Psychopathic leadership a case study of a corporate psychopath CEO

Boddy, Clive R. (2017) Psychopathic leadership a case study of a corporate psychopath CEO. Journal of Business Ethics, 145 (1) . pp. 141-156. ISSN 0167-4544 (doi:10.1007/s10551-015-2908-6)

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This longitudinal case study reports on a charity in the UK which gained a new CEO who was reported by two middle managers who worked in the charity, to embody (respectively) all or most of the ten characteristics within a measure of corporate psychopathy. The leadership of this CEO with a high corporate psychopathy score was reported to be so poor that the organisation was described as being one without leadership and as a lost organisation with no direction. This paper outlines the resultant characteristics of the ensuing aimlessness and lack of drive of the organisation involved. Comparisons are made to a previous CEO in the same organisation, who was reportedly an authentic, effective and transformational leader. Outcomes under the CEO with a high corporate psychopathy score were related to bullying, staff withdrawal and turnover as effective employees stayed away from and/or left the organisation. Outcomes also included a marked organisational decline in terms of revenue, employee commitment, creativity and organisational innovativeness. The paper makes a contribution to both leadership and to corporate psychopathy research as it appears to be the first reported study of a CEO with a high corporate psychopathy score.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: First online: 19 October 2015
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 18311
Notes on copyright: The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access at
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Depositing User: Clive Boddy
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2015 10:52
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 18:02

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