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Corporate Psychopaths and Destructive Leadership in Organisations

Destructive Leadership and Management Hypocrisy

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

Publication date: 8 July 2021


The study of corporate psychopaths has gone from something which some academic peers found somewhat incredible, and even laughable, in 2005, to an area where an increasing amount of research is taking place across many disciplines. The paradigmatic view in 2005 was that psychopaths were criminal and, therefore, to be found in prisons and not in ‘respectable’ corporations. That chapters like this on corporate psychopaths and destructive leadership are now invited in 2020 for inclusion in academic management books that illustrates how relatively quickly the idea that psychopaths are found in corporations has gained acceptance. Nonetheless, destructive, unethical and psychopathic leadership is, by and large, still unexpected in the workplace, and this magnifies its impact as employees struggle to know how to deal with it. Such destructive leadership is also jarring and quite often traumatic for the employees concerned as well as being damaging to the organisations involved. This chapter examines psychopathic leadership and outlines its importance. This subject has been covered before in books and other chapters which describe psychopaths as organisational destroyers and producers of a climate of fear. Therefore, an aim of this chapter is to present some of the most up-to-date findings on corporate psychopaths and how they influence their environment via abusive supervision involving discrimination, ridicule and lowered job satisfaction. Abusiveness and unfairness lead to employees experiencing workplace stress and reduced mental health. The implications of corporate psychopathy for corporate legal responsibility are only just being considered as lawyers, ethicists and philosophers engage with this difficult subject.



Boddy, C.R. (2021), "Corporate Psychopaths and Destructive Leadership in Organisations", Camgöz, S.M. and Ekmekci, Ö.T. (Ed.) Destructive Leadership and Management Hypocrisy, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 67-81.



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