Book Operationalizing the construct of toxic leadership in the United States Army / by Darrell Wayne Aubrey
Publication year: 2013.
Call Number UB210 .A37 2013a
Media class: Book
Thesis (Ph. D.) -- University of Phoenix, 2013.
Extent: xiii, 266 leaves
The U.S. Army needed an operational definition of the term toxic leadership because commanders and other interested senior leaders expressed difficulty in isolating the phenomenon in a uniform manner. More than 50% of first-term soldiers considered leaving the U.S. Army because of mistreatment by superiors. To address this issue, a qualitative modified Delphi study was conducted to gather the consensus opinion of the senior U.S. Army leaders on the distinctive elements of toxic leadership. A pilot study was used to refine questions prior to engaging participants. In the full study, seventeen senior leaders in the grades of colonel and civilian general schedule (GS) 15 or above responded to three rounds of Delphi questioning leading to group consensus identified using NVivo 10 qualitative data analysis software. The results of the study were nine general themes that described the distinctive elements of toxic leadership and toxic leaders in the U.S. Army. Participants identified dysfunctional command climate, employee anti-social behavior, reduced trust and commitment, abusive supervision, petty tyranny, unethical and abusive behaviors, hierarchical structures, and permissive environment as indicative of toxicity in U.S. Army organizations. Results showed that culture, climate, and situational factors may form a toxic pyramid and have a profound influence on toxicity determination in U.S. Army organizations. Future studies should explore the perceptions of initial entry and mid-career personnel to validate and expand on the knowledge provided in this study. In addition, introducing quantitative analysis and grounded theory methods to refine data, identify statistical relationships, and develop new theory may produce different results and expand the body of knowledge.