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Psychopathic Leadership A Case Study of a Corporate Psychopath CEO

Boddy, CR ORCID: 0000-0003-3266-4066 2017 , 'Psychopathic Leadership A Case Study of a Corporate Psychopath CEO' , Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 145, no. 1 , pp. 141-156 , doi:

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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
Authors/Creators:Boddy, CR
Keywords: corporate psychopaths, leadership, transformational leadership, employee voice, leaderless-ness
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Business Ethics
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publ
ISSN: 0167-4544
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright The Author(s) 2015.

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