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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Professor Susanne Braun

Schyns, B. Braun, S. & Wisse, B. (2019). Dark personalities in the workplace. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology

Author(s) from Durham


Dark Triad personality traits in the workplace comprise of the traits narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. The Dark Triad and its relationships with individual and organisational variables has received increasing attention in organisational behaviour research. These three traits share a lack of concern for others, but also have idiosyncratic attributes. Narcissism is characterised by a sense of entitlement and self-absorption. Machiavellianism comprises a focus on instrumentality and willingness to engage in manipulation. Psychopathy, possibly the darkest of the three traits, renders individuals callous, impulsive and display antisocial behaviour. While Dark Triad traits may be adaptive in some regards (e.g., narcissism facilitates leadership emergence), the majority of empirical findings point to the damage that individuals high in those traits can do to other organisational members and effective organisational functioning.