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How to mitigate destructive leadership – Human resources-practices that mitigate Dark Triad leaders’ destructive tendencies

Schyns, Birgit and Gauglitz, Iris K. and Wisse, Barbara and Schütz, Astrid (2022) 'How to mitigate destructive leadership – Human resources-practices that mitigate Dark Triad leaders’ destructive tendencies.', in Overcoming Bad Leadership in Organizations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 251-276. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Professional Practice Series.


Leaders with Dark Triad traits (Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism) are notorious for their display of destructive behaviour in interacting with their subordinates. It may be argued that organisations have the obligation to protect the organisation as a whole and the people in it against the damaging effects that these leaders have. We posit that the organisations’ human resource management may be best suited to accomplish that goal. In this chapter, we will outline a theoretical model explaining how HR practices may affect the relationship between leaders’ Dark Triad traits and destructive leadership. We will address the function of recruitment and promotion, career development and training, disciplinary actions, performance appraisal and feedback systems, and a complaints system. The chapter aims to provide guidance into what HR can do to protect the organisations’ most valuable asset (the employees) from destructive tendencies by Dark Triad leaders.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:Overcoming Bad Leadership in Organizations, edited by Derek Lusk and Theodore L. Hayes, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press,
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:04 March 2022
Date of first online publication:2022
Date first made open access:No date available

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