Chancellor’s Honors Program Projects

Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Timothy P. Munyon, Ph.D.


This paper seeks to define the antecedents and destructive tendencies that inevitably impel an effective leader to organizational dissolution. A definition for destructive leadership is proposed and the concept is further illustrated using three separate models: a model of constructive and destructive leadership behavior (Einarsen, Aasland, & Skogstad, 2007), the toxic triangle (Padilla, Hogan, & Kaiser, 2007), and the susceptible circle (Thoroughgood, Padilla, Hunter, & Tate, 2012). The concepts are then discussed in conjunction with character profiling and case analysis to provide examples of and clarify specific dynamics such as follower susceptibility and conducive environments that contribute to destructive leadership. Enron was selected to demonstrate a business organization, Nazi Germany was identified to discuss political organizations, and the People’s Temple was chosen to examine religious cults.

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