The issue of dark leadership, which is characterized by an enduring inclination to selfishness, wrong intentions, and self-deception, is a potentially harmful phenomenon to business organizations. This is because leaders who exhibit such attributes usually have negative effects on the business organizations which they lead (Dubrin, 2009). Organizational performance is thus reduced or completely stalled. Owing to this phenomenon, the genesis of such dark leadership is an important consideration for modern business organizations.
On the one hand, some commentators argue that dark leadership requires crisis situations to evolve. On the other hand, other people hold that such dark leadership can even develop in comparatively good social and economic conditions. A careful scrutiny however indicates that dark leadership does not necessarily require crises to emerge, rather inherent human imperfections make it arise on comparatively pleasant social and economic situations.
For example, bearing in mind that one of the causative factors for dark leadership is humanity’s negative trait of selfishness, the concept that crisis situations precipitate dark leadership is effectively eliminated (Khoo & Burch, 2008). It thus follows that humans are naturally selfish, a situation that leads to them depicting dark leadership qualities. In addition, dark readership attributes can emanate from the leaders’ self-deception and wrong intentions, a fact that excludes the issue of unpleasant social and economic conditions.
According to this argument, human beings are depicted to have the natural habit of deceiving themselves besides having wrong intentions (Sankar, 2003). In conclusion, dark leadership is an important concept in business organizations because it has the potential of ruining business performance. The factors that make leaders exhibit dark traits are however debatable. Some people cite crises while others point to humanity’s inherent negative qualities. A proper examination however demonstrates that humanity’s negative traits, such as selfishness, having mistaken intentions, and self-deception lead to dark leadership.
References Dubrin, A. J. (2009). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills. Woodbridge, CT: Cengage Learning. Khoo, H. S. ; & Burch, G. S. T. (2008). The ‘dark side’ of leadership personality and transformational leadership: An exploratory study. Personality and Individual Differences, 44 (1), 86-97. Sankar, Y. (2003). Character not charisma is the critical measure of leadership excellence. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 9 (4), 45-55.
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