A Descriptive Literature Review of Harmful Leadership Styles: Definitions, Commonalities, Measurements, Negative Impacts, and Ways to Improve These Harmful leadership Styles
Burns, Wallace A.
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There are many harmful leadership styles — the egotistic leader, the incompetent leader, the ignorant leader, and leaders that are reckless, cruel, or even evil. To understand what ultimately are considered leadership traits that are contrary to good order, discipline and productivity, the author conducted a review of the literature to obtain a current typology (the grouping of items by their similarities) of selected harmful leadership styles — specific styles that are counter to enabling others to succeed, overcome challenges, achieve desired results, and create a positive environment in which to work. The paper focused on three distinctly harmful leadership styles (abusive, bullying, and toxic), and set these in context with each other and within the domain of destructive leadership in general. Commonalities, measurements, negative impacts, and ways to improve these harmful leadership styles were identified from the literature and detailed. The paper concluded with recommendations for future research and action.