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ERIC Number: EJ1053525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0818-8068
The "Dark Traits" of Sociopathic Leaders: Could They Be a Threat to Universities?
Perry, Chad
Australian Universities' Review, v57 n1 p17-25 2015
Some sociopathic personality traits in managers can derail business organisations even though the leaders have been carefully selected and considered "high flyers". Three of those traits are narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism. These traits are "socially-aversive" because the sociopaths have an ingrained disregard for relationships. We will "very likely" come into hurtful contact with a sociopath. This study addresses the problem: Could a leader of a university unit with strong levels of the dark triad traits derail their unit? After considering the literature about the dark triad and university leadership, this study argues that a sociopathic leader could degrade the collaborative nature of much of academics' work with other staff, students and society enough to produce mediocrity in their part of a university, but not enough to derail it. Implications for universities selecting non-sociopathic leaders and for individuals being led by sociopaths are suggested.
National Tertiary Education Union. PO Box 1323, South Melbourne 3205, Australia. Tel: +61-3-92541910; Fax: +61-3-92541915; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A