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Destructive Leadership: Explaining, Critiquing, and Moving Beyond Leader-Centric Perspectives

Destructive Leadership and Management Hypocrisy

ISBN: 978-1-80043-181-2, eISBN: 978-1-80043-180-5

Publication date: 8 July 2021


The term “destructive leadership” has been utilized as an overarching expression to refer to various “bad” leader behaviors thought to be associated with damaging outcomes for followers and organizations. Yet, there is a recognition in the broader leadership literature that leadership involves much more than the behaviors of leaders. It is a dynamic, cocreational process that unfolds between leaders, followers, and environments, the product of which results in group outcomes. In this chapter, I argue that in order to achieve a more balanced view on destructive leadership, it is vital to develop more integrative approaches that are grounded in the contemporary leadership discourse and that recognize flawed or toxic leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments as interdependent elements of a broader destructive leadership process. To this end, I provide a critique of the extant literature, propose a broader definition of destructive leadership, and discuss strategies to examine destructive leadership in a broader, holistic manner.



Thoroughgood, C. (2021), "Destructive Leadership: Explaining, Critiquing, and Moving Beyond Leader-Centric Perspectives", Camgöz, S.M. and Ekmekci, Ö.T. (Ed.) Destructive Leadership and Management Hypocrisy, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 3-20.



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