Research by James Dobbs

by Peggy Anthony published Sep 12, 2018 03:10 PM, last modified Sep 12, 2018 03:10 PM

The Impact of Perceived Toxic Leadership on Cynicism in Officer Candidates

Authors: James M. Dobbs & James J. Do

Abstract: Organizational cynicism is a key factor in employee burnout, emotional exhaustion, and turnover and directly reduces organizational citizenship behavior, commitment, and effectiveness. Still, little empirical research examines antecedents of organizational cynicism. This study applies a dark side of leadership framework from an organizational and leadership perspective to examine the relationship between perceived toxic leadership and organizational cynicism in a military educational environment. Survey and interview data were used to assess the relationship between toxic leadership and organizational cynicism as reported by U.S. Air Force Academy cadets. Results demonstrate a positive relationship between toxic leadership and organizational cynicism, such that those who report having leaders with toxic characteristics are likely to have more negative attitudes toward their organization. Self-promotion emerged as the sole significant toxic leadership dimension predicting cynicism. Group differences in perceived toxic leadership are found for race but not for gender or amount of time within the organization.

Citation: Dobbs, J., & Do, J. (2018). The impact of perceived toxic leadership on cynicism in officer candidates. Armed Forces & Society, 1-24.


Power and Status: The Building Blocks of Effective Leadership

Authors: Christopher P. Kelley, James M. Dobbs, Jeff W. Lucas & Michael J. Lovaglia

Abstract: Experimental social science research tests theories about basic elements of social processes. This research offers valuable insights for leader development and indicates that structural power and status are the building blocks of effective leadership. Power, defined as the ability to get what one wants despite resistance, and status, defined as a position in a group based on respect or esteem, both lead to influence. Status overcomes the resentment that is typically produced by the use of power. We identify approaches to gaining status and power and discuss their use by leaders. Sixty years of cumulative research on power and status in groups indicates that developing effective leadership requires the sparing use of power. To be most effective, leaders should rely on status.

Citation: Kelley, C., Dobbs, J., Lucas, J., & Lovaglia, M. J. (2017). Power and status: The building blocks of effective leadership. Journal Character & Leadership Integration, 4, 55-76.