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Shady strategic behaviour : recognizing strategic behaviour of dark triad followers.

Schyns, B. and Wisse, B. M. and Sanders, S. (2019) 'Shady strategic behaviour : recognizing strategic behaviour of dark triad followers.', Academy of management perspectives., 33 (2). pp. 234-249.


The importance of strategic behavior in organizations has long been recognized. However, so far the literature has primarily focused on leaders’ strategic behavior, largely ignoring followers’ strategic behavior. In the present paper, we take a follower trait perspective to strategic follower behavior, specifically focusing on how followers’ Dark Triad traits (i.e., narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) influence their strategic behavior. We argue that Dark Triad related strategic follower behavior is likely to have negative effects for fellow organizational members and the organization as a whole. We also present ‘red flag’ behaviors that may signal followers' tendencies to engage in shady strategic behaviors. Then, we put forward factors that may mitigate or increase the occurrence of shady strategic behaviors of followers scoring high on Dark Triad traits, focusing especially on leader attributes and specifics of the organizational context. Finally, we discuss if and how followers’ Dark Triad traits could benefit the organization, and highlight emerging issues in research on strategic follower behavior.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:02 November 2017
Date deposited:17 July 2018
Date of first online publication:31 May 2018
Date first made open access:31 May 2019

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