Mal-Leaders and Organizational Decline
This chapter identifies mal-leadership as a force contributing to organizational decline. Several types of mal-leader are identified: the absentee leader, controller, busybody, hedonist, enforcer, street fighter, and bully. Stages of response by rational employees to mal-leaders are trust and cooperation, disappointment and disillusionment, outrage and contempt, covert game playing, open warfare, siege mentality, and isolation and alienation. Strategies for reversing organization decline range from expanding the organizational resource base to removing the mal-leader, restructuring the organization, and abolishing the organization. Most scholars focus upon the desirable qualities and types of leadership that lead to high organizational and institutional performance. The absentee leader is a disengaged, remote mal-leader who is only tangentially involved in organizational decisions, manipulates symbols more than substance, and doesn’t mind the organizational store. Individual strategies for dealing with mal-leaders are cumbersome, threatening, and difficult. Several strategies can be used to halt and reverse organizational decline.