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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Clive Roland Boddy

The purpose of this paper is to re-open a debate as to whether candidates for public leadership should be screened for psychopathy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to re-open a debate as to whether candidates for public leadership should be screened for psychopathy.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper which examines the diffuse literature concerning psychopaths in public leadership positions.

Findings

Psychopathy researchers have been divided as to whether psychopathic individuals should be screened out of leadership positions in public and corporate life. Recent evidence from bullying research and historical research into psychopaths in politics sheds new light on this issue.

Practical implications

There is increasing evidence that psychopaths are detrimental to the organisations they work for, to other employees, to the environment and to society. Screening for psychopathy should therefore be considered. This may help to prevent governments entering into illegal wars and committing crimes against humanity. Screening in the corporate sector may also help prevent the worst excesses of greed and fraud that were evident in collapses like Enron and the Mirror Group as well as in the events leading up to the global financial crisis of 2008.

Originality/value

The paper makes a contribution to the literature on public leadership by bringing together the diverse reports on the effects of psychopaths in public organisations like the National Health Service, publicly listed corporations, academia and politics. The paper uses historical and corporate examples to illustrate the initially favourable impression that psychopathic leaders can make but the ultimately disastrous outcomes they engender.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Clive Roland Boddy and Ross Taplin

The purpose of this paper is to investigate job satisfaction and workplace psychopathy.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate job satisfaction and workplace psychopathy.

Design/methodology/approach

Job satisfaction has previously been seen as a function of various constructs. The authors take one step back from the literature to re-examine the relationship not just between job satisfaction, workplace conflict, organizational constraints, withdrawal from the workplace and perceived levels of corporate social responsibility, but also between all of these constructs and the presence of corporate psychopaths.

Findings

The authors find that there is a direct link between corporate psychopaths and job satisfaction. There are also indirect links through variables such as conflict, since corporate psychopaths influence conflict and other variables.

Originality/value

Importantly, the research establishes that psychopathy is the dominant predictor of job satisfaction.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Clive Roland Boddy

Qualitative researchers have been criticised for not justifying sample size decisions in their research. This short paper addresses the issue of which sample sizes are…

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53885

Abstract

Purpose

Qualitative researchers have been criticised for not justifying sample size decisions in their research. This short paper addresses the issue of which sample sizes are appropriate and valid within different approaches to qualitative research.

Design/methodology/approach

The sparse literature on sample sizes in qualitative research is reviewed and discussed. This examination is informed by the personal experience of the author in terms of assessing, as an editor, reviewer comments as they relate to sample size in qualitative research. Also, the discussion is informed by the author’s own experience of undertaking commercial and academic qualitative research over the last 31 years.

Findings

In qualitative research, the determination of sample size is contextual and partially dependent upon the scientific paradigm under which investigation is taking place. For example, qualitative research which is oriented towards positivism, will require larger samples than in-depth qualitative research does, so that a representative picture of the whole population under review can be gained. Nonetheless, the paper also concludes that sample sizes involving one single case can be highly informative and meaningful as demonstrated in examples from management and medical research. Unique examples of research using a single sample or case but involving new areas or findings that are potentially highly relevant, can be worthy of publication. Theoretical saturation can also be useful as a guide in designing qualitative research, with practical research illustrating that samples of 12 may be cases where data saturation occurs among a relatively homogeneous population.

Practical implications

Sample sizes as low as one can be justified. Researchers and reviewers may find the discussion in this paper to be a useful guide to determining and critiquing sample size in qualitative research.

Originality/value

Sample size in qualitative research is always mentioned by reviewers of qualitative papers but discussion tends to be simplistic and relatively uninformed. The current paper draws attention to how sample sizes, at both ends of the size continuum, can be justified by researchers. This will also aid reviewers in their making of comments about the appropriateness of sample sizes in qualitative research.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2021

Clive Roland Boddy, Ross Taplin, Benedict Sheehy and Brendon Murphy

Influential research has posited that empirical investigation provides no evidence for the existence of white-collar/successful psychopaths. The purpose of this current…

Abstract

Purpose

Influential research has posited that empirical investigation provides no evidence for the existence of white-collar/successful psychopaths. The purpose of this current paper is to review evidence for their existence and report on new, primary research that examines ethical outcomes associated with their presence.

Design/methodology/approach

Leading psychopathy researchers called for research using samples of white-collar workers to explore workplace psychopathy. Therefore, the authors undertook a two-stage research process to examine this. Firstly, a structured literature review sought evidence for “corporate psychopaths”, “white-collar psychopaths” and “successful psychopaths” in existing literature. Secondly, original research was undertaken among 261 Australian workers to examine this further.

Findings

Findings indicate that white-collar psychopaths exist. Where they have been found not to exist, investigation reveals that the samples used were inadequate for the purpose of attempting to find them.

Practical implications

Although there is an inconsistent nomenclature, white-collar, industrial, successful, organisational, workplace or corporate psychopaths do exist and are found in white-collar workplaces.

Social implications

Their existence is important because findings indicate that they have a significant, ethically malign and long-lasting impact on employee well-being and organisational ethical outcomes.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is perhaps the first paper to specifically examine the literature for evidence of whether white-collar psychopaths exist. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is also the first paper to determine that corporate psychopaths are linked with aggressive humour, gender discrimination, fake corporate social responsibility and reduced communications integration.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Clive Roland Boddy

Academic qualitative researchers have been criticized for rejecting the idea that their research can establish causality while market and social researchers, with their…

Abstract

Purpose

Academic qualitative researchers have been criticized for rejecting the idea that their research can establish causality while market and social researchers, with their realist and pragmatic approach to research, take for granted that it can. This paper aims to explore the ability of qualitative research to determine cause and effect in terms of market and social phenomena.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature on causality in qualitative research is reviewed and discussed. The discussion is further informed by the author’s own experience of undertaking commercial and academic market and social qualitative research over the past 33 years.

Findings

In qualitative market and social research, the determination of causality is often needed but rarely discussed. This paper explores this occurrence and brings to the fore, via discussion and the use of example, the ways in which causality can be determined by qualitative research.

Practical implications

A determination of what events bring about predictable changes in social and market environments can be established via qualitative research particularly at a probabilistic level of causality. This implies that policymakers should give a greater emphasis to qualitative findings than then sometimes do at the moment.

Originality/value

Causality in market and social research is rarely discussed by practitioners but is nevertheless a premise of much of the qualitative research that is undertaken. This paper is therefore distinctive in that it examines whether this premise is justifiable.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Clive Roland Boddy

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1159

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Clive Roland Boddy

This current paper reviews the theoretical speculations concerning psychopaths in the workplace that were originally presented in a paper published in this journal in…

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3400

Abstract

Purpose

This current paper reviews the theoretical speculations concerning psychopaths in the workplace that were originally presented in a paper published in this journal in 2006. The 2006 paper was called: “The Dark Side of Management Decisions: Organisational Psychopaths”.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a review of the literature on workplace psychopaths since 2006.

Findings

This current paper determines that while many of these prior speculations about workplace psychopaths have since been supported by evidence, several others remain unexplored. This finding suggests that several important avenues for further research remain in this important area. In particular, links between corporate psychopaths, bullying and lowered corporate social responsibility have been established. On the other hand, links between corporate psychopaths, career advancement, fraud, and corporate failure as exemplified in the 2007 global financial crisis, have been under-explored.

Social implications

Corporate psychopaths are worthy of further research because of their impact on society, for example on corporate social responsibility and their willingness to dump toxic waste material illegally.

Originality/value

The paper provides an extensive review of research into corporate psychopaths to date and highlights areas where further investigation would be potentially rewarding.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Clive Roland Boddy and Robin Croft

The purpose of this paper is to make a contribution to knowledge by examining what happens to marketing in a time of toxic leadership, embodied in a corporate psychopath…

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2463

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make a contribution to knowledge by examining what happens to marketing in a time of toxic leadership, embodied in a corporate psychopath, in response to a call for marketers to seek a broader understanding of how marketing operates within organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

Commentators have suggested that concepts outside the usual marketing domain may aid in the gaining of an intra-organisational understanding of how marketing operates. Here, the concept of corporate psychopathy was used to identify a psychopathic UK board director and chief executive officer (CEO) via a constructivist approach to research involving six in-depth interviews. A CEO and a main board director who were measurably psychopathic were studied via these reports.

Findings

The paper examines how corporate psychopaths, as archetypal toxic leaders, are detrimental to marketing. Overseeing the marketing function within the UK part of an established and well-branded multi-national services company, corporate psychopaths capriciously dismantled the marketing initiatives that were in place and needlessly abandoned future marketing plans. Marketing services, marketing ethics, product quality and corporate reputation declined. Good marketers left.

Practical implications

The research demonstrates the dangers to marketing of toxic leadership. The paper also suggests that marketing may be uniquely qualified to deal with toxic leaders because it can, through research, identify them through their effects and behaviour. The results illustrate the value of longitudinal qualitative market research in investigating complex organisational situations.

Originality/value

The paper makes a unique contribution to the marketing field by empirically investigating, for the first time, the influence of a corporate psychopath director and a psychopathic CEO on the marketing function and practice. The research was conducted longitudinally using qualitative market research techniques via in-depth interviews over a two-year period. Longitudinal research aids in establishing causality, and this was evident in this research, as the negative influence of psychopathic leadership was monitored over time.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Clive Roland Boddy

This paper aims to look at some of the implications of organisational psychopaths for organisations and corporations.

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9489

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to look at some of the implications of organisational psychopaths for organisations and corporations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper defines organisational psychopaths as being those psychopaths who exist at an incidence of about 1 percent of the general population and who work in organisations. The paper describes how these organisational psychopaths are able to present themselves as desirable employees and are easily able to obtain positions in organisations. Without the inhibiting effect of a conscience they are then able to ruthlessly charm, lie, cajole and manipulate their way up an organisational hierarchy in pursuit of their main aims of power, wealth and status and at the expense of anyone who gets in their way.

Findings

The paper suggests that, just as criminal psychopaths are responsible for a greater share of crimes than their numbers would suggest, so too organisational psychopaths may be responsible for more than their fair share of organisational misbehaviour including accounting fraud, stock manipulation, unnecessarily high job losses and corporately induced environmental damage.

Originality/value

The paper suggests that having organisational psychopaths running corporations that are themselves, at best, amoral is a recipe for negative consequences.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 44 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Clive Roland Boddy

This paper describes how a simple qualitative market research technique using a projective device called a bubble drawing can be used as a useful feedback device to gain…

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1918

Abstract

This paper describes how a simple qualitative market research technique using a projective device called a bubble drawing can be used as a useful feedback device to gain an understanding of students' views of the teaching effectiveness of a market research lecture. Comparisons are made with feedback gained from teaching observations and insights drawn from this. Some areas for further research are suggested.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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