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The role of dark side personality characteristics in the workplace has received increasing attention in the organizational sciences and from leadership researchers in…
The role of dark side personality characteristics in the workplace has received increasing attention in the organizational sciences and from leadership researchers in particular. We provide a review of this area, mapping out the key frameworks for assessing the dark side. We pay particular attention to the roles that the dark side plays in leadership processes and career dynamics, with special attention given to destructive leadership. Further, we examine the role that stress plays in the emergence of leaders and how the dark side plays into that process. We additionally provide discussion of the possible roles that leaders can play in producing stress experiences for their followers. We finally illustrate a dynamic model of the interplay of dark leadership, social relationships, and stress in managerial derailment. Throughout, we emphasize a functionalist account of these personality characteristics, placing particular focus on the motives and emotional capabilities of the individuals under discussion.
The paper aims to explore the beliefs of doctors in leadership roles of the concept of “the dark side”, using data collected from interviews carried out with 45 doctors in…
The paper aims to explore the beliefs of doctors in leadership roles of the concept of “the dark side”, using data collected from interviews carried out with 45 doctors in medical leadership roles across Australia. The paper looks at the beliefs from the perspectives of doctors who are already in leadership roles themselves; to identify potential barriers they might have encountered and to arrive at better-informed strategies to engage more doctors in the leadership of the Australian health system. The research question is: “What are the beliefs of medical leaders that form the key themes or dimensions of the negative perception of the ‘dark side’?”.
The paper analysed data from two similar qualitative studies examining medical leadership and engagement in Australia by the same author, in collaboration with other researchers, which used in-depth semi-structured interviews with 45 purposively sampled senior medical leaders in leadership roles across Australia in health services, private and public hospitals, professional associations and health departments. The data were analysed using deductive and inductive approaches through a coding framework based on the interview data and literature review, with all sections of coded data grouped into themes.
Medical leaders had four key beliefs about the “dark side” as perceived through the eyes of their own past clinical experience and/or their clinical colleagues. These four beliefs or dimensions of the negative perception colloquially known as “the dark side” are the belief that they lack both managerial and clinical credibility, they have confused identities, they may be in conflict with clinicians, their clinical colleagues lack insight into the complexities of medical leadership and, as a result, doctors are actively discouraged from making the transition from clinical practice to medical leadership roles in the first place.
This research was conducted within the Western developed-nation setting of Australia and only involved interviews with doctors in medical leadership roles. The findings are therefore limited to the doctors’ own perceptions of themselves based on their past experiences and beliefs. Future research involving doctors who have not chosen to transition to leadership roles, or other health practitioners in other settings, may provide a broader perspective. Also, this research was exploratory and descriptive in nature using qualitative methods, and quantitative research can be carried out in the future to extend this research for statistical generalisation.
The paper includes implications for health organisations, training providers, medical employers and health departments and describes a multi-prong strategy to address this important issue.
This paper fulfils an identified need to study the concept of “moving to the dark side” as a negative perception of medical leadership and contributes to the evidence in this under-researched area. This paper has used data from two similar studies, combined together for the first time, with new analysis and coding, looking at the concept of the “dark side” to discover new emergent findings.
A cursory review of behavioral ethics research reveals a growing interest in what scholars regularly refer to as the “dark side,” a genre of studies in which concepts that…
A cursory review of behavioral ethics research reveals a growing interest in what scholars regularly refer to as the “dark side,” a genre of studies in which concepts that are generally regarded as positive and good are shown to be associated with some sort of negative or bad outcomes. We employ philosophical and institutional lenses to explain why any concept would have a dark side and why researchers would be drawn to it. We then take a social scientific point of view to consider how the dark side of various constructs is typically revealed. Finally, we discuss the implications of dark side research, paying particular attention to the negative implications (no irony intended) focusing on the dark side has for the practice of research and the practice of management.
The full-range leadership theory, and the distinction between transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership behaviour has strongly influenced leadership…
The full-range leadership theory, and the distinction between transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership behaviour has strongly influenced leadership theory and research in the last several decades. However, in spite of its impact on theory and practice, it has a few shortcomings, as, in its essence, it disregards several essential aspects of a leader’s behaviour, such as the dark side of leadership behaviour. Therefore, to capture various leader behaviours, we provide a more comprehensive leadership model named the “complete full range of leadership”.
Based on reviewing the relevant theoretical and empirical literature, we propose an extended theoretical model, which addresses the existing shortcomings of the full range leadership model.
First, we added a new active and more destructive facet of leadership style named active, destructive leadership style. Second, based on existing empirical findings, we restructured the transactional facet of full-range leadership by collapsing its components into two new distinct facets representing active constructive leadership style and passive destructive leadership style. Finally, drawing on Hersey and Blanchard’s model, we add a new passive and constructive facet named passive constructive leadership.
Our suggested “complete full range of leadership” contributes to leadership theory by addressing the gap between existing theory and empirical findings, making a clear distinction between lack of leadership and delegation and by comprising the dark side of leadership with its bright side into one comprehensive leadership model.
A number of years ago, David McClelland, in his studies of managerial motivation, identified two types of power: egoistic (using others for personal gain) and social…
A number of years ago, David McClelland, in his studies of managerial motivation, identified two types of power: egoistic (using others for personal gain) and social (facilitating group cooperation and effort for the achievement of the general good). Clearly, the power motive is intimately related to the concept of leadership. However, over the last several decades, a school of thought has arisen which equates leadership with “doing the right thing”. Defining leadership in such an ethical light is both misleading and dangerous. At the same time, little has been done to address the role of followers in the influence process, and transformational models of leadership have exacerbated this problem. Failure to acknowledge the role of followers and to examine the “dark side” of leader‐follower dynamics can distort efforts to understand influence processes in an authentic way. This paper provides balance to this discussion and identifies a number of critical implications for leadership education.
We review the literature to determine how discretion, defined as the freedom to make decisions, moderates the relationship between leader personality and organizational…
We review the literature to determine how discretion, defined as the freedom to make decisions, moderates the relationship between leader personality and organizational performance. Discretion increases with level in organizations so that top executives have the most discretion and the greatest opportunity to impact organizational performance. We describe how personality drives executive actions and decision making, which then impacts organizational performance; the more discretion a leader has, the more leeway there is for his or her personality to operate. Finally, using research and contemporary business examples, we illustrate the dynamics linking personality, discretionary freedom, and destructive leadership in and of organizations.
This chapter focuses on a proposed framework of irresponsible leadership (IRL) that might emerge in our schools under certain circumstances. A second purpose is to analyze…
This chapter focuses on a proposed framework of irresponsible leadership (IRL) that might emerge in our schools under certain circumstances. A second purpose is to analyze potential ways to prevent its rise, based on previous models of educational leadership. Broadly, IRL is composed of five elements: narrow view of education, a business-like view of the teacher–student relations, a Narcissist and ego-centrist view, self-centered decision making, and emotional unawareness and poor emotion regulation. Unsurprisingly, IRL results in decreased levels of teachers’ and students’ well-being, unethical school climate, a lack of social responsibility in the teacher lounge, and school failure. To prevent these and related results, three major leadership models in education – participative, moral and social justice, and instructional – were analyzed.
This chapter reviews ethical challenges confronting nonprofit administration in relation to organizational managerial practices and leadership behaviors. Through a…
This chapter reviews ethical challenges confronting nonprofit administration in relation to organizational managerial practices and leadership behaviors. Through a theoretical model of nonprofit-specific toxic leadership, it reviews the dynamics of destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments in cases of unethical and corrupt nonprofit organizational behaviors. It provides a case for prioritizing oversight responsibilities of the board of directors, board supervision, promoting ethical culture in organizational leadership, and implementing policies for addressing destructive and corrupt nonprofit leaders. It reflects on how nonprofit toxic leadership primarily erodes public trust in the nonprofit sector and concludes with practical recommendations for recentering positive behaviors congruent with the nonprofit's social and public good mission.
In the past, leadership scholars have tended to focus on leadership as a force for good and productivity (Ashworth, 1994; Higgs, 2009; Padilla, Hogan, & Kaiser, 2007)…
In the past, leadership scholars have tended to focus on leadership as a force for good and productivity (Ashworth, 1994; Higgs, 2009; Padilla, Hogan, & Kaiser, 2007). However, recently attention has been given to the ‘dark side’ of leadership (see Higgs, 2009; Judge, Piccolo, & Kosalka, 2009). The aim of this chapter is to explore dark leadership from the perspective of the narcissistic leader using a fictional character from a popular film.
Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, 1994 (DSM-IV) (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) as an operational definition of narcissistic personality disorder we explore the psychology of the narcissistic leader through a fictional character study in a popular film.
We have created a psychological profile of a narcissistic leader which identifies specific behavioural characteristics within a toxic organizational culture.
This study has implications for employees within any organizational culture. It is significant because it can illustrate how dark leadership can impact negatively within organizations.
The use of actual living persons on which to base case study material in the study of dark leadership is problematic and constrained by ethical issues. However, the use of characters in fiction, such as contemporary film and drama, represents an excellent source of case study material. Given that little empirical works exists on narcissistic leaders and leadership, the chapter adds originality and value to the field.