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Toxic Illusio in the Global Value Chain: The Case of Amazon

Destructive Leadership and Management Hypocrisy

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

Publication date: 8 July 2021


Toxic leadership is often studied from a leader-centric perspective, which focuses on the detrimental outcomes of leaders with destructive ideas and practices. In this chapter, we provide a global value chain (GVC) perspective, which accounts for effects of corporate leadership from inception of a product or service idea to its consumption across the value chain. In particular, we demonstrate how toxic leadership is sustained through an illusio, i.e., the allure of the often-charismatic leadership discourse, which is rendered unaccountable due to lack of global regulation of GVCs. This allows for global organizations and toxic leaders to exploit weaknesses in national-level regulation. Drawing on a netnographic study of toxic leadership in Amazon, we demonstrate how toxic leadership created the illusion of success while perpetuating toxicity and exploitation across their complex value chains internationally.



Mergen, A. and Ozbilgin, M. (2021), "Toxic Illusio in the Global Value Chain: The Case of Amazon", Camgöz, S.M. and Ekmekci, Ö.T. (Ed.) Destructive Leadership and Management Hypocrisy, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 163-178.



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