Toxic Leadership in Educational Organizations

James E. Green
Georgia Southern University

While research on the traits and skills of effective leaders is plentiful, only recently has the phenomenon of toxic leadership begun to be investigated. This research report focuses on toxic leadership in educational organizations – its prevalence, as well as the characteristics and early indicators. Using mixed methods, the study found four patterns that describe toxic leaders: egotism, ethical failure, incompetence, and neuroticism. In addition, results identified a set of behaviors that suggest early warning signs of toxic leadership. In addition, recommendations include training personnel who participate in the search and selection process for leaders in schools, colleges, and universities so that they are better equipped to assess leadership potential, as well as the potential for toxic leadership.

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