Bad to the Bone: Empirically Defining and Measuring Destructive Leader Behavior

Christian N. Thoroughgood, Brian W. Tate, Katina B. Sawyer, Rick R. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Although destructive leader behavior is an increasingly popular area of study, little is known about its content or dimensionality at a broad level. In this study, an inventory of destructive behaviors was developed through inductive and deductive methods. Across multiple studies, three behavioral dimensions emerged and were used to create a measure of the construct. Results provide support for the instrument's construct and criterion validity and its predictive validity over abusive supervision. The study highlights the progress and limitations of prior research, suggests directions for future studies, and provides a practically useful measure of destructive leader behavior in organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-255
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Leadership and Organizational Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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