Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Tilman Sheets


Fascination with leadership and the pursuit of its understanding have been common across disciplines throughout history (Bass & Stogdill, 1990). Studying leadership in an organization provides value in understanding its relation to outcomes such as employee attitudes (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, & Bommer, 1996), individual performance (Tierney, Farmer, & Graen, 1999) and organizational performance (Day & Lord, 1988; Sully de Luque, Washburn, Waldman, & House, 2008). Leadership is suggested to be the underlying human factor key to organizational effectiveness (Hogan & Kaiser, 2005). In spite of the vast body of literature, much remains to be understood, especially understanding context (McCall & Hollenbeck, 2002). Particularly, research is needed to understand leadership in cross-cultural contexts (Leung & Peterson, 2011).

For years researchers have attempted to predict leadership success and more recently have become concerned with factors that predict leadership failure, which in some cases can be associated with higher costs (McCall & Lombardo, 1983). Personality characteristics, or specifically dark side personality traits, have been a primary focus of studying leadership derailment. Research in this topic has been primarily U.S. centric and research suggests that we do not fully understand the influence of cultural context (Bass, Burger, Dokotor, & Barrett, 1979; Griffeth, Hom, DeNisi & Kirchner, 1980). In order to bridge the research gap, the current study was an effort to shed light on non-linear relationships between dark side personality dimensions (Bold, Cautious, and Diligent) and performance, moderated by cultural context. The organizational data included individuals from a Fortune 50, multi-national, consumer packaged goods organization, representing all major geographic regions, various business functions and levels in the organization