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The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Leadership, Change and Organizational Development by Jonathan Passmore, Arthur M. Freedman, Rachel Lewis, H. Skipton Leonard

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7

When Leaders are Bullies: Concepts, Antecedents, and Consequences

Ståle Einarsen, Anders Skogstad, and Lars Glasø

7.1 Introduction

Superior–subordinate relationships may certainly be filled with rewards, feelings of ­recognition, and perceptions of meaning and competency for both parties. Yet, for a ­subordinate, this relationship may also form the basis for punishment, abuse, and mistreatment, accompanied by feelings of frustration, uncertainty, anxiety, and resentment (e.g. Glasø & Einarsen, 2006). Leadership research often equates a leader with a supportive and efficient leader (Kellerman, 2004), and hence mainly investigates factors associated with favorable outcomes among subordinates, such as increased motivation, performance, and positive work-related attitudes (Tepper, 2007). As is the case with the Full Range of Leadership model (Bass & Avolio, 1994), leader-oriented leadership models generally portray leader behaviors on dimensions ranging from passive to active, and from ineffective to effective. But what if leaders and supervisors in their treatment of subordinates are not passive and ineffective, but rather effective and actively bad? Moreover, what if good leaders are also bad, be it simultaneously, on another behavioral domain, or simply not being consistent in their behavior across time, situations, and subordinates (see also Aasland, et al., 2010, 2008; Schriesheim & Neider, 2010). Research on bullying at work has documented that some 5–10% of employees are subjected ...

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