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Shall We Serve the Dark Lords? A Meta-Analytic Review of Psychopathy and Leadership

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Shall We Serve the Dark Lords? A Meta-Analytic Review of Psychopathy and Leadership

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Both scholars and the popular press have expressed concern regarding the potential prevalence of individuals with psychopathic tendencies in corporate leadership positions and the negative effects they may have on both individual workers and their organizations as a whole. However, research to date has been inconclusive as to whether such individuals are more likely to emerge as leaders or if they are (in)effective leaders. In order to clarify the state of the literature, we conducted a meta-analysis on the association between psychopathic personality characteristics and leadership emergence, leadership effectiveness, and transformational leadership. Our results, based on data from 92 independent samples, showed a weak positive correlation for psychopathic tendencies and leadership emergence, a weak negative association for psychopathic tendencies and leadership effectiveness, and a moderate negative correlation for psychopathic tendencies and transformational leadership. Subgroup analyses on methodological factors did not indicate any differences from the main results. However, moderator analyses showed a gender difference in these associations such that psychopathic tendencies in men were weakly positively correlated with leadership emergence and effectiveness and negatively correlated with transformational leadership, while psychopathic tendencies in women were negatively associated with effectiveness and transformational leadership, and largely unassociated with emergence. Additionally, small but consistent curvilinear associations were found for all leadership criteria. Overall, these results suggest that concern over psychopathic tendencies in organizational leaders may be overblown, but that gender can function to obscure real effects.
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Shall We Serve the Dark Lords? A Meta-Analytic Review of Psychopathy and Leadership
Karen Landay
University of Alabama
100 Alston Hall, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
Phone: (312) 399-3376
Email: kmlanday@crimson.ua.edu
P.D. Harms
University of Alabama
100 Alston Hall, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
Phone: (205) 348-2769
Email: pdharms@cba.ua.edu
Marcus Credé
Iowa State University
W271 Lagomarcino Hall, Ames, IA 50011
Phone: (515) 294-7462
Email: mcrede@iastate.edu
Accepted for publication in Journal of Applied Psychology
We thank the following individuals for providing raw data for our supplemental analyses: Sarah
Baird, Gerhard Blickle, Malcolm Davies, Anita Keller, Paul Lester, Scott Lilienfeld, Martin
Sellbom, and Bart Wille.
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial,
or not-for-profit sectors.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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Abstract
Both scholars and the popular press have expressed concern regarding the potential prevalence of
individuals with psychopathic tendencies in corporate leadership positions and the negative
effects they may have on both individual workers and their organizations as a whole. However,
research to date has been inconclusive as to whether such individuals are more likely to emerge
as leaders or if they are (in)effective leaders. In order to clarify the state of the literature, we
conducted a meta-analysis on the association between psychopathic personality characteristics
and leadership emergence, leadership effectiveness, and transformational leadership. Our results,
based on data from 92 independent samples, showed a weak positive correlation for
psychopathic tendencies and leadership emergence, a weak negative association for psychopathic
tendencies and leadership effectiveness, and a moderate negative correlation for psychopathic
tendencies and transformational leadership. Subgroup analyses on methodological factors did not
indicate any differences from the main results. However, moderator analyses showed a gender
difference in these associations such that psychopathic tendencies in men were weakly positively
correlated with leadership emergence and effectiveness and negatively correlated with
transformational leadership, while psychopathic tendencies in women were negatively associated
with effectiveness and transformational leadership, and largely unassociated with emergence.
Additionally, small but consistent curvilinear associations were found for all leadership criteria.
Overall, these results suggest that concern over psychopathic tendencies in organizational leaders
may be overblown, but that gender can function to obscure real effects.
Keywords: leadership; meta-analysis; psychopathy; personality
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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Recent corporate scandals have led to a widespread concern among laypersons and
scholars that there is potentially a major problem with the ethics and character of corporate
leaders (Boddy, 2011). This is reflected in headlines such as “1 in 5 CEOs is a psychopath, study
finds” (Pearlman, 2016) and “CEO is the profession with the most psychopaths” (Barker, 2014)
and popular academic books such as Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Babiak &
Hare, 2006). Although these narratives provide an appealing explanation for organizational
dysfunction, that bad things are caused by bad people, many of these claims are based on weak
or limited evidence.
While there is considerable evidence that a variety of leader characteristics can contribute
to negative individual and organizational outcomes (Krasikova, Green, & LeBreton, 2013;
Padilla, Hogan, & Kaiser, 2007; Spain & Harms, 2018), for personality traits such as
psychopathy, there is also a general lack of consensus as to the size of these effects and even the
direction of the relationships with leadership outcomes (see, for example, Babiak & Hare, 2006;
Dutton, 2012; Lilienfeld, Waldman et al., 2012; Smith & Lilienfeld, 2013). Further, as recent
papers on other so-called “dark personality traits” have demonstrated (e.g., Grijalva, Harms,
Newman, Gaddis, & Fraley, 2015; Kaiser, LeBreton, & Hogan, 2015), the relationship between
psychopathy and leadership may be significantly moderated by what measures are used, the
nature of the outcome, who is enacting the psychopathic behavior, or even how extreme the
behaviors are.
To address these questions, we will use meta-analysis to examine the links between
psychopathy and leadership emergence and leadership effectiveness. Specifically, we have three
aims. First, we intend to resolve controversy regarding the connections between psychopathy and
leadership emergence and effectiveness, as the eclectic group of studies in the literature at
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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present is inconclusive and at times contradictory. Second, we examine potential moderators to
these linkages, including methodological factors and leader gender. Lastly, we explore whether
the associations between psychopathy and leadership emergence and effectiveness are
curvilinear.
The Nature of Psychopathy
The concept of psychopathy originated with Cleckley’s (1941) seminal text The Mask of
Sanity. In it, Cleckley identified several psychopathic features or actions, including superficial
charm, lack of anxiety, unwillingness to accept blame, lack of impulse control, and lack of
empathy. Although Cleckley’s work was never intended for use as a model for diagnosis (Babiak
& Hare, 2006), clinical practice has traditionally been based on this characterization.
More recently, some organizational researchers have attached modifiers like “corporate”
or “organizational” (e.g., Babiak & Hare, 2006; Boddy, 2011; Clarke, 2005) to psychopathy to
reflect a subclinical, or nonpathological, level of the construct. But both clinical and subclincal
approaches generally agree that psychopathy is a constellation of interpersonal, affective, and
behavioral personality traits (e.g., Hare, 2003; LeBreton, Binning, & Adorno, 2006). These
approaches are united in the triarchic model of psychopathy, which presents psychopathy as
being composed of three distinct elements that combine to produce the psychopathic personality:
boldness (e.g., interpersonal dominance), disinhibition (e.g., impulsivity), and meanness (e.g.,
lack of empathy; Patrick, Fowles, & Krueger, 2009). Varying conceptualizations of psychopathy
can thus be distinguished by their emphasis on one or more constructs, with “successful” (i.e.,
subclinical) psychopathy epitomized by boldness in conjunction with low disinhibition
(Lilienfeld, Watts, & Smith, 2015; Patrick et al., 2009).
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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Although both clinical and subclinical approaches concur that psychopathy consists of
multiple factors or subdimensions, few measures account for this in a systematic way. One
exception is the Psychopathic Personality Inventory—Revised (PPI-R; Lilienfeld & Widows,
2005), which assesses eight lower-order traits that make up three distinct factors: Fearless
Dominance, Self-Centered Impulsivity, and Coldheartedness (see Blonigen et al., 2010).
However, many studies of psychopathy in organizations have utilized measures that only provide
overall scores or failed to report factor scores (e.g., Boddy, 2014; Mathieu & Babiak, 2016).
One other approach for assessing psychopathic tendencies in the workplace is the
Mischievous (MIS) scale of the Hogan Development Survey (HDS; Hogan & Hogan, 2001,
2009). It should be noted that the HDS is not intended to measure personality disorders, but
rather that it assesses tendencies to engage in self-defeating behaviors. The MIS scale itself
consists of three subscales labeled Risky (dominant, goal-seeking behaviors), Impulsive (lack of
self-control), and Manipulative (willingness to deceive and mistreat others; Ferrell & Gaddis,
2016) that roughly reflect the aspects of the triarchic model of psychopathy.
1
Individuals with
high MIS scores are described as impulsive, non-conforming, manipulative, and exploitative, but
can appear charming and friendly (Hogan & Hogan, 2009). Because it is well-suited for
assessing non-clinical populations, MIS has been frequently used to study issues related to job
performance and leadership (e.g., Furnham & Crump, 2016; Furnham, Crump, & Ritchie, 2013;
Harms, Spain, & Hannah, 2011a; Kaiser et al., 2015; Khoo & Burch, 2008).
2
1
According to the HDS manual (Hogan & Hogan, 2009, p. 37, 38, 63), the highest correlate of MIS with the
personality traits assessed by the California Personality Inventory (Gough, 1996) is Dominance (r=.30). For the
NEO-PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1992) the highest correlate of MIS is Excitement-Seeking (r=.35). And the highest
correlating observer trait ratings of high MIS scorers are “is deceitful” (r=.17) and “is arrogant” (r=.17).
2
Empirical evidence also supports the use of MIS as a commensurate assessment of psychopathy. In an online
sample of 169 participants, Ferrell and Gaddis (2016) reported reliability-corrected correlations between the
subscales of MIS and psychopathy measures from the Short Dark Triad (Jones & Paulhus, 2014) and the Dirty
Dozen (Jonason & Webster, 2010) that ranged from .60 to .91. This range is comparable to the .70 reliability-
corrected correlation reported by Carre, Mueller, Schleicher, and Jones (2018) between the Self-Report
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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Psychopathy and Leadership
Individuals with psychopathic tendencies are generally believed to possess a number of
highly aversive personality characteristics that are detrimental to successful functioning in the
workplace (e.g., O’Boyle, Forsyth, Banks, & McDaniel, 2012; Spain, Harms, & LeBreton, 2014;
Wu & LeBreton, 2011). However, these tendencies may not be uniformly negative with respect
to aspects of leadership, including emergence and effectiveness.
Leadership Emergence
The leadership literature typically distinguishes between leadership emergence and
leadership effectiveness (e.g., Grijalva et al., 2015; but see Colbert, Judge, Choi, & Wang, 2012
for an opposing view). Leadership emergence refers to whether an individual has attained a
leadership role in a group or is perceived as being a leader (Lord, De Vader, & Alliger, 1986).
Conversely, leadership effectiveness refers to actual team performance or perceptions of whether
the leader is effective (Hogan & Kaiser, 2005).
Existing findings for the relationship between psychopathic tendencies and leadership
emergence are somewhat varied. Psychopathic tendencies have been found to positively predict
corporate rank (Howe, Falkenbach, & Massey, 2014) and level (Wille, De Fruyt, & De Clercq,
2013), but both negatively (Baird, 2002) and positively (Lilienfeld, Latzman, Watts, Smith, &
Dutton, 2014) correlate with number of leadership positions held. Yet, psychopathic tendencies
have also been found to have no significant relationship to management level (Babiak, Neumann,
Psychopathy-Short Form measure and the Triarchic Psychopathy Model, and is substantially higher than the
reliability-corrected correlations between similarly-labeled Big Five trait measures (Pace & Brannick, 2010).
As further validation of MIS as a comparable index of psychopathy, we asked 101 students to rate themselves on
both the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5; Krueger, Derringer, Markon, Watson, & Skodol, 2012) and the
HDS. The pattern of correlations between the HDS MIS scale and those reported by Strickland, Drislane, Lucy,
Krueger, and Patrick (2013) between the PID-5 and the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (Patrick et al., 2009)
correlated .77 with one another. This shows considerable similarity in the cognitive and behavioral patterns assessed
by MIS and those of well-established psychopathy scales.
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& Hare, 2010), hierarchical position (Harms et al., 2011a; Schütte et al., 2018; Spurk, Keller, &
Hirschi, 2016), or time to promotion (Furnham et al., 2013). Given these mixed empirical results,
we opted to explore the following research question:
RQ1: How are psychopathic tendencies associated with leadership emergence?
Leadership Effectiveness
Evidence of the relationship of psychopathic tendencies with leadership effectiveness is
also mixed. For example, there is some indication that managers with psychopathic tendencies
may be perceived as more effective leaders (Babiak et al., 2010; Lilienfeld, Waldman et al.,
2012). Analysis of U.S. presidents has also suggested a positive link between aspects of
psychopathy and political effectiveness (Lilienfeld, Waldman et al., 2012). Unsurprisingly,
evidence of a negative relationship between psychopathic tendencies and leadership
effectiveness is more common. Psychopathic tendencies in managers have been linked to
negative follower outcomes such as abusive supervision (Mathieu & Babiak, 2016), bullying
(Boddy, 2014), lower job satisfaction (Sanecka, 2013; Volmer, Koch, & Göritz, 2016), and
turnover intentions (Mathieu & Babiak, 2015). Given this preponderance of empirical evidence,
we hypothesize:
H1: Psychopathic tendencies will be negatively related to leadership effectiveness.
Potential Moderating Factors
Source of Measurement
Many ratings of leadership emergence are relatively objective, such as whether an
individual has a formal leadership position in a group or organization (Harms, Roberts, & Wood,
2007; Lilienfeld et al., 2014), although some level of subjectivity may occur in self-report
measures such as number of lifetime leadership positions held (e.g., Lilienfeld et al., 2014).
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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Leadership effectiveness, though, may be objective (e.g., firm financial performance) or
subjective (e.g., ratings of leadership performance). The latter can be measured by self-ratings
(Furnham, Trickey, & Hyde, 2012), supervisor ratings (Benson, 2006), or followers rating their
own outcomes as affected by their leader (Volmer et al., 2016). However, different individuals
may have different perspectives as to which leaders are effective (Hogan & Kaiser, 2005). For
example, self-ratings may be positively biased, supervisor ratings may be dependent on unit-
level productivity, and subordinates may be more concerned with how they are treated. Thus, we
examine the following research question:
RQ2: How does source of measurement moderate the association between psychopathic
tendencies and leadership emergence and leadership effectiveness?
Leader Gender
Men typically score significantly higher than women on measures of psychopathy (e.g.,
Lilienfeld & Hess, 2001; Miller, Watts, & Jones, 2011), and evidence suggests that psychopathic
tendencies tend to be more common in men (Cale & Lilienfeld, 2002; Harms, 2016a). Some
researchers have further argued that psychopathic tendencies may manifest differently in women
than in men (e.g., relational aggression; Verona & Vitale, 2006; but see also Miller et al., 2011).
Although there have been no explicit tests of gender as a moderator of the association
between psychopathic tendencies and leadership emergence or effectiveness, prior leadership
research has shown that gender can often serve as an important moderator. For instance, men
tend to emerge as leaders more often than women (Eagly & Karau, 1991), and women tend to be
rated as having higher derailment potential (Bono et al., 2017). Though meta-analytic evidence
suggests that men and women are equally effective leaders (Paustian-Underdahl, Walker, &
Woehr, 2014), men tend to be rated as more effective in masculine roles and women tend to be
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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more effective in feminine roles (Eagly, Karau, & Makhijani, 1995). Additionally, women who
use communal influence tactics tend to have improved outcomes over those who use agentic
tactics (Smith et al., 2013). Implicit prototypes of leadership (see Lord, Foti, & De Vader, 1984),
which typically consist of male-typical attributes such as dominance and lack of emotion
(Schein, 1973, 1975), may account for some of these effects. To the extent that individuals with
psychopathic tendencies display these characteristics, we would expect them as being more
likely to emerge as leaders and perhaps even to be perceived as more effective.
However, this is potentially not the case for women. For instance, De Hoogh, Den
Hartog, and Nevicka (2015) demonstrated that when male leaders displayed male-typical dark
personality characteristics, they tended to be perceived as being more effective. Yet, when
female leaders displayed these same characteristics, they tended to be rated as being less
effective. Similarly, Williams and Tiedens (2016) found that explicit, but not implicit, displays
of dominance tended to be negatively associated with women’s likeability. Thus, there may be
completely opposite effects for men and women with psychopathic tendencies on leadership
effectiveness. These effects could explain why there is considerable disagreement in the
literature as to the effects of psychopathic tendencies and leadership. That is, depending on the
percentage of men and women in the sample, the contrasting effects could potentially combine
into an overall null effect. Therefore, we investigate the following research question:
RQ3: How does leader gender moderate the association between psychopathic
tendencies and leadership emergence and leadership effectiveness?
Curvilinear Associations
Evolutionary (Jonason, Wee, & Li, 2014; Jones, 2014; Van Vugt & Ronay, 2014) and
social psychological (Harms & Spain, 2015; Hogan, 2007; Spain et al., 2014) accounts of dark
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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personality suggest that such characteristics persist in the population because they provide
benefits under some circumstances and that moderate levels may be associated with higher levels
of success. Indeed, Lilienfeld, Patrick and colleagues (2012, p. 329-330) have noted that
Cleckley’s original theorizing on psychopathy suggested that prototypical psychopathic
individuals may actually appear to have superior mental health because they are less likely to be
troubled by social or emotional impediments.
Prior organizational research has supported this account, with studies documenting
curvilinear effects for narcissism and leadership effectiveness (Grijalva et al., 2015),
psychopathy and commission sales performance (Titze, Blickle, & Wihler, 2017), and dark
personality traits in general and leadership performance (Benson & Campbell, 2007). Grijalva
and colleagues (2015) accounted for this using behavioral threshold theory, which suggests that
different levels (or subfacets) of a trait may have different, or even opposite, relationships with
particular outcomes of interest. That is, individuals with moderate levels of psychopathic
tendencies may, on average, be more likely to emerge as leaders and be effective leaders than
those with either low or high levels of psychopathic tendencies.
Such curvilinear relationships are also suggested when considering the facet structure of
psychopathic tendencies discussed previously. Individuals with high levels of Fearless
Dominance, a potentially positive facet of psychopathy (see Costello, Unterberger, Watts, &
Lilienfeld, 2018; Lilienfeld & Widows, 2005; Neo, Sellbom, Smith, & Lilienfeld, 2018), but low
levels of Self-Centered Impulsivity and Coldheartedness, would have moderate scores on an
overall measure of psychopathic tendencies but may, on average, be most likely to become
leaders and to be effective leaders. Consequently, we will also consider the following research
question:
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RQ4: Are the associations between psychopathic tendencies and leadership emergence
and effectiveness curvilinear?
Method
Search Strategy
Potential sources for inclusion were identified using the PsycInfo, Business Source
Premier, Google Scholar and ProQuest Dissertations Abstracts Databases. We used every
possible dyadic combination of our selected search terms. For psychopathy, we used:
psychopathy, corporate psychopathy, antisocial personality, aberrant personality disorder,
mischievous, self-report psychopathy scale, Dirty Dozen, Lilienfeld measure, psychopathic
personality inventory, Short Dark Triad, HDS, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory,
MMPI, California Psychological Inventory socialization scale, Millon Clinical Multiaxial
Inventory, and MCMI. For leadership, we used: leadership, leader emergence, leader-member
exchange, LMX, career success, status attainment, transformational leadership, ethical
leadership, authentic leadership, destructive leadership, showing consideration, initiating
structure, abusive supervision, career choice, follower outcomes, and bullying. We also searched
the conference programs for Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Academy
of Management from 2006 to 2018 for the keywords “psychopathy” and “Dark Triad.”
These searches yielded a total of 371 journal articles, 52 book chapters, 33 conference
papers and symposia, 40 theses and dissertations, and 7 books. Abstracts and titles were
examined to establish initial eligibility for inclusion. Two hundred forty-two sources did not
contain data (i.e., were theoretical, reviews, etc.), an additional 12 were meta-analyses, and 20
further were qualitative studies. Of the sources containing data, we eliminated 70 for not
containing a measure of leadership and 68 for not containing a measure of psychopathy.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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Additionally, 9 sources contained data that could not be coded, and we identified 12 sources that
contained data reported elsewhere that had already been accounted for in our coding. We also
requested the results of unpublished datasets from test publishing firms that have produced
measures of personality derailers as part of their assessments. This left us with 46 unique
samples for leader emergence, 7 for informal leadership, 42 for leader effectiveness, and 15 for
transformational leadership. Finally, as part of our investigation into the potentially moderating
role of leader gender and possible curvilinear associations between psychopathy and the
examined criteria, we also contacted all first authors of articles we had included in our primary
review to request additional information that would allow us to explore these associations.
Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria
We included sources if they reported on the zero-order correlation between psychopathic
tendencies and at least one of the leadership criteria (see below), or if the size and direction of
the zero-order correlation could be computed from the presented information. We included all
sources irrespective of country of origin or industry. In order to allow an apples-to-apples
comparison, one article (Babiak et al., 2010) was excluded because the authors rated the leaders’
level of psychopathic tendencies themselves, and another article (Kaiser et al., 2015) was
excluded because the authors relied on an ideal-point operationalization of leadership
effectiveness, which means that the zero-order correlation cannot speak to the strength between
psychopathic tendencies and leadership effectiveness.
Criteria Operationalization
Two leadership criteria were examined. First, leadership emergence was operationalized
in five ways: (1) whether or not an employee held a leadership position, (2) the rank of the
leader, (3) the rate at which an employee was promoted to a management position, (4) the
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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number of leadership positions held over a time span, and (5) peer-ratings of informal leadership,
assessed as a subjective peer rating of the social influence the target individual had among others
in the organization (Harms et al., 2007). We judged informal leadership to be theoretically
distinct from the other operationalizations and therefore computed a separate estimate of the
association between psychopathy and informal leadership.
Second, leadership effectiveness was operationalized as direct ratings of leader
effectiveness or job performance from any source (i.e., self-ratings, supervisor-ratings, peer-
ratings, subordinate-ratings). Due to measurement issues and lack of construct clarity, ratings of
transformational leadership can often be conflated with leadership effectiveness (see Van
Knippenberg & Sitkin, 2013). Because of this, we included a supplemental analysis of the
association between psychopathy and transformational leadership, but did not use these
correlations to estimate the association with overall leadership effectiveness.
Moderators of Effect Size
Most of the included studies relied on very similar designs, but some methodological
moderators could be explored for some criteria. Prior research has noted that effect sizes are
often strongly influenced by common-method effects (see Podsakoff, MacKenzie, & Podsakoff,
2012), and that these effects are particularly strong in the leadership field (e.g., Harms & Credé,
2010; Judge & Piccolo, 2004). We thus examined whether the associations were influenced by
the source of psychopathy and leadership ratings and by whether the design was predictive or
concurrent. We also examined whether the scale used to measure psychopathic tendencies
influenced the size of the observed correlations for the leader emergence criterion.
Coding Procedure
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The coding of articles was systematized using a series of pre-determined coding
categories. In addition to the predictor (psychopathic tendencies), the specific leadership criteria
(see above), and the zero-order correlation between these two variables, we also coded for the
following study characteristics: (1) the sample size, (2) the local reliability estimates for
psychopathic tendencies, (3) the local reliability estimate for the criterion variable, (4) the source
of psychopathic tendencies ratings (e.g., self-ratings, subordinate-ratings), (5) the source of
criterion ratings, (6) the design of the study (predictive versus concurrent), and (7) the scale used
to measure psychopathic tendencies. All articles were coded by at least two coders. All
disagreements between coders were resolved via discussion.
During the process of coding, several additional decisions were made that warrant brief
description. First, when articles presented correlations between psychopathic tendencies and a
criterion variable that was rated by multiple sources (e.g., both peer-ratings and subordinate-
ratings of leadership effectiveness), we calculated a composite correlation for our overall
analysis using the formulae presented by Ghiselli, Campbell, and Zedeck (1981), or computed a
simple average when a composite could not be calculated. Second, in the few cases when authors
presented correlations involving criteria collected at two time points (e.g., a concurrent
correlation and a prospective correlation), we included the correlation involving the shorter time
period. This decision was based on the fact that most studies were concurrent by design and by
our desire to allow a direct comparison. Third, when authors reported a range of reliability
estimates, we coded the midpoint of this range. Fourth, we imported the reliability estimates
from the technical manuals of proprietary scales and applied these estimates when appropriate.
Fifth, for informal leadership, we imported the midpoint of the alpha reliability estimate reported
by Harms et al. (2007) for similar samples. Sixth, two recent studies (Costello et al., 2018; Neo
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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et al., 2018) assessed psychopathic tendencies using both the PPI-R and Levenson’s Self-Report
Psychopathy Scale (LSRP). For these two cases, we coded the correlations based on the LSRP.
This decision was made because scores on the Fearless Dominance subscale of the PPI-R
correlated positively with the transformational leadership criterion while scores on the other
subscales correlated negatively with this criterion. That is, using an aggregate scale score would
have attenuated the relationship downward. We note this interesting effect in our discussion.
Finally, for one study (Winsborough & Sambath, 2013) that reported on the psychopathic
characteristics of 151 CEOs and CEO aspirants and compared those scores to local norms, we
used the local norms to compute an effect size estimate for leadership emergence with a sample
size that was twice the number of CEOs in the sample (i.e., N=302) rather than the sum of the
sample sizes for the CEOs and the local norms.
Statistical Method
Meta-analytic estimates of the associations between psychopathy and the leadership
criteria were computed using the Schmidt and Hunter (2004) interactive meta-analytic method,
which is based on a random-effects model. Corrections were made for unreliability in the
measurement of both psychopathic tendencies and all but one of the leadership criteria. No
corrections were made for leader emergence because all criterion data were relatively objective
and measured using a single-item measure (e.g., rank). Because most studies did not report local
reliability estimates for scores on either psychopathic tendencies or the leadership criteria, we
used the limited available information to construct reliability estimates (see Table 1) and then
used these reliability distributions to arrive at effect size estimates that had been disattenuated for
unreliability. No corrections were made for range restriction because of the lack of normative
information about the distribution of psychopathic tendencies scores in general population.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
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For each meta-analytic estimate, eight relevant values are reported: (1) the number of
studies on which the estimate was based (k), (2) the total sample size on which the estimate was
based (N), (3) the sample-size weighted mean observed correlation (robs), (4) the estimate of the
population correlation disattenuated for unreliability (ρ), (5) the lower and upper bound of the
95% confidence interval of effects sizes (2.5%CI and 97.5%CI), (6) the estimate of the standard
deviation in effect sizes after removing the variability that can be accounted for by sampling
error and variability in the reliability of measurement across studies (SDρ), (7) the lower and
upper bound of the 80% credibility interval of effect sizes (10%CV and 90%CV), and (8) the
proportion of the total observed variance in effect sizes that can be accounted for by study
artifacts (%Var). Large values of SDρ, wide credibility intervals, and small values for %Var all
suggest the presence of unaccounted for moderators.
For our exploration of curvilinear associations, we used local reliability estimates (or
imputed means from our reliability distributions when local reliability estimates were
unavailable) to calculate a series of meta-analytic intercorrelation matrices between psychopathic
tendencies, the square of psychopathic tendencies, and each of the criteria. We then used that
matrix to regress each criterion on the squared term after controlling for psychopathic tendencies.
Results
Meta-analytic results are reported in Table 2. Answering RQ1, psychopathic tendencies
were positively associated with leadership emergence (k=46; N=32,680 ρ=.07; SDρ=.09).
However, given the large number of samples that used the HDS MIS scale, we also calculated
results separately for samples that used MIS (k=23; N=21,106; ρ=.06; SDρ=.07) and samples
that did not (k=23; N=11,574; ρ=.10; SDρ=.11), and found largely similar average effects. As
noted previously, during the coding process, it became clear that informal leadership should be
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15
treated separately. Our results revealed a non-significant weak negative association between peer
ratings of informal leadership and self-ratings of psychopathic tendencies (k=7; N=305; ρ=-.08;
SDρ=.00).
Supporting H1, the results for psychopathic tendencies and leadership effectiveness
(k=42; N=6,838; ρ=-.04; SDρ=.09) showed a weak but statistically significant association. To
explore RQ2 on source of measurement, we conducted an additional analysis with only
supervisor ratings of leadership effectiveness, which also found a weak negative but statistically
significant association (k=35; N=4,890; ρ=-.06; SDρ=.10). An analysis using multi-source
ratings of leadership effectiveness found a weak and non-significant association (k=7; N=1,814;
ρ=-.03; SDρ=.06). All three meta-analyses were characterized by credibility intervals that
indicated the likely presence of some moderators.
Our supplementary analysis of transformational leadership showed a consistent negative
association with psychopathic tendencies. In concurrent designs, self-ratings of psychopathic
tendencies exhibited modest relationships with transformational leadership when all rating
sources of leadership were combined (k=13; N=1,220; ρ=-.18; SDρ=.28), although the strength
of the relationship was very strongly moderated by the source of ratings on both variables. When
leaders rated themselves on both psychopathic tendencies and transformational leadership, the
relationship was moderately negative (k=6, N= 823, ρ=-.29, SDρ=.29). An even stronger
negative relationship was observed when both ratings were made by subordinates (k=3, N=
1,301, ρ=-.58, SDρ=.00), although this may in part reflect an attributional process whereby
followers attribute poor leadership skills to psychopathic tendencies. Relatively weak
relationships were observed when individuals rated themselves on psychopathic tendencies and
had peers provide ratings on transformational leadership in either concurrent (k=6, N= 297, ρ=-
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
16
.02, SDρ=.07) or predictive designs (k=6, N= 255, ρ=-.20, SDρ=.10), or when both ratings were
made by peers (k=6, N= 272, ρ=-.06, SDρ=.00). The confidence intervals of most of the
estimates of the relationship between psychopathic tendencies and transformational leadership
did not include zero, indicating that the effects were significantly different from zero. However,
the wide credibility intervals for most estimates suggest that the relationship remains strongly
moderated.
To examine RQ3 on the influence of leader gender, we estimated the associations using
samples where separate correlations were available for each gender. For leadership emergence,
the association between psychopathic tendencies and leadership emergence was weakly positive
for women (k=12; N=3,048; ρ=.04; SDρ=.11) but slightly stronger for men (k=17; N=3,191;
ρ=.10; SDρ=.16). This difference was not statistically significant according to the Neter,
Wasserman, and Whitmore (1988) t-test (t(27)=1.20, p=.24). For leadership effectiveness, the
association was modestly negative for women (k=7; N=459; ρ=-.18; SDρ=.00) and weakly
positive for men (k=7; N=1,103; ρ=.03; SDρ=.00). This difference could not be tested using the
Neter et al. procedure because the variance estimates for the population correlations are zero.
Finally, for transformational leadership, when psychopathic tendencies were assessed by leaders
and their subordinates, the association was strongly negative for women (k=6, N=505, ρ=-.42;
SDρ=.22) but only moderately negative for men (k=8, N=652, ρ=-.27, SDρ=.31). This difference
was not statistically significant (t(12)=1.06, p=.31) because of the relatively few studies and high
variance estimates of the respective population correlations. Across all three criteria, the general
pattern is that higher levels of psychopathic tendencies are tolerated or even sanctioned in men,
but that elevated levels of psychopathic tendencies in women are associated with lessened
chances of promotion and a greater likelihood of being negatively appraised.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
17
Results for the curvilinear associations between psychopathic tendencies and the
examined criteria for RQ4 are presented in Table 3. All tests were statistically significant at
alpha=.05, but associations were small to modest (ΔR from .013 to .162). We plot these
relationships in Figures 1-6 using standardized values for both criteria and psychopathic
tendencies. The slope between psychopathic tendencies and emergence (Figure 1) increased
slightly as the level of psychopathic tendencies increased. Figure 3 shows that the negative
relationship between self-rated psychopathic tendencies and transformational leadership
decreased in strength as psychopathic tendencies increased. For all other criteria (Figure 2 and
Figures 4-6), the association with psychopathic tendencies followed a weak inverse u-shape such
that the highest levels of the criterion were observed for moderate levels of psychopathic
tendencies.
Discussion
The present study set out to address questions concerning the prevalence of psychopathic
tendencies of corporate leaders. We conducted a meta-analysis to reconcile the often
contradictory literature exploring the associations between psychopathic tendencies and
leadership emergence and effectiveness. Overall, our results showed that psychopathic
tendencies were, on average, weakly positively linked to leadership emergence and weakly
negatively linked to leadership effectiveness. Psychopathic tendencies were negatively
associated with transformational leadership, although this was moderated by rating source.
Specifically, the weakest association occurred when psychopathic tendencies were self-rated and
transformational leadership was rated by peers, and the strongest association occurred when both
criteria were subordinate-rated. Furthermore, since one aspect of psychopathy – Fearless
Dominance, from the PPI-R (Lilienfeld & Widows, 2005) – correlates positively with
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
18
transformational leadership (Costello et al., 2018; Neo et al., 2018), it is possible that these
associations would be stronger if an examination of facet-level relationships had been possible.
Additional analyses showed that gender moderated the association between psychopathic
tendencies and leadership emergence and effectiveness. Specifically, for emergence, there was a
non-significant positive association for women and a significant positive association for men.
For effectiveness, there was a significant negative association for women and a significant
positive association for men. That is, there tend to be social sanctions against women displaying
psychopathic characteristics. This is likely because women displaying psychopathic behaviors
are viewed as violating not only general gender norms (Verona & Vitale, 2006), but also those
associated with female leaders (Johnson, Murphy, Zewdie, & Reichard, 2008). Our analyses also
provide evidence for modest curvilinear effects. Increasing levels of psychopathic tendencies
were associated with a progressively increasing likelihood of being a leader, while leader
effectiveness, transformational leadership (except when psychopathic tendencies were self-
reported), and informal leadership were highest at moderate levels of psychopathic tendencies.
Implications
One major aim for this study was to reconcile and explain the often conflicting results
found in the literature surrounding psychopathic tendencies and leadership and to address the
often overblown rhetoric on the topic in the popular press and practitioner literature. The positive
association of psychopathic tendencies with leadership emergence suggests that, as both scholars
and the popular press fear (e.g., Babiak & Hare, 2006; Pearlman, 2016), these individuals are
more likely to emerge as leaders within organizations. Although this effect size is small by
conventional standards (Cohen, 1988) or those typical in the organizational literature (Bosco,
Aguinis, Singh, Field, & Pierce, 2015; Paterson, Harms, Steel, & Credé, 2016), it is nonetheless
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
19
potentially important in practice. For instance, Cortina and Landis (2009) noted that, under
certain conditions, conventionally small effect sizes may have significant implications. The
emergence of leaders with psychopathic tendencies may be one such context.
Our results also indicated that psychopathic tendencies were generally weakly associated
with lower levels of leadership effectiveness. Thus, our findings provide some support for
accounts of psychopathy that presume that negative leadership outcomes are more likely than not
(e.g., Babiak & Hare, 2006). That said, our curvilinear analysis showed evidence that moderate
levels of psychopathy were associated with higher levels of effectiveness than either very low or
very high levels. Consequently, accounts of psychopathy that suggest that positive outcomes are
possible under some circumstances (e.g. Dutton, 2012) also seem to have found some support.
Finally, of particular importance and interest is our finding that gender moderates the
association of psychopathic tendencies with leadership emergence and effectiveness such that
women are evaluated negatively when they express psychopathic characteristics, but men are
not. This represents a potential fruitful avenue not only for researchers interested in psychopathic
tendencies in the workplace, but also those interested in the impact of dark personality traits
more broadly. That is, there is a need to explore not just whether differences exist in overall
levels of dark personality, but also how those traits are manifested. For example, prior research
suggests that women typically are less likely to endorse antisocial criteria than men even when
matched for level of psychopathy (Jane, Oltmanns, South, & Turkheimer, 2007). Instead, they
are more likely to manifest psychopathic tendencies with emotion-laden outbursts in more
interpersonal contexts such as at home or with family (Verona & Vitale, 2006).
Limitations and Future Directions
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
20
We must acknowledge some limitations of this meta-analysis. First, despite the
prevalence of academic literature speculating on the associations between psychopathic
tendencies and leadership, a relatively limited number of empirical studies were available.
Second, given the large number of available measures of psychopathic tendencies and the lack of
agreement on a common metric, we had to include all measures of psychopathic tendencies.
Third, due to the small number of samples that used measures with subdimensions (e.g., the PPI-
R; Lilienfeld & Widows, 2005), we were limited to using overall scores of psychopathy. Fourth,
in almost all instances, leader effectiveness was assessed by subjective ratings rather than by
objective measures, such as financial performance, which may yield different associations.
However, our results suggest some potential directions for future research. First, and
most obvious, is the need for better assessment of psychopathy in the organizational literature.
Much of the psychopathy literature agrees that the construct is multidimensional, but researchers
often either use measures that only generate overall scores or fail to report findings for each
factor. This is especially critical because some dimensions of psychopathy (e.g., meanness) may
lead to more interpersonal problems than others (e.g., boldness). Thus, it is possible that
seemingly contradictory results across studies may be due to measures oversampling content
from particular dimensions. Second, the potential for gender differences in how psychopathic
tendencies align with leadership outcomes merits further exploration in terms of how such
gender differences may impact non-leadership aspects of work, but also how gender may
influence the expression and interpretation of personality traits in the workplace more broadly.
Third, the results of the current study suggest that there may be unexplored moderators at
work. This indicates that further research is warranted, particularly studies that explore the
impact of using different and more rigorous designs and measures. Additionally, studies
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
21
comparing effects across organizations and countries are likely to find differences in the degree
to which different cultures tolerate or interpret psychopathic behavior. In particular, we believe
that the prevalence of women in the workplace and societal values concerning gender equality
may impact how leaders, followers, and organizations react to psychopathic behavior.
Fourth, prior research has established that the negative impact of destructive leaders is
moderated by the characteristics of their followers (Harms, Wood, Landay, Lester, &
Vogelgesang-Lester, 2018; Henle & Gross, 2014; Nandkeolyar, Shaffer, Li, Ekkirala, & Bagger,
2014; Padilla et al., 2007; Wang, Harms, & Mackey, 2015). However, little research has
addressed this question for psychopathic leaders directly. Consequently, we suggest that future
research examine whether follower characteristics (e.g., gender, age) influence the degree to
which they notice or react to the negative characteristics of their leaders.
3
Finally, the small but
consistent curvilinear results indicate a potential trend that should be further investigated in order
to assess “optimal” levels of psychopathic tendencies in regards to leadership.
Conclusion
The present study set out to address controversy concerning the prevalence of
psychopathic tendencies of corporate leaders. We conducted a meta-analysis on the associations
of psychopathic tendencies with leadership emergence, leadership effectiveness, and
transformational leadership. Our results suggested that individuals with psychopathic tendencies
are, in fact, somewhat more likely to emerge as leaders, and that these individuals are somewhat
less effective leaders. Further, analyses suggested that gender moderated these links such that
women are penalized for displaying psychopathic tendencies but that men may be rewarded for
similar behaviors. Finally, curvilinear analyses suggested that moderate levels of psychopathic
3
We thank an anonymous reviewer for this suggestion.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
22
tendencies can actually be associated with increased ratings of leadership effectiveness.
Although this study answers several questions about the nature of psychopathic tendencies with
regards to leadership, it also indicates that there is much more to be learned about leadership,
dark personality traits, and the role of gender in the workplace.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
23
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PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
32
Table 1
Reliability Distributions used to Compute Meta-Analytic Estimates of the Associations between
Psychopathic Tendencies and Leadership Criteria.
Construct
Mean α
SDα
Krel
Psychopathic Tendencies
.61
.09
70
Leader Effectiveness
.82
.21
6
Transformational Leadership
.88
.03
10
Informal Leadership
.94
-
1
Note. Mean α = average local alpha reliability estimate, SDα = standard deviation of local alpha
reliability estimates, Krel = number of local reliability estimates used to construct reliability
distribution. The reliability estimate for informal leadership was imported from Harms and
Wood (2008). For each effect size obtained from the HDS test publisher we imputed the
reliability estimate reported in the HDS manual.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
33
Table 2
Meta-Analytic Results for the Associations between Psychopathic Tendencies and Leadership Criteria.
Leader
Gender
Source of
Psychopathic
Tendency Ratings
Leadership Criterion
Criterion
Rating Source
k
N
r obs
ρ
2.5%
CI
97.5%
CI
SDρ
10%
CV
90%
CV
%Var
All
Self
Leader Emergence
All
46
32,680
.06
.07
.04
.10
.09
-.04
.19
22
All
Self (HDS MIS)
Leader Emergence
All
23
21,106
.05
.06
.03
.09
.07
-.04
.15
25
All
Self (non-HDS MIS)
Leader Emergence
All
23
11,574
.08
.10
.05
.15
.11
-.04
.24
21
All
Self
Informal Leadership
Peers
7
305
-.06
-.08
-.04
.20
.00
-.08
-.08
100
Female
Self
Leader Emergence
All
12
3,048
.03
.04
-.04
.12
.11
-.09
.18
36
Male
Self
Leader Emergence
All
17
3,191
.08
.10
.01
.19
.16
-.10
.30
26
All
Self
Leader Effectiveness
All
42
6,838
-.03
-.04
-.09
-.001
.09
-.16
.07
60
All
Self
Leader Effectiveness
Supervisors
35
4,890
-.04
-.06
-.11
-.003
.10
-.18
.07
60
All
Self
Leader Effectiveness
Multi-Source
7
1,814
-.02
-.03
-.12
.06
.06
-.10
.05
65
Female
Self
Leader Effectiveness
All
7
459
-.12
-.18
-.29
-.07
.00
-.18
-.18
100
Male
Self
Leader Effectiveness
All
7
1,103
.02
.03
-.01
.07
.00
.03
.03
100
All
Self
TL (Concurrent)
All
13
1,220
-.13
-.18
-.35
-.01
.28
-.54
.17
20
All
Self
TL (Concurrent)
Self
6
823
-.21
-.29
-.54
-.04
.29
-.65
.08
14
All
Subordinates
TL (Concurrent)
Subordinates
3
1,301
-.42
-.58
-.62
-.54
.00
-.58
-.58
100
All
Self
TL (Concurrent)
Peers
6
297
-.02
-.02
-.14
.10
.07
-.11
.07
89
All
Self
TL (Predictive)
Peers
6
255
-.14
-.20
-.40
-.004
.10
-.33
-.06
80
All
Peers
TL (Concurrent)
Peers
6
272
-.04
-.06
-.19
.07
.00
-.06
-.06
100
Female
Self & Subordinate
TL (Concurrent)
All
6
505
-.31
-.42
-.63
-.21
.22
-.70
-.15
29
Male
Self & Subordinate
TL (Concurrent)
All
8
652
-.20
-.27
-.51
-.03
.31
-.67
.13
18
Note. k = number of studies, N = number of subjects, robs = sample-size weighted mean observed correlation,
r
= true score correlation, 2.5%CI and 97.5%CI = lower and upper
bound of 95% confidence interval, SDρ = standard deviation of true score correlation, 10%CV and 90%CV = lower and upper bound of 80% credibility intervals, %Var = percentage
of variance in observed effect sizes that can be explained by study artifacts, HDS MIS = Hogan Development Survey Mischievous scale, TL = Transformational Leadership,
Concurrent = concurrent designs only, Predictive = predictive designs only.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
34
Table 3
Summary of Hierarchical Regression Results to test Curvilinear Associations between Psychopathic Tendencies and Leadership Criteria.
Psychopathic
Tendency
(Psychopathic
Tendency)2
Criterion
Source of Psychopathy
Ratings
k
N
Beta
t-value
Beta
t-value
Step 1
R
Step 2
ΔR
Incremental p-
value
Emergence
All
7
5,437
0.103
5.84
0.072
4.11
0.057
0.022
<.001
Effectiveness
All
8
2,041
0.002
0.07
-0.061
-2.75
0.006
0.061
.006
TL
Self-Reports
9
864
-0.263
-7.67
0.083
2.43
0.240
0.013
.015
TL
Other-Reports
6
272
-0.005
-0.07
-0.160
-2.50
0.061
0.162
.013
Informal
Leadership
Self-Reports
6
320
-0.044
-0.80
-0.156
2.81
0.037
0.160
.005
Informal
Leadership
Other-Reports
6
296
-0.020
-0.30
-0.140
2.31
0.059
0.146
.022
Note. k = number of studies, N = number of subjects, Beta = standardized beta coefficient, t-value = value of t-statistic, Step 1 R = R for psychopathy alone, Step 2 ΔR = incremental
R provided by squared psychopathic tendency after controlling for psychopathic tendency, Incremental p-value = p-value associated with the incremental R associated with squared
psychopathic tendency, TL = Transformational Leadership.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
35
Figure 1. Curvilinear association between psychopathic tendencies and leadership emergence.
-1
-0.8
-0.6
-0.4
-0.2
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
Leadership Emergence
Psychopathic Tendency
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
36
Figure 2. Curvilinear association between psychopathic tendencies and leadership effectiveness.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
37
Figure 3. Curvilinear association between self-reported psychopathic tendencies and
transformational leadership.
-1
-0.8
-0.6
-0.4
-0.2
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
Transformational Leadership
Psychopathic Tendency (Self-Report)
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
38
Figure 4. Curvilinear association between other-reported psychopathic tendencies and
transformational leadership.
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
39
Figure 5. Curvilinear association between self-reported psychopathic tendencies and informal
leadership.
-1
-0.8
-0.6
-0.4
-0.2
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
Informal Leadership
Psychopathic Tendency (Self-Report)
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
40
Figure 6. Curvilinear association between other-reported psychopathic tendencies and informal
leadership.
-1
-0.8
-0.6
-0.4
-0.2
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
Informal Leadership
Psychopathic Tendency (Other-Report)
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
41
Appendix
Coded Primary Study Data for Psychopathic Tendencies and Leadership Criteria.
Psychopathy
Criterion
Sample
Author
Measure
Local or
Manual
alpha
Source
Type
Local
alpha
Source
Design
r
N
1
Baird (2002)
LPS
0.82
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Concurrent
-0.33
92
2
Benson (2006)
HDS
0.52
Self
Eff.
0.94
Supervisor &
Peers
Concurrent
-0.17
290
3
Benson (2006)
HDS
0.50
Self
Eff.
0.41
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.07
220
4
Costello, Unterberger, Watts &
Lillienfield (2018)
LPS
0.904
Self
TL
0.86
Self-Report
Concurrent
-0.432
339
5
Davies (2004)
HDS
Self
Eff.
Self &
Subordinates
Concurrent
0.01
127
5
Davies (2004)
HDS
Self
TL
Self-Report
Concurrent
0.144
131
5
Davies (2004)
HDS
Self
TL
Subordinate
Concurrent
0.128
100
6
Eisenbarth, Hart, & Sedikides (2018)
PPI-R-T
0.65
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Concurrent
0.097
412
7
Furnham, Crump, & Ritchie (2013)
HDS
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Concurrent
-0.07
3,799
8
Gøtzsche -Astrup, Jakobsen, &
Furnham (2016)
HDS
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.02
176
9
Harms (n.d.a.)
Dirty
Dozen
0.84
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Concurrent
0.112
1,390
10
Harms (n.d.b.)
Mini-ME
0.71
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Concurrent
0.057
1,056
11
Harms (2016b)
MMPI Pd
Self
Em.
Objective
Longitudinal
-0.076
309
12
Harms & Spain (2014)
Q-Sort
Subordinates
TL
Subordinate
Concurrent
-0.38
287
13
Harms, Spain, & Hannah (2011a)
HDS
Self
Eff.
0.84
Supervisor
Longitudinal
-0.013
919
14
Harms, Spain, & Hannah (2011b)
HDS
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.13
353
15
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
-0.297
27
15
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Inf. Ld.
Peers
Concurrent
0.169
27
15
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.784
Peers
TL
0.843
Peers
Concurrent
-0.037
29
15
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.843
Peers
Concurrent
0.034
35
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
42
Appendix (cont.)
Psychopathy
Criterion
Sample
Author
Measure
Local or
Manual alpha
Source
Type
Local
alpha
Source
Design
r
N
15
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.90
Peers
Longitudinal
0.264
32
16
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-Me
0.753
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.09
67
16
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Inf.
Ld.
Peers
Concurrent
-0.082
67
16
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.784
Peers
TL
0.90
Peers
Concurrent
0.068
65
16
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.907
Peers
Concurrent
-0.141
72
16
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.845
Peers
Longitudinal
-0.033
53
17
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
-0.018
48
17
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Inf.
Ld.
Peers
Concurrent
-0.124
47
17
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.784
Peers
TL
0.923
Peers
Concurrent
0.081
49
17
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.862
Peers
Concurrent
-0.032
49
17
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.862
Peers
Longitudinal
-0.447
44
18
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.031
71
18
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Inf.
Ld.
Peers
Concurrent
-0.106
71
18
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.784
Peers
TL
0.907
Peers
Concurrent
-0.129
69
18
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.90
Peers
Concurrent
-0.144
73
18
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.923
Peers
Longitudinal
0.03
75
19
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
-0.115
18
19
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Inf.
Ld.
Peers
Concurrent
-0.292
18
19
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.784
Peers
TL
0.845
Peers
Concurrent
-0.167
16
19
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.845
Peers
Concurrent
0.271
20
19
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.843
Peers
Longitudinal
-0.205
13
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
43
Appendix (cont.)
Psychopathy
Criterion
Unique
Sample
Author
Measure
Local or
Manual
alpha
Source
Type
Local
alpha
Source
Design
r
N
20
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.139
31
20
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Inf.
Ld.
Peers
Concurrent
0.172
31
21
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
-0.108
46
21
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
Inf.
Ld.
Peers
Concurrent
-0.107
44
21
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.784
Peers
TL
0.862
Peers
Concurrent
-0.18
44
21
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.923
Peers
Concurrent
0.227
48
21
Harms & Wood (2008)
Mini-ME
0.753
Self
TL
0.907
Peers
Longitudinal
-0.173
38
22
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #1
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.206
295
23
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #2
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
0.86
360 Degree
Rating
Concurrent
-0.061
181
24
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #3
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.222
325
25
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #4
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
360 Degree
Rating
Concurrent
-0.018
210
26
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #5
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
0.96
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.035
188
27
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #6
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.085
311
28
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #7
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.043
2,468
29
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #8
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.012
497
30
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #9
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.154
439
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
44
Appendix (cont.)
Psychopathy
Criterion
Sample
Author
Measure
Local or
Manual
alpha
Source
Type
Local
alpha
Source
Design
r
N
31
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #10
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.056
385
32
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #11
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.095
1,277
33
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #11
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.122
139
34
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #13
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.098
740
35
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #14
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.139
526
36
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #15
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.031
1,212
37
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #16
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.253
342
38
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #17
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.097
1,354
39
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #18
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.206
30
40
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #19
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.026
157
41
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #20
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.066
2,077
42
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #21
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.061
2,260
43
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #22
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.031
974
44
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #23
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.045
978
45
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #24
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.164
90
46
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #25
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.067
573
47
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #26
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.04
78
48
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #27
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.01
318
49
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #28
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.17
183
50
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #29
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.16
25
51
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #30
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.23
103
52
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #31
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.35
23
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
45
Appendix (cont.)
Psychopathy
Criterion
Sample
Author
Measure
Local or
Manual
alpha
Source
Type
Local
alpha
Source
Design
r
N
53
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #32
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.07
114
54
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #33
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.04
119
55
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #34
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.09
69
56
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #35
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.04
63
57
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #36
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.02
130
58
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #37
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.13
118
59
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #38
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.11
46
60
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #39
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.08
67
61
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #40
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.10
103
62
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #41
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.00
68
63
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #42
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.10
37
64
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #43
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.12
51
65
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #44
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.04
83
66
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #45
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.32
47
67
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #46
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.15
47
68
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #47
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.09
51
69
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #48
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.13
32
70
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #49
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.00
114
71
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #50
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.01
56
72
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #51
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
-0.08
241
73
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #52
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.16
38
74
Hogan Assessment Systems Study #53
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
360 Degree
Longitudinal
0.03
796
75
Hogan Assessment Systems Study $54
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Longitudinal
0.00
103
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
46
Appendix (cont.)
Psychopathy
Criterion
Sample
Author
Measure
Local or
Manual
alpha
Source
Type
Local
alpha
Source
Design
r
N
76
Hogan Assessment Systems Study
#55
HDS
0.58
Self
Eff.
360 Degree
Rating
Concurrent
0.02
210
77
Howe, Falkenbach, & Massey
(2014)
PPI-R-T
0.84
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Concurrent
0.08
55
78
Khoo & Burch (2008)
HDS
Self
TL
Self-Report
Concurrent
0.09
80
79
Lester (n.d.)
FFM
Psychopathy
Self
Em.
Unknown
Concurrent
0.04
62
79
Lester (n.d.)
FFM
Psychopathy
Self
Eff.
Supervisor
Concurrent
0.055
63
79
Lester (n.d.)
FFM
Psychopathy
Self
TL
Unknown
Concurrent
0.124
54
80
Lilienfeld, Latzman, Watts, Smith,
& Dutton (2014)
PPI-R-SF
0.94
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Concurrent
0.10
3,387
81
Lindberg (2006)
HDS
Self
Eff.
0.93
Subordinates
Concurrent
0.07
134
82
Mathieu & Babiak (2015)
B-Scan 360
0.82
Subordinates
TL
0.91
Subordinate
Concurrent
-0.42
423
83
Mathieu, Neumann, Babiak, & Hare
(2015)
B-Scan 360
0.85
Subordinates
TL
0.85
Subordinates
Concurrent
-0.45
591
84
Neo, Sellbom, Smith, & Lilienfeld
(2018)
LPS
0.92
Self
TL
0.85
Self-Report
Concurrent
-0.242
131
85
Sarris (1994)
MMPI Pd
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
-0.117
107
86
Schütte et al. (2018)
PPI-R-T
0.85
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Concurrent
-0.031
161
87
Spencer & Byrne (2016)
PM-MRV
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.80
118
88
Spurk, Keller, & Hirschi (2016)
Dirty Dozen
0.78
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Concurrent
0.01
793
89
Westerlaken & Woods (2013)
SRP III-R12
0.91
Self
TL
0.86
Self-Report
Concurrent
-0.19
115
90
Wille, De Fruyt, & De Clercq
(2013)
NEO-PI-R
Antisocial
0.73
Self
Em.
Self-Report
Longitudinal
0.16
226
91
Winsborough & Sambath (2013)
HDS
0.58
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.146
302
92
Wisse, Barelds, & Rietzschel
(2015)
Dirty Dozen
0.65
Self
Em.
Objective
Concurrent
0.012
599
PSYCHOPATHY AND LEADERSHIP META-ANALYSIS
47
Note. Eff. = Leader Effectiveness, Em.= Leader Emergence, Inf. Ld. = Informal Leadership, TL = Transformational Leadership, HDS
= Hogan Development Survey, LPS = Levenson measure of primary and secondary psychopathy, MMPI Pd = Psychopathic Deviate
scale of Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, PM-MRV = Psychopathy Measure-Management Research Version, PPI-R-SF =
short form of Psychopathic Personality Inventory – Revised, PPI-R-T = Psychopathic Personality Inventory – Revised total, SRP-III-
R12 = Self-Report Psychopathy Scale – Revised. Reliabilities for samples 15-21 were computed across all seven samples jointly.
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