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Why some leaders qualify for hate: an empirical examination through the lens of followers’ perspective

Gunjan Sharma (Institute of Business Management, GLA University, Mathura, India)
Kushagra Kulshreshtha (Institute of Business Management, GLA University, Mathura, India)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 9 July 2021

Issue publication date: 31 January 2023




The leaders’ perception about self and the opinion of the subordinates about them is crucial to understand why some leaders qualify for hate. Much has been discussed on the positive and ethical side of leadership. However, the research on the darker side of leadership needs more attention. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore the factors along with their impact responsible for hate-for-leaders, a relatively scant area of leadership. This study may facilitate understanding why some leaders become subject to hate despite many efforts by the organization.


For exploring the different factors responsible for hate-for-leaders, a survey was conducted by developing a scale using the focus group, Delphi technique, exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. The results were analysed using structural equation modelling.


The factors responsible for qualifying the leaders for hate were identified. Moreover, the results indicated that the subordinate hate the leaders for his/her unacceptable behaviour/actions which they assume the leader has control over it and exhibited otherwise intentionally on targeted employees. Moreover, some undesirable behaviour of leaders is attributed to fundamental attribution errors i.e. situational factors.

Practical implications

A fully developed scale for assessing the hate-quotient for leaders is proposed. This research will facilitate the managers/leaders as to why some of the followers/employees hate them. This scale provides an opportunity for managers and leaders to introspect themselves for improved workplace relationships and not to encourage sunflower management that seeks to get submissive and aligned-thought employees around the leader.


The fact that the decisions taken by managers/leaders adversely affecting the employees are not always because of malice or wrong intentions but sometimes due to situational factors i.e. fundamental attribution error. Moreover, the scale act as a reference to evaluate the hate-for-leaders in the organizational context.



The editor Prof Peter Stokes, associate editor Prof Peter Scott and anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged for their comments and suggestions.


Sharma, G. and Kulshreshtha, K. (2023), "Why some leaders qualify for hate: an empirical examination through the lens of followers’ perspective", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 430-461.



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