Destructive Article

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The Leadership Quarterly 18 (2007) 207 – 216 www.elsevier.com/locate/leaqua Destructive leadership behaviour: A definition and conceptual model Ståle Einarsen ⁎, Merethe Schanke Aasland, Anders Skogstad University of Bergen, Norway, Department of Psychosocial Science, Christiesgate 12, N-5015 Bergen, Norway Abstract This paper proposes a definition and a descriptive model of destructive leadership behaviour. Destructive leadership behaviour is defined as the systematic and repeated behaviour by a leader, supervisor or manager that violates the legitimate interest of the organisation by undermining and/or sabotaging the organisation's goals, tasks, resources, and effectiveness and/or the motivation, well-being or job satisfaction of his/her subordinates. Three categories of such destructive leadership are identified in the proposed model: tyrannical, derailed, and supportive–disloyal leadership behaviour. The model may provide a useful link between the field of leadership and research on bullying, counterproductive behaviour, and aggression at work. The model contributes to a more nuanced concept of destructive leadership showing how destructive leadership behaviours also may have constructive elements. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Keywords: Leadership; Destructive; Abusive; Tyrannical; Derailed; Disloyal; Aggression; Deviance 1. Introduction Little research and theory development has addressed destructive leadership behaviours and the potential negative effects of such behaviours on the organisation (Tepper, 2000); comparatively more research has investigated constructive, effective or successful leadership (Kelloway, Mullen, & Francis, 2006). Traditionally, leadership research focuses on factors associated with effective leadership, often with an implicit assumption that ineffective leadership simply reflects the absence of leadership

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