Destructive leadership behavior

The article ‘Destructive leadership behavior’ by Stale et al. explores how the managers and leaders manifest destructive leadership behavior within an organization by violating the legitimate interests of the organization. From the article, I get insights on how destructive leadership behavior sabotages the effectiveness, motivation, and well-being of the subordinate employees.  Also, I acquire insights regarding different models such as derailed, and tyrannical can be used to provide links between bullying research and leadership filed in an organization (Einarsen, 2007).  From the article, I also understand that modes can be useful to show the extent of destructive leadership behavior to an organization by exploring the individual constructive elements.

From the article, Hornstein argues that destructive leadership behavior is caused by ‘abusive powers’ by the supervisors to the subordinate employees within an organization.  The abusive powers can further lead to bullying, health-endangering by intorelable bosses and petty tyrants within the organization.  Destructive actions can also be directed against the employees within an organization through harassment hindering working towards achieving the intended goals of the organization.  The article further describes the destructive leadership under a conceptual framework which explores how abusive leaders display hostile nonverbal and verbal behaviors which instill intimidation and fear among the subordinates within an organization.  Therefore, the primary goal of destructive leadership behavior is based on controlling other employees through the use of given authority oppressively, and vindictively.   According to the article, deviant employee behavior occurs when employees cause sabotage of the efforts towards achieving organizational goals (Einarsen, 2007). The deviant employee behavior is caused by aggressive behavior among the employees such as showing open hostility towards co-workers, harassment and intimidation. Also, the article argues that abnormal employee behavior can be caused by unproductive behaviors where the employees waste time through engaging in unproductive activities that derails the achievement of specific tasks.  Both deviant employee and destructive leadership behavior are manifested by systematic repetition of acts which violates the legitimate interests of the organization thus causing sabotaging the resources, tasks, effectiveness, and goals intended to be achieved by the organization.

In my thinking, these problems can be solved by using appropriate framework and strategies that advocates for change in leadership and employee practices. Notably, destructive leadership behavior can be solved through incorporating leadership principles and theories that need to be adhered to by the managers and supervisors.  Also, deviant employee behavior can be solved through addressing cultural and workplace diversity that leads to the emergence of deviant behaviors among the employees (Einarsen, 2007).  For instance, cultural diversity among the employees can be solved through adopting strategies that promote teamwork thus eliminating deviant employee behaviors.

According to the article, the organization has a key role to play in eliminating destructive and deviant behaviors by adopting various strategies. The authors suggest an all-inclusive concept as an effective approach to eliminating the behaviors through engaging both managers and employees to work jointly towards achieving organizational goals.  This approach will help in eliminating the misuse of power and direct aggressiveness by the employees.  Also, the organization can eliminate these behaviors by establishing the legitimate interests of an organization through the inclusion of customs or laws and following set standards and rules by organizational members.  Also, setting the managerial grid or framework can be effective in eliminating these behaviors by taking concern of subordinate and leaders needs within the organization.  The article reinforces what learned in EI by providing means to further explore the impact of destructive and deviant behaviors within an organization. Also, the article reinforces that is learned through exploring the causes of these behaviors by leaders and employees.  In my opinion, the article should be used in class to enable the learners to understand the severe implication of destructive leadership behavior and how they can be eliminated to achieve the goals and enhance effectiveness in organizations.




Einarsen, S., Aasland, M. S., & Skogstad, A. (2007). Destructive leadership behaviour: A definition and conceptual model. The Leadership Quarterly18(3), 207-216.