The Dark Side Of Leadership Essay

The Dark Side Of Leadership Essay

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“Dark side” leadership can cause significant harm to the organization and its members, yet individuals with these tendencies still reach positions of power since dark side characteristics are hard to detect and easy to overlook. Dark side characteristics is describe as undesirable characteristics that affect the relationship between supervisors and followers and his or her success at creating a cohesive team (Hogan, Curphy & Hogan, 1994). They can include characteristics such as narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy (Harms, Spain & Hannah, 2011), moderate and functional versions of personality disorders (Hogan & Hogan, 2001) or more exaggerated form of bright side traits (Kaiser, LeBreton, & Hogan, 2015). However, these features are present along with other valuable capabilities (Hogan & Kaiser, 2005) and are unlikely to cause destruction without the right conditions and followers (Padilla, Hogan & Kaiser, 2007) which makes it possible for individuals to reach top positions before any destructiveness is obvious.
Leaders can cause destruction to an organization in many ways, they may exhibit behaviors that hinder the organization’s success or reduce the effectiveness of subordinates or behaviors that harm both (Einarsen, Aasland & Skogstad, 2007). According to Padilla et al. “Toxic Triangle” model (2007) destruction is not an outcome brought about solely by the leader but rather the interaction between elements of the environment, followers and leader because of this it may not be clear that certain leader characteristics may cause harm especially if the leaders are delivering results.
Accordingly, individuals who rise in the organizational hierarchy are often individuals who are competent, this holds true for leaders with...


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...ted the surrounding people to see the strain being put on the subordinates by the dysfunctional side of leadership that was once ignored.
As there are numerous dark side traits all varying greatly in how they manifest, there are also numerous ways an individual with dark side characteristics can achieve position of power depending on the nature of the trait. Certain individuals may need to rely on the situation to ascend into high positions, while others really on elements of the dark side trait itself. Still others rise through their technical competency but later develop undesirable characteristics once in position of power. Dark side traits are difficult to detect as they are incredibly varied and only cause major problems when other conditions are in place. Furthermore dark side leadership can often be ignored because it is present along with many good traits.

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