Despite the recent flurry of scientific interest in the Dark Triad – narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism – the research has been mostly descriptive in nature. Relatively ignored by researchers, darker personality variables may prove valuable in understanding counterproductive work behaviors. In the present study, we attempt to integrate the Dark Triad personality traits into organizational life by correlating them with the level of counterproductive work behavior and with work locus of control. Although those three facets have different origins, the personalities described as dark personalities share a number of features. In different degrees, all of them entail a socially malevolent character with behavior tendencies toward self-promotion, emotional coldness, duplicity, and aggressiveness. A narcissistic person is described in terms of a high vanity, constantly seeking for attention and admiration, with a sense of superiority or authority. Most often he or she manifests
manipulative and exhibitionist behaviors. Machiavellianism is a tendency to be cynical, pragmatic, emotionally detached in interpersonal relations but, at the same time a good organizer and having long-term strategically thinking. Psychopathy presents as cardinal features: impulsiveness, emotional detachment, manipulative antisocial behavior. The recently published meta-analysis by O'Boyle, Forsyth, Banks and McDaniel (2011),
showed that counterproductive behavior in the workplace is associated with all three facets of the dark triad. In the current study 122 participants (36 males and 86 females) were invited to fill in the following measures: Work Locus of Control Scale (Spector, 1988), MACH IV (Christie & Geis, 1970), Narcissistic Personality Inventory (Raskin & Hall, 1979), Self-Report Psychopathy scale – version III (Paulhus, Neumann, & Hare, in press) and
Counterproductive Work Behavior Checklist (Spector & Fox, 2002). Results did not showed positive correlations between Machiavellianism and counterproductive work behaviour, or between narcissism and counterproductive work behaviour. Nevertheless, one strong positive correlation was found between psychopathy and counterproductive work behaviour (r= .438, p<.01), mirroring Patrick’s results (2007, as cited in Paulhus and Williams, 2002). Regarding the work locus of control, it was identified a positive significant correlation with
Machiavellianism (r= .204, p<.05), meaning that the higher the score on work locus of control – internal, the higher the tendency to act in a machiavellic way.