Dark Personalities in the Workplace
- Birgit Schyns, Birgit SchynsNEOMA Business School, Center for Leadership and Effective Organizations
- Susanne BraunSusanne BraunDurham University Business School, Leadership
- and Barbara WisseBarbara WisseUniversity of Groningen, Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences
Dark Triad personality traits in the workplace comprise the traits narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. The Dark Triad, and its relationships with individual and organizational variables, has received increasing attention in organizational behavior research. These three traits share a lack of concern for others but also have idiosyncratic attributes. Narcissism is characterized by a sense of entitlement and self-absorption. Machiavellianism comprises a focus on instrumentality and willingness to engage in manipulation. Psychopathy, possibly the darkest of the three traits, renders individuals callous, impulsive, and displaying antisocial behavior. While Dark Triad traits may be adaptive in some regards (e.g., narcissism facilitates leadership emergence), the majority of empirical findings point to the damage that individuals high in those traits can do to other organizational members and effective organizational functioning.