Development and Validation of the Toxic Leadership Scale
Schmidt, Andrew A.
Hanges, Paul J
MetadataShow full item record
While many publications focus on traits and behaviors that make leaders effective, some leaders engage in dysfunctional and destructive behaviors. These "toxic leadership" styles have been largely unexplored. The goals of this study were to empirically derive the dimensions of toxic leadership, to create a reliable and valid survey that measures the construct, to explore convergent and discriminant construct validity, and to perform a preliminary examination of subordinate outcomes that may result from working under a toxic leader. Using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies across military and civilian sectors, this study suggests that toxic leadership is composed of the following five dimensions: abusive supervision, authoritarian leadership, narcissism, self-promotion, and unpredictability. Toxic leadership is differentiable from other leadership constructs (e.g., transformational, LMX) and its dimensions significantly predict employee outcomes such as turnover intentions, job satisfaction, and satisfaction with the supervisor. Implications for future research are discussed.