The lived experience of toxic leadership in Irish higher education

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Title: The lived experience of toxic leadership in Irish higher education
Other Titles: Toxic Leadership in Irish Higher Education
Authors: Fahie, Declan
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/11398
Date: 29-Oct-2019
Online since: 2020-06-29T16:48:48Z
Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this paper is to reveal the lived experience of toxic leadership for a cohort of 11 individuals who work, or have worked, in the field of higher education in Ireland. Drawing on national and international literature, as well as the testimonies of a cohort of academic and administrative staff, the study considers the impact of this negative management style on these individuals as well as upon the organisation itself. Design/methodology/approach A total of 11 self-selected individuals (four males and seven females) were interviewed for this pilot study. Data from the semi-structured interviews were organised thematically and analysed with the support of the computer software package MAXQDA®. Findings The results show that the experience of toxic leadership was profound for the interviewees across a number of contexts. They reported adverse physical and psychological impacts as well as detailing the repercussions for their respective career trajectories as they endeavoured to safely navigate their often-hostile work environment. Human resources departments within their respective institutions were the focus of considerable criticism by the interviewees who highlighted, what they saw as, the inherent contradiction/tension between the perceived roles and responsibilities of such departments in addressing or resolving interpersonal work-related disputes. Originality/value The findings expand on the extant scholarly literature on toxic leadership in higher education and, for the first time, offer a revealing insight on this phenomenon within the Irish context.
Funding Details: University College Dublin
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Emerald
Journal: International Journal of Workplace Health Management
Copyright (published version): 2019 Emerald
Keywords: StressHigher educationHuman resourcesWorkplace bullyingToxic leadership
DOI: 10.1108/IJWHM-07-2019-0096
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Education Research Collection

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