The lived experience of toxic leadership in Irish higher education

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Fahie Paper Revised.pdf391.24 kBAdobe PDFDownload
Title: The lived experience of toxic leadership in Irish higher education
Other Titles: Toxic Leadership in Irish Higher Education
Authors: Fahie, Declan
Permanent link:
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

Show full item record

Page view(s)

Last Week
Last month
checked on Oct 1, 2020


checked on Oct 1, 2020

Google ScholarTM



This item is available under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland. No item may be reproduced for commercial purposes. For other possible restrictions on use please refer to the publisher's URL where this is made available, or to notes contained in the item itself. Other terms may apply.