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The Relationship Among Dysfunctional Leadership Dispositions, Employee Engagement, Job Satisfaction, and Burnout

This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.

Terence G. Leary Florida Gulf Coast University Raymond Green and Katy Denson Texas A & M University at Commerce Gerald Schoenfeld Florida Gulf Coast University Tracy Henley and Hal Langford Texas A & M University at Commerce

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine, from the subordinate’s perspective, the relationship of dysfunctional leadership dispositions to employee engagement, job satisfaction and burnout. Design/methodology/ approach: A field study survey was used to capture three categories of dysfunctional dispositions and three employee variables from employees engaged in dyadic relationships with leaders. Multiple regression analysis was used to test relationships hypothesized to exist between dysfunctional behaviors and employee engagement, job satisfaction, and burnout. Findings: Leadership factors associated with intimidation and avoiding others have a significant relationship with employee engagement, job satisfaction, and burnout. In this case, factors associated with charm, manipulation,
Terence G. Leary, Department of Psychology, Florida Gulf Coast University & Terence G. Leary & Associates; Raymond Green and Katy Denson, Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University at Commerce; Gerald Schoenfeld, Lutgert College of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University; Tracy Henley, Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University at Commerce; Hal Langford, College of Business & Entrepreneurship, Texas A & M University at Commerce. The authors thank Ashley Palmer, Consultant at Hogan Associates, for her outstanding customer service and support regarding the study. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Terence G. Leary, PhD, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Boulevard South, Ft. Myers, Florida 33965. E-mail: or
The Psychologist-Manager Journal 2013, Vol. 16, No. 2, 112–130 © 2013 American Psychological Association 1088-7156/13/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/h0094961

2003. More extensive scrutiny of both overt and covert dysfunctional dispositions should occur during the leader-hiring process and for succession planning in order to prevent the ascension of highly dysfunctional leaders. Lombardo. Multisource data are especially encouraged to overcome the limitations of data collected from one source. Tepper.7 million per leader (Devries & Kaiser. Einarsen. Ruderman. such as dysfunctional characteristics. 2009). Aasland. managerial incompetence is devastating to employee engagement and job satisfaction. and burnout. job satisfaction. Torsheim. Smart. Too strong a focus on leadership strengths obscures the notion that leadership weaknesses exist. Originality/value: While many studies explore the functional side of leadership. 2007. and building alliances appear unrelated to employee engagement. the popularity and delusional optimism of positive psychology has led to excessive focus on leadership strengths (Kaiser. and burnout. Counterbalancing the strengths-only perspective. 2009) to the detriment of failure to address weaknesses demonstrated by leaders. & Cox. 75% of working adults rate their direct superior as the most stressful aspect of their job. addressing weaknesses as well. 2008). 2007. ingratiation. there may be other frameworks of equal or greater merit that elucidate the relationship between dysfunctional leader dispositions and employee engagement. employee engagement. Practical limitations/implications: Although a framework for examining dysfunctional leadership was used in this study. job satisfaction. 2000). 1988). Hogan and Hogan (2009) developed an assessment termed the Hogan Development Scale (HDS) to measure dysfunctional dispositions on the basis of Horney’s (1950) taxon- . Historically. & Hetland. 1994. 2010. degrading their quality of life (Hogan. and contributes significantly to employee burnout. Adjusted for inflation. Curphy. Skogstad. Furthermore. provides a balanced perspective for developing leaders. burnout Manifested as an abundance of dysfunctional dispositions.Relationship Among Dysfunctional Leadership 113 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. and burnout. A strengths-only perspective is misguided and simplistic (Kaiser. and burnout from the subordinate’s perspective. Hogan. & McCauley. job satisfaction. 1999). the estimated costs of failed managers ranges from $500 thousand to $2. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. & Kaiser. which increases derailment (Gentry. job satisfaction. job satisfaction. Improved organizational effectiveness is attainable by identifying and modifying leadership strengths and dysfunctional dispositions that influence employee engagement. Keywords: dysfunctional leadership. causing enormous medical costs (Ashford. Practical implications: Dysfunctional dispositions may produce significant behaviors in leaders that influence an employee’s ability to function in an organization and jeopardize organizational success. Mondore. few examine the relationship between overt and covert dysfunctional leader dispositions and employee engagement. Bad managers cause misery among subordinates and are major health hazards.

g. Horney’s initial taxonomy of 10 neurotic needs was later summarized into three overarching themes. However. Moving Against. and argumentative).g. subordinates. is characterized by individuals who manage insecurities by avoiding true connection with others.. and do not always include leaders. Colorful (e... and ultimately from a business perspective.g.. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. the mechanism includes the following five dispositions: Excitable (e. For example. aloof. As a dysfunction. and grandiose).g. dysfunction topics such as aggressive and antisocial behaviors are fragmented (Griffin & Lopez. these mechanisms are Diligent (e. As a dysfunction. dysfunction in organizations is a topic that appears in various forms in literature. involves dealing with self-doubts by behaving in dominant and intimidating ways. eager to please. cynical.g. The first.. involves attempts to manage one’s insecurities by building alliances in which the threat of criticism is minimized. . acts of workplace violence. The third theme.g. uncommunicative. and passively aggressive). excitable. leisurely.g. and frequently missed due dates) both manifest and reflect the strength of these underlying dysfunctional dispositions (e. yelling.. Some studies focus on the combined effect of the position and power of both target and instigator.. These characteristics or dysfunctional dispositions are not discrete behaviors that negatively impact an organization. narcissistic. quietly resentful.114 Leary et al. but are pervasive.g.g.g. and Leisurely (e. passively avoidant). Aquino and Byron (2002) suggest that workgroup members who exhibit either high or low levels of dominating behavior reported being more frequent targets of personally injurious behaviors than those who were perceived as moderately dominating.... detached. key stakeholders (Hogan & Hogan. As a dysfunction (Hogan & Hogan. impulsive and nonconforming). Moving Toward.. dramatic and distractible). omy of flawed interpersonal tendencies.. procrastination. distrustful.g. indecisive and reluctant to take risks). Cortina and Magley (2009) found that employees who experienced frequent and varied incivility from instigators who were perceived as powerful generally appraised these uncivil encounters more negatively. eccentric). 2009). The second theme. overly meticulous and inflexible) and Dutiful (e. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Moving Away from people. volatile. creative. Cautious (e. The probability of counterproductive behaviors (e.. 2009). Reserved (e.g. reluctant to act.g. DYSFUNCTION IN ORGANIZATIONS Though sparse in comparison to a strength-based approach. arrogant. stubbornness. and dependent). and bold dispositions). frequent emotional outbursts). this mechanism involves Bold (e. namely. and Imaginative (e. more subtle patterns that create problems for managers. Skeptical (e. 2005). Mischievous (e.

and accelerate burnout (Hogan. evaluating both functional and dysfunctional leadership characteristics.. overt outbursts.. Folger and Skarlicki (1998) argued that a perceived cause-effect relationship between mismanagement and the need for workforce reductions coupled with a curt. reduce job satisfaction. (1988). and the realization that research is badly needed to link relationships between these variables (Boddy. and destroy careers across industries—prompted the notion that leadership failure is related more to the presence of undesirable dysfunctional qualities than to a lack of functional or desired qualities. and Hogan (2007). 2007. Literature that draws from grounded theory is needed to both identify sources of dysfunction and define it within a framework of leaders/ superiors and followers/subordinates. arrogant actions. and Gentry et al. and insensitivity to others. from subordinates’ perspective. (1988). MillikenDavies. in addition to consistent perspectives and taxonomies developed by Finkelstein (2003). Logically extended.. inadvertently reinforces higher levels of abusive supervision. Eichlinger and Lombardo (2003). BALANCED RESEARCH A shift to a balanced perspective. accelerate burnout. these behaviors disengage. 2010). abrupt notification process can be perceived as abusive. Disparate terminology used to investigate abusive behaviors on subordinates overlaps (Tepper. Moss. Some studies delve into deeper sources of dysfunction. converge on personality defects characterized by deficient interpersonal skills. is attributed to Bentz (1985). Lombardo et al.. 2006).g. and Duffy (2011) also argue for a causal relationship in which perceived deep levels of leader-subordinate dissimilarity evoke perceived relationship conflict. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Hogan et al. Tepper. frequently missed commitments. precipitating hostility and rage among laid-off recipients. 1988). this cycle. in turn. and resentful comments) associated with these deficiencies disrupt the interpersonal relationships needed to build a team and corrupt the judgment needed to guide performance (Hogan et al. which produces lower evaluations of subordinate performance. (2007). 2007). troubled relationships. making it difficult to construct meaning from a fragmented literature. Identification of dysfunctional characteristics— derailers that devastate employee morale. Dysfunctional characteristics are less about lacking the right stuff and more about possessing the wrong stuff (Lombardo et al. and Hogan (1993). In an early study of employee dysfunction. McCall and Lombardo (1983). 2010).Relationship Among Dysfunctional Leadership 115 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. . Dotlich and Cairo (2003). Leadership behaviors (e. exploring issues such as leadership psychopathology and employee mental health. Subsequent reviews and findings by Lombardo et al. and Arneson.

active.. since most researchers concentrate on lack of functional rather than presence of dysfunctional traits and the resultant behaviors. leisurely/reserved. Results from a meta-analysis linking personality to leadership using the FFM suggested a significant relationship between these functional dimensions and leadership effectiveness (Judge. Dysfunctional characteristics can be either overt. and existential (offering meaning). 2010). agreeableness. cognitively. JOB SATISFACTION. DYSFUNCTIONAL LEADERSHIP This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. and describe social performance (reputation) at its best. Schmidt. Hogan.g.. and conscientiousness. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Environmental circumstances (e. Ivies. and Hogan (1994) suggested that the traditional Five Factor Model (FFM) represents functional personality characteristics (Cullen. 2000). 2002). openness to experience. & Hayes. 2002. Hogan. DYSFUNCTION AND ENGAGEMENT. Dysfunctional characteristics aligned with counterproductive behaviors neutralize or degrade job performance and interfere with the ability to capitalize on strengths revealed through the FFM (Hogan & Hogan. 2007. 2007). 2007). High scores reflect strengths (presence of the right stuff). Bono. emotional stability. Hogan et al. 2001).. neither subsumed by the FFM dimensions nor measured on the same continuum. Little attention is given to dysfunctional dispositions as correlates of employee outcomes and perceptions. Dysfunctional dispositions reflect a negative side of personality (Borden & Buckingham.g. Engagement during work performance is simultaneously cognitive (consistent with identity). excitable) or covert. AND BURNOUT Employee Engagement Kahn’s (1990) definition of engagement includes a harnessing of organization members to work roles.116 Leary et al. the presence of these tendencies does not reflect the absence of functional characteristics. & Gerhardt. passive. emotional (positive affect). Disengagement refers to work role uncoupling.g. The FFM dimensions include extroversion. The conceptual distinction between functional and dysfunctional personality dispositions was further clarified by Hogan and colleagues (Benson & Campbell. characterized by withdrawal and defensiveness either physically. they represent a distinctly different construct from the FFM. and indirect (e. Employee engagement is not job satisfaction (a cognitive . 2009). personality of managers) directly influence employee engagement (Harter. and manifest (e. rather. 1990). Curphy... Skogstad et al. or emotionally (Kahn. physical (motivating effort).

job satisfaction. . Similarly. The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. nonspecific feedback. This negative affective state (frustration) may prevail. 2002. Within the Moving Against category. Harter. creating dissatisfaction at work until leaders effectively communicate and provide direct feedback. may divert valuable attention from the task to self-protection and preservation. employees may feel threatened (negative affective state) and withdraw and disengage. or unavailable) aligned with Reserved and those associated with Leisurely (untimely. 2002.g.g. enthusiasm and purpose).Relationship Among Dysfunctional Leadership 117 and affective state only). 2006). Kahn. 2004. 1990). the relationship of the behaviors aligned with three categories of dysfunctional leader dispositions (Moving Away. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Within Moving Away. 2009). Harter. absorption (e. not visible.. or organizational commitment (an aspect of engagement without positive affect. & Hayes.g. characterized by acts of disrespect (derogatory comments and/or blaming others). divert energy from meaningful This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. from a subordinate’s perspective.. Schmidt. Leader personality modifies employee engagement. which in turn mediates behavior (Hogan & Hogan. negative impact on employee engagement. clearly aligns with Kahn’s perspective (engagement). job involvement (a source of positive self-worth). Moving Against. organizational success. Links between leadership and employee engagement and between employee engagement and corporate performance make leadership gaps an urgent concern (Leslie & Chandrasekar. 2004. reducing engagement among subordinates. Schmidt. 2009). dysfunctional leader behaviors (argumentative and retaliatory) associated with the Skeptical disposition result in hesitation to act (reduced vigor). and burnout. overt dysfunctional leader behaviors associated with the Excitable disposition. Good leadership enhances employee engagement (Hogan & Hogan. & Keyes. and financial performance (Bates. Covert dysfunctional leader behaviors (infrequent communication. 2009). Behaviors such as infrequent communication (reserved) and unclear or untimely dialogue (leisurely) frustrate employees. feeling threatened and humiliated is a negative affective state that may reduce vigor and absorption (key components of engagement). Richman. private comments degrading top management) may have an insidious. Baumruk. positive affect). Moving Toward) as correlates of employee engagement. The purpose of this study is to extend the HDS as a framework for examining. physical/motivating effort). Employee engagement predicts employee outcomes. cognitively. and dedication/ meaningfulness (e. and emotionally during role performance.. which measures vigor (e. such as yelling and belittling. This synergy provides a useful way to measure engagement as people express themselves physically. “dark side” leader behaviors associated with the Bold disposition.

with a low likelihood of execution and/or success.118 Leary et al. avoiding tough decisions. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. job satisfaction is not synonymous with employee engagement. thereby limiting engagement. Finally. Dysfunctional leader behaviors (deceptive actions and taking cavalier risks) associated with the Mischievous disposition may negatively impact leader credibility. unrealistic alternatives. Within the Moving Toward category. Feeling exposed by a leader’s inaction and/or threatened by his or her lack of support (increasing employee vulnerability) redirects energy toward selfpreservation and may also limit employee engagement. work to that of self-protection and preservation. Feeling angry and humiliated (negative affective state) fosters disengagement as well as retaliation. This may erode their dedication to tasks. broadly encompassing characteristics of . This discussion provides the foundation for the following hypotheses: Hypothesis 1a: Moving away dysfunctional dispositions are negatively correlated with engagement. Feeling vulnerable and exposed to impulsive. Hypothesis 1c: Moving toward dysfunctional dispositions are negatively correlated with engagement. dysfunctional behaviors (inaction. and not backing subordinates) of the Dutiful leader divert the subordinate’s preoccupation with tasks to self-preservation. Overbearing actions and/or frequent criticisms erode engagement and reduce satisfaction with the employment situation. Job Satisfaction As previously stated. poorly calculated risks. Hypothesis 1b: Moving against dysfunctional dispositions are negatively correlated with engagement. overt dysfunctional behaviors (excessive micromanagement and frequent criticism) of the Diligent disposition may redirect employees’ attention from the task to feelings of anger and frustration (negative affect) toward the immediate leader. Finally. it is a cognitive (consistent with identity) and emotional state (positive affect) lacking motivational and existential components. employees might divert energy from the task to seeking more prudent leadership. Though job satisfaction lacks the unique. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. dysfunctional leader behaviors (overcommitting and poor listening skills) within the Colorful disposition and those (impractical solutions and eccentric suggestions) aligned with the Imaginative disposition may divert employees’ attention from the development of meaningful solutions to that of frivolous.

1988. Hypothesis 2b: Moving against dysfunctional dispositions are correlated negatively with job satisfaction. the isomorphic link between these constructs reinforces the supposition that job satisfaction is a facet of employee engagement (Harter.Relationship Among Dysfunctional Leadership 119 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. and Jackson (1996) argued that burnout is a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job. the following hypotheses were developed: Hypothesis 2a: Moving away dysfunctional dispositions are correlated negatively with job satisfaction. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Reduced personal efficacy suggests dissatisfaction relative to job accomplishments. creating in all likelihood. Maslach. As a syndrome. humiliation). . Hypothesis 2c: Moving toward dysfunctional dispositions are correlated negatively with job satisfaction. Therefore. & Leiter. Schaufeli. Macey & Schneider. 2006). and Reserved (not visible and unavailable) may accelerate emotional exhaustion and increase cynicism. Richman. Dysfunctional leader behaviors (demeaning comments and deflecting blame) within the Bold disposition will redirect energy to self-protection and preservation. Leiter. this is defined by three dimensions. As a result. engagement. Increased cynicism reflects callous. Emotional exhaustion is the depletion of emotional and physical resources. dehumanized perceptions of others. the relationship between dysfunctional leader behaviors and job satisfaction within all three categories should parallel. Maslach. The development of this empirically based. & Hayes. Schmidt. Within the Moving Away category. 2001). that of employee engagement. Leisurely (passively aggressive acts). multidimensional model dominates the burnout literature (Leiter & Maslach. Skeptical (frequent arguments and retaliatory acts). Burnout Schaufeli. Chronic exposure to such stressors may engender emotional exhaustion and cynicism. Cautious (not decisive). Harter. 2002. 2008. & Keyes. a negative affective state (withdrawal. diversion of energy from a state of eustress (positive emotion) to that of distress (negative emotion) may rapidly erode within the employment arrangement. frequently demonstrated dysfunctional behaviors associated with one or more of the following states— Excitable (yelling and belittling). As a result. Schmidt. 2002.

job satisfaction. The model tested in this study is shown in Figure 1. (b) job satisfaction. Physical and emotional stressors associated with these dispositions may also divert positive energy (eustress) from the task to feeling threatened and distressed (a negative affective state). Based on this discussion. Colorful (excessive commitments). the nine hypotheses developed above suggest a model of dysfunctional dispositions correlating with three employee self-perceptions: (a) employee engagement. and (c) burnout. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.120 Leary et al. Taken together. Prolonged exposure to the dysfunctional leadership behaviors associated with Dutiful (inaction and not backing employees) and/or Diligent (criticism and frequent nitpicking) dispositions may engender distrust and increase frustration. and Imaginative (unrealistic. Figure 1. and burnout. Hypothesis 3b: Moving against dysfunctional disposition are positively correlated with burnout. we offer the following hypothesis: Hypothesis 3a: Moving away dysfunctional dispositions are positively correlated with burnout. These interpersonal stressors may redirect energies from the task to that of seeking more prudent leadership. impractical alternatives) dispositions may reduce trust and/or credibility with the leader. Other dysfunctional behaviors associated with Mischievous (deceptive acts). . A model of dysfunctional dispositions and bivariate relationships (positive [ϩ] or negative [Ϫ]) to employee engagement. Hypothesis 3c: Moving toward dysfunctional disposition are positively correlated with burnout. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.

median ϭ 30. Each participant assessed his or her immediate leader in terms of dysfunctional dispositions. etc. Following approval by the respective deans at all institutions and the approval of the study by the institutional review boards (IRBs) of the host universities. Participants were given two weeks to complete the survey assessment. Participants were directed to complete four assessment instruments on the survey. The invitation to participate included a welcome statement and an informed consent form. Measurement The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) is a 168-item. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. and eligible students were invited to participate in the online survey.Relationship Among Dysfunctional Leadership 121 METHOD Participants This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. Ninety-three respondents (62%) were women and 57 (38%) were men. reporting to an immediate manager for at least 6 months. SD ϭ 11. categorized into three . The completion time for all four surveys was approximately 40 min. including identification and demographic items (age and gender).) were removed to maximize data integrity. the instructors were notified. Both were embedded in the welcome/eligibility statement. Two reminders were sent to all eligible individuals who consented to participate.8 (minimum ϭ 18. maximum ϭ 68. Procedures Agreement was secured by Hogan Assessment Systems (HAS) to provide a platform for all four assessment instruments. Only participants born in the United States were eligible to participate. because of the possible impact of cultural differences regarding what constitutes dysfunctional dispositions. All participants completed a survey online.79). the email addresses were collected. Study requirements restricted participation to subjects who worked at least 30 hours per week. who assigned them to prospective participants. which was used to collect data for the study. self-reporting questionnaire assessing 11 dysfunctional dispositions. Incomplete assessments (missing data. The HAS provided unique user IDs and passwords to a student administrator. A convenience sample included 150 participants consisting of 110 undergraduate and 40 graduate MBA students attending three universities located in the southern United States. misaligned IDs or passwords. The mean age was 31.

The HDS identifies applicants whose behaviors erode relationships because of flawed interpersonal strategies.122 Leary et al. Hogan & Hogan. Therefore. Participants were instructed to respond to each item from the perspective of their immediate leader. and Moving Toward). Sample items included “When I am working. High scores on vigor. 2002). five. 2005. This instrument consists of three scales. An overall employee engagement score was determined by obtaining the mean of all items. the best data source to assess an individual’s leadership style may be subordinates in the work unit. and six. 2008). Wang. Dotlich & Cairo. 2007. operational validities of observer ratings linking FFM traits to overall leader performance were significantly more accurate than self-reported ratings (Oh. Moscoso & Salgado. High HDS scores indicate an increased likelihood that dysfunctional behaviors will emerge under stressful conditions. & Bakker. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. although the psychometrics (HDS) was based on self-reported data. Furnam & Crump. each composed of several items. Ozer. and Mount (2011) reinforce the extraordinary value and incremental advantage of using other (observer) reports to assess a leader’s personality. .” A unique aspect of this study focused on subordinates’ assessments of an immediate leader’s dysfunctional dispositions (from the perspective of the “eye of the beholder”) versus a leader’s self-assessment of these characteristics. 2004). In fact. Meta-analytic studies by both Connelly and Ones (2010) and Oh. Moving Against. The conceptual derivation of the 11 Hogan Development Survey scales from Horney’s (1950) three-themed taxonomy aligns with empirical results reported by several researchers (Benson & Campbell. dedication. Sample items included “I feel fairly well satisfied with my present job” and “I find real enjoyment in my work.” This The BrayfieldRothe instrument was previously utilized in prior leadership studies (Bono & Judge.” Job satisfaction was assessed using the Brayfield and Rothe (1951) instrument. as in an upward feedback process. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Salanova. dedication. 2009. 2003. 2007. & Mount. According to Kaiser and Overfield (2010). absorption. Wang. global scales aligned with Horney’s (1950) concept of flawed interpersonal tendencies (Moving Away. Responses for five items on a Likert scale ranged from Never (0) to Strongly Agree (6). I forget everything else around me” and “My job inspires me. 2011). Schaufeli. Six items capture vigor. subordinates’ ratings of immediate leaders were considered a viable alternative to evaluating a leader’s performance/disposition. and absorption indicate engagement. Sample items included “My mood can change quickly” and “I take pride in organizing my work. All items were scored on a seven-point frequency rating scale ranging from Never (0) to Always (6). Employee engagement was assessed using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (WES. Gonzales-Roma.

job satisfaction.05 was used to assess the significance of the relationships implied by the model.82 Ϫ0.73 0.63. employee engagement.27 0.37 52. The reliability coefficients for Moving Away. A positive Table 1. and burnout exceeded 0. since it has been shown to be reliable in other studies. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.91 Ϫ0.01.09 Ϫ0. the Moving Toward construct was included in subsequent analyses.02 0.39‫ء‬ 0. Ordinary least squares multiple regression analysis was used to test the nine hypotheses discussed and developed in this study.91 Cronbach’s alpha is shown on the diagonal. .85‫ء‬ Ϫ0.27.35 2. Standardized beta values and associated p values are reported to suggest support or no support for the hypotheses.05 0. A p value of .16 24.97 4.13 3 4 5 6 Moving away Moving against Moving toward Engagement Job satisfaction Burnout 78. 3.35‫ء‬ Ϫ0. The Moving Away construct indicated a negative relationship with employee engagement (␤ ϭ Ϫ0. Maslach et al. suggesting support for H1a. and for completeness in examining the dysfunctional dispositions identified in the extant literature (Hogan & Hogan.10 23. 2001).93 0.23 1 0.24 0. SDs..” RESULTS Means.05 Ϫ0. Burnout was assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS.44‫ء‬ 0. Intercorrelations. and professional efficacy.82‫ء‬ 0. 2009). suggesting adequate internal reliability for research in the social sciences.21 1.92 1. Moving Against. intercorrelations. and Cronbach’s alpha values for the variables used in this study are shown in Table 1.01). cynicism. 2. Sample items included “I feel emotionally drained from my work” and “I feel burnout from my work.04 Ϫ0. 4.01). p value Ͻ0. SDs. Maslach et al. 1988. 6.02 Ϫ0. H2a was similarly supported with a negative relationship between Moving Away and job satisfaction (␤ ϭ Ϫ0.24 64. as illustrated in Figure 1. Although low in comparison to the reliability coefficients calculated for the other constructs in the study.81.7. 2001). Means.22‫ء‬ 0.74‫ء‬ 0. The reliability calculated for the Moving Toward construct was 0.22 3. a ‫ء‬ SD 17. 5. The development of this empirically based. multidimensional survey dominates the field (Leiter & Maslach. This instrument consists of three subscales composed of exhaustion.Relationship Among Dysfunctional Leadership 123 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.62 1. p value Ͻ0. p Ͻ . and Reliability M 1..44‫ء‬ 2 0. An overall burnout score was calculated by averaging the scores of all items on the scale.

A trend toward significance was demonstrated by the Excitable disposition (overt aggression). relationship between Moving Away and burnout suggests support for H3a (␤ ϭ 0. however.233‫ءءء‬ Leisurely (ß) Ϫ0. even though a trend toward significance was evident for the leisurely disposition.38 for employee engagement.054. DISCUSSION Results of this study partially support Horney’s model (1950) of dysfunctional dispositions. job satisfaction. suggesting that from the employee’s perspective.111 0. for employee engagement and Leisurely.200‫ءء‬ denotes a trend toward significance. These results are summarized in Table 1. A key discovery (regression analyses) regarding the relative contribution of dysfunctional dispositions to the multivariate equation indicated that covert manifestations (behaviors). leader behavior aligned with Excitable. . The hypotheses related to Moving Against and Moving Toward were not supported. p ϭ 0. may negatively impact the criteria variables to a much greater degree.124 Leary et al. neither Reserved nor Excitable dispositions contributed significantly to the multivariate equation.147‫ء‬ Reserved (ß) Ϫ0. as predictors of employee engagement. Specifically.01).061. associated with passive aggression. and burnout. for burnout.148 Ϫ0. for job satisfaction and Excitable (ß). Summary Table: Contribution of Beta Factors for Dysfunctional Dispositions Within Moving Away Findings Variable Employee engagement Job satisfaction Burnout ‫ء‬ Excitable (ß) Ϫ0.65. both reserved (passively avoidant) and leisurely (passively aggressive) dispositions contributed to the equation. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. For job satisfaction.229‫ءءء‬ 0.172‫ء‬ Ϫ0.144 Ϫ0. none (three dispositions) contributed to the equation (Table 2). Even though a trend toward significance was demonstrated by the Excitable disposition.63 for job satisfaction. SkeptiTable 2.05 level. 2009). For employee engagement. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. The Moving Away category correlated with all three constructs. the Leisurely (passive aggression) disposition alone contributed significantly to the equation.43 for burnout. this did not contribute significantly to the multivariate equation. for burnout and Excitable (ß1). as modeled by Hogan and Hogan (2001. and 0.166‫ء‬ 0. 0. Squared multiple correlations for the three variables were 0. p ϭ 0. ‫ ءءء‬denotes a statistically significant contributor to the multivariate equation at p Ͻ . ‫ ءء‬denotes a statistically significant contributor to the multivariate equation at the p Ͻ . p value Ͻ0.01 level.088. (ß) p ϭ .

The important discovery that covert versus overt dysfunctional leadership dispositions have a greater negative relationship to engagement. but can also be covert. and burnout preempts the finding that the Moving Away category. Cautious. Reserved. the use of subordinate assessments to assess leader performance are rare. the passive components in the Moving Away construct. Unlike the Excitable and Reserved dispositions. strengthening the argument that possessing the wrong stuff may be a better predictor of negative employee outcomes than lacking the right stuff (Lom- This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. The combination of both active and passive dispositions within this category blurs the unique contributions of each to the criterion variables. and Leisurely have serious implications for employee engagement. characterized by procrastination. and indirect (e. passive.. reserved. and detachment. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. 2005). Leisurely indicates a more prominent relationship with employee engagement and job satisfaction. the passive dispositions (reserved and leisurely) have a stronger relationship with burnout than the overt disposition (excitable). 2009). yelling and outbursts). demonstrated by insensitivity. procrastination-not meeting deadlines. The leisurely (passive aggression) and reserved (passive avoidance) dispositions. 2007). This study bridges the gap by suggesting a significant relationship between leadership behaviors aligned with Moving Away dispositions and employee engagement. & Mount. passive aggression). Such destructive behaviors are active and typify petty tyrants (Skogstad et al.g.. nonspecific directives. significantly predicts the multivariate equations for each construct. passive avoidance). job satisfaction. & Barling. This represents an innovative alternative to self-report measurements. were found to be better predictors than overt dispositions such as excitable. Dysfunctional leadership behaviors are not always active (e. Sivanathan.g.Relationship Among Dysfunctional Leadership 125 cal. Francis. A unique aspect of this study focused on subordinates’ assessments of an immediate leader’s dysfunctional dispositions (from the perspective of the “eye of the beholder”) versus a leader’s self-assessment of these characteristics..g. Skogstad et al. job satisfaction and burnout. Oh. . 2007). the question remains whether leadership behaviors associated with passive dispositions are stronger predictors of negative employee outcomes than overt dispositions. and burnout. another component of Moving Away. Although burnout showed relationships with all the three dispositions (excitable.. and a leisurely disposition (e. Even though Meta-analytic studies (Connelly & Ones.. and failure to set expectations (Hogan & Hogan. 2011) reinforce the extraordinary value and incremental advantage of using other (observer) reports. only. tardiness. 2010. in general. Wang.. Regarding future research. aloofness. Passively destructive leadership is best exemplified by both a reserved disposition (e. Studies linking passive leadership with negative organizational outcomes and/or burnout are scarce (Kelloway. Overt behaviors aligned with dysfunctional dispositions include callous and serious outbursts and belittling comments. job satisfaction. and leisurely).g.

witty. minimizing the negative characteristics of narcissists. At lower organizational levels. the air of supreme confidence and dominance (hallmarks of narcissism). yelling). 1994.g. Rosenthal & Pittinsky. 2009).g. As visionaries. inspiring employees (Rosenthal & Pittinsky. overly diligent behaviors (e.. bardo et al.126 Leary et al. The nonsignificance of the Moving Toward effects may be because of the very low reliability measurement (␣ ϭ . .. especially at lower organizational levels.e. 2004). or odd (Hogan & Hogan. Focusing too intently on functional dispositions and leadership reveals only part of the equation. For example. Moving Against and Moving Toward dispositions were not found to be related to these criterion variables.. Within the Moving Against category. 1988).g. colorful. since sole responsibility for decisionmaking depends on these leaders (i. Dysfunctional dispositions may be likened to an undetectable cancer. Also. and such leaders will be viewed as harmless. may be more exposed at higher organizational levels.. diligent and dutiful) under stress. especially in contrast to higher impact dysfunctional dispositions within the Moving Away category. behaviors associated with this dysfunction may be transparent. cannot delegate upward). obsequious and indecisive) demonstrated by leaders under stress.. The negligible relationship of behaviors aligned with the Dutiful disposition (e. which is aligned with the Excitable disposition or vague direction or unavailability during a work-related crisis (aligned with covert dispositions). micromanagement) pale in comparison to the more egregious behaviors of direct personal affronts (e. good corporate citizens by subordinates. and imaginative dispositions to the criterion variables may indicate that leader behaviors associated with these dysfunctions seem charming. eccentric. the relationship of the Moving Toward category with employee outcomes may be because of the somewhat innocuous manifestation of these dysfunctional dispositions (e. This may clearly expose the deficiency of this leader in executing decisions at this level. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly. Benson and Campbell (2007) suggested that leader behaviors associated with an optimal level of narcissism (bold disposition) during difficult economic times has a reverse effect. Current economic conditions may mitigate the deleterious effects of behaviors associated with narcissism. upward delegation of decisions may be still an option. the presence of healthy habits (manifestations of functional dispositions) does not preclude negative consequences. 2006). 2006). exactly what inspires a group of followers (Hogan et al. inspiration and confidence may preempt demeaning comments/arrogant actions. The results of this study reinforce the critical nature of an effective selection process when hiring or promoting leaders who embody a minimum This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.27).. these “productive narcissists” are ideal leaders for tough times inspiring great numbers of followers (Maccoby. The negligible relationship of mischievous. is in some cases.g. As several scholars have observed..

the leader rates subordinate engagement. . Personality evaluations that identify dysfunctional characteristics are essential to the evaluation process and may also detect the more insidious covert dysfunctional dispositions (Moscoso & Salgado. For existing leaders. thereby reducing biases associated with immediate retrieval (Podsakoff et al. inviting common method bias. Future studies should also focus on collecting data from manager/subordinate dyads within the same unit at all organizational levels in the actual workplace. A recommendation for preventing this in future research includes obtaining measures of the predictor and criterion variables from different sources. 1998). significant improvement—that is. job satisfaction. insidious characteristics that are not easily detected during behaviorally based interviews. it typically focuses on bright side characteristics. for example. to counterbalance this. temporal separation allows previously recalled information to leave the short-term memory (STM). executive selection rarely involves personality testing (Sessa. reduction in the frequency or intensity of behaviors associated with dysfunctional dispositions— can be used as a benchmark for succession planning (e. especially those aligned with the Moving Away category. and studies in which the subordinate measures the leader on dispositions. This type of self-reported bias may result from an illusory correlation between predictor and criterion variable in which participants may focus on maintaining consistency between cognitions and attitudes producing relationships that might not otherwise exist in real-life settings (Podsakoff et al. Kaiser... another viable option is to separate the measurements of predictor and criterion variables temporally (time lag). this opportunity enabled us to seek participants at the next level of employee in an effort to provide some evidence for external validity. By not limiting the survey to college freshmen (average participant age: 31. Taylor & Campbell. 2003). and burnout reinforces the importance of a screening process that identifies these less obvious. Second. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.g. However. data were collected from a single source.. and when it does.Relationship Among Dysfunctional Leadership 127 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. (2010). Limitations and Future Research A key limitation to this study is the use of students as participants in this study. As cited by Hogan et al. If this is not feasible. 2003).8 years). burnout. all participants were concurrently working at least 30 hours a week (mostly in jobs external to the university) and reported to their immediate leader (primarily at lower levels in the organization) for at least six months. job satisfaction. The evidence that covert dysfunctional dispositions also have a negative relationship with employee engagement. of dysfunctional leader dispositions. 2004). movement to the next higher organizational level).

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