WOW Director publishes new book on destructive leadership.

Key words: Abusive supervision, destructive leadership, leader derailment, toxic leadership, Dark Triad, dark triangle, occupational stressor

We’ve all been there – whether it was your first job in retail or an obstacle you’ve encountered when your career should have been thriving – bad bosses, or ‘destructive leaders’ can strike at anytime.

Professor Paula Brough, the Director of WOW and colleague Dr Vicki Webster have published a new book entitled: ‘Destructive Leadership in the Workplace and its Consequences: Translating theory and research into evidence-based practice’.

Destructive leadership behaviour is defined as ‘the systematic and repeated behaviour by a leader, supervisor or manager that violates the legitimate interest of the organisation by undermining and/or sabotaging the organisation’s goals, tasks, resources, and effectiveness and/or the motivation, well-being or job satisfaction of his/her subordinates.’

Over the past two decades research has studied destructive leadership (variously described as abusive supervision, aversive leadership, dark side of leadership, derailing leadership, toxic leadership, tyrannical leadership and the Dark Triad of leadership). 

‘This book investigates destructive leadership in organisations from leader and follower perspectives, as well as exploring the systems and organisational contexts that enable destructive leadership behaviours to flourish’, says Professor Brough.

While there has been significant research into the consequences of destructive leadership and organisational responses to it, there has been limited investigation of its antecedents and how best to protect targets from the psychological, emotional and physical harm caused by destructive leadership.  

With relevance across public, private and not-for-profit sectors, and combining perspectives from both the business and psychology worlds, this book is a cross-disciplinary look at how destructive leaders can impact organisations and their workers, and how best to recognise and deal with them.

This text bridges the gap between the theory and the practical application, by taking the academic research and translating this for students, managers and practitioners in the field into practicable interventions they can use in their everyday practice to recognise and resolve issues raised by destructive leaders.

Photo credit: American Psychological Association

Using case studies throughout, this guide takes the theory and places it in the real world, helping readers take the theory beyond the page and apply it to their practice.

This book is currently available in hardcover and electronic copy and will be discussed further at WOW’s Industry Research Showcase on November 5th. Invitations will be distributed soon!