Employee Well-Being Under Corporate Psychopath Leaders

Living reference work entry


This chapter reports on 21 in-depth interviews in the UK and USA with corporate employees who were currently working or had previously worked with a toxic leader in the form of a corporate psychopath. This is thus a chapter that is concerned with the impact on well-being of working with a corporate psychopath. Corporate psychopathy was defined using a measure of psychopathy involving prototypical characteristics such as lying, cheating, egocentricity, emotional unresponsiveness, and grandiosity. A contribution of the chapter is that it answers the call for research which links the destructive leadership literature with employee well-being. Research participants in both countries reported that their well-being was affected by psychopathic leadership, with reports of stress-related illnesses and depression, including suicidal thoughts. The chapter concludes that corporate psychopaths, in both the UK and USA, appear to have a similar protocol for achieving their objectives and achieve similar results. This protocol involves using loud, regular, public bullying combined with threats of violence to create a fearful, cowed, and compliant workforce who can the more easily be manipulated and controlled by the abusive corporate psychopath. Research participants in both the USA and UK suffered from severely reduced well-being because of this common experience.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business SchoolUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.Access Global PartnersNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Middlesex UniversityLondonUK
  4. 4.Capella UniversityMinneapolisUSA

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