Destructive Leadership

S. Bartholomew Craig and Robert B. Kaiser

in The Oxford Handbook of Leadership

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398793
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Destructive Leadership


This chapter investigates the other side of leadership effectiveness: destructive leadership. It brings the conceptual clarity to the “dark side” of leadership, and determines the “six distinct areas of inquiry relevant to destructive leadership”: unethical leadership, “the dark side of charisma, narcissistic leadership, abusive supervision, toxic leadership, and negligent, or laissez-faire, leadership.” Leadership roles facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. The construct of unethical leadership is significant for both the decision-making and interpersonal influence that link leader behavior and organizational outcomes. The dark side of charisma has obvious implications for leaders' destructive effects on organizational outcomes via the interpersonal path. The consequences of laissez-faire leadership for destructive decision making would appear to be a potentially fruitful and relatively untapped avenue for future research. It is noted that setting the stage for a future theory will incorporate the bright and dark sides of leadership within a single framework.

Keywords: destructive leadership; leadership effectiveness; dark side; unethical leadership; charisma; narcissistic leadership; abusive supervision; toxic leadership; laissez-faire leadership

Article.  11917 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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