Dark Side Leadership And How They Can Get Into Power

1604 Words7 Pages
Dark-side leadership creates problems for organisations and the individual, the most common form of this being derailment. Smart (1999) estimated that the cost of a failed executive to be $2.7 million. This essay is going to focus on what dark-side leadership is and how they can get into power when the consequences can be so great. The drawbacks of such research will be discussed and alternative explanations explored. Before concluding that an inclusive approach must be adopted. The majority of research into how destructive leaders can get into power has focussed on the individual themselves. Kenny and Zaccaro (1983) investigated leader emergence and found that 48-82% of the variance in leadership emergence was due to personality. The area of ‘dark-side’ leadership lacks coherence around definitions and causations (Slattery, 2009). The majority of this essay will focus on personality explaining dark-side leadership emergence. Firstly, it is important to look at leadership emergence with regards to dark-side traits as proposed by Hogan and Hogan (1997). Dark-side traits are defined as traits that are undesirable, that are present in excess and not traits in which they are lacking (Hogan & Hogan, 2001). They identified 11 subclinical traits that can be present in dark-side leaders, e.g. narcissism, by using the Hogan Development Survey. They are termed ‘subclinical’ because they are perceived to be less prominent than clinical traits – but still measure the degree to which a
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