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The Effect of Toxic Leadership

The Effect of Toxic Leadership published on

Authored by U.S. Army War College

When focusing on toxic leadership, many researchers emphasize the symptoms of toxicity (individual characteristics, traits) and not the disease (culture, climate, outcomes). Although characteristics and traits may be helpful in identify toxic leaders, they fall short of a holistic view by failing to identify or discuss how an organization’s culture may contribute to toxicity in its leaders. Culture is a key strategic factor in predicting behaviors and outcomes. An organization’s culture may have a moderating effect on the behavior of its members and may ultimately serve to promote toxic behavior. Toxic leadership is a topic of increasing interest in the military and civilian sectors. In this paper I will examine the possible cause and effect relationship between toxic leaders and the damaging cultures they foster. I will begin by defining toxic leadership; I will then use a classification-oriented approach to analyze the effect of toxic leadership on the elements of organizational culture: values, norms, and behaviors. Finally, I will explore the moderating environmental effects that may increase or mitigate the organization’s vulnerability to the damage caused by toxic leaders. The intent of this paper is to add to the understanding of this significant organizational concern through initial conceptualization and theory.

Publication Date:
Aug 08 2014
1500772690 / 9781500772697
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / International Secur


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