A method for measuring destructive leadership and identifying types of destructive leaders in organizations

James B. Shaw*, Anthony Erickson, Michael Harvey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


This study describes the development of a measure of the nature of destructive leadership in organizations. We then use scales developed from that measure in a cluster analysis to empirically derive a behavior-based taxonomy of destructive leaders. Data were obtained through a web-based survey that generated 707 respondents. Based on follower perceptions, the results identified seven types of destructive leaders using behavior-focused scales. An interesting discovery was that most of the types of destructive leaders identified were not "all destructive" but rather perceived as extreme on just one or two characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-590
Number of pages16
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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