TOXIC LEADERSHIP: A SYSTEMIC APPROACH TO SHIFT FROM REACTIVE TO PROACTIVE SOLUTIONS
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE United States
Pagination or Media Count:
The problem of toxic leadership is conceptually complex because it involves human behaviors and interpersonal relations. Numerous authors have researched and studied the issue of toxic leadership. Consequently, there are abundant sources that analyze its intricacies. However, despite all this, the academic community has not reached a consensus on the definition of this elusive concept and on describing the behaviors and attributes toxic leaders display. This lack of a common ground on which to base policies and preventive measures permeates the US military. In fact, apart from the US Army Center for Army Leadership annual survey CASAL, the rest of the services do not conduct any regular quantitative research on the incidence of toxic leadership within their organizations.1 In contrast, many articles and research papers about toxic leadership in the military are available. However, just as their civilian counterparts, researchers on the military side have focused their academic work mainly on providing a definition of toxic leadership from the military perspective in order to facilitate its identification, with the ultimate goal of getting rid of those toxic leaders. In other words, their proposed prescriptions have been reactive in nature. The most important conclusion extracted from this fact is that the US military has not paid enough attention to the consequences of toxic leadership, with respect to the degree and magnitude of damage toxic leaders cause to an organization.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Administration and Management
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations