Destructive Behaviours and Leadership: The Source of the Shift from a Functional to Dysfunctional Workplace?

Anthony Geoffrey Sheard, Nada Kakabadse, Andrew Kakabadse


Destructive leadership behaviour often results in damage to the organisations that the individual is entrusted to lead. Although accurately pinpointing the type of destructive behaviour is difficult, this article seeks to offer suggestions as to why leaders spiral into such unattractive behaviour. After reviewing the literature, this paper highlights four drivers for destructive ways that people act based on detailed qualitative scenarios that involve how those who experienced such behaviour reacted and felt. The study reveals a noticeable human experience from which nobody can escape, and offers understanding of the study participants’ experiences. Out of respect to the participants, the authors keep their identity anonomous. We drew our subjects from a cross-section of organisations that function internationally within one area of the manufacturing industry. The article presents a model comprising two dimensions: 1) the leader’s attitude to the organisation he or she leads and 2) adequacy of his or her leadership capabilities. The models offer us understanding of the drivers of the destructive actions that the leader exhibits. Understanding allows us to provide managers with tactical methods to protect them against destructive behaviour and help them lessen the worst aspects of destructive behaviour in both their colleagues and themselves.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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