector union members, approximately one in five workers reported having considered leaving the workplace as a result of witnessing bullying taking place. Rayner explained these figures by pointing to the presence of a climate of fear in which employees considered reporting to be unsafe, where bullies had “got away with it” previously despite management knowing of the presence of bullying.
Typology of bullying behaviours
With some variations, the following typology of workplace bullying behaviours has been adopted by a number of academic researchers. The typology uses five different categories. 
Threat to professional status – including belittling opinions, public professional humiliation, accusations regarding lack of effort, intimidating use of discipline or competence procedures
Threat to personal standing – including undermining personal integrity, destructive innuendo and sarcasm, making inappropriate jokes about target, persistent teasing, name calling, insults, intimidation
Isolation – including preventing access to opportunities, physical or social isolation, withholding necessary information, keeping the target out of the loop, ignoring or excluding
Overwork – including undue pressure, impossible deadlines, unnecessary disruptions.
Destabilisation – including failure to acknowledge good work, allocation of meaningless tasks, removal of responsibility, repeated reminders of blunders, setting target up to fail, shifting goal posts without telling the target.
Abusive workplace behaviours
According to Bassman, common abusive workplace behaviours are:
Disrespecting and devaluing the individual, often through disrespectful and devaluing language or verbal abuse
Overwork and devaluation of personal life (particularly salaried workers who are not compensated)
Harassment through micromanagement of tasks and time
Overevaluation and manipulating information (for example concentration on negative characteristics and failures, setting up subordinate for failure).
Managing by threat and intimidation
Stealing credit and taking unfair advantage
Preventing access to opportunities
Downgrading an employee’s capabilities to justify downsizing
Impulsive destructive behaviour
Bullying in information technology
Another interesting article about the subject, focusing in IT :
Downsizing is an enterprise management practice used for different reasons in different contexts. It has been widely studied in research literature.
For an introduction to the topic (and to be prepared to deal with it if it knocks on your door), I recomend the following articles. I recomend you to take a special look at the sections regarding the impact and consequences in the company culture and in survivors.