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DESTRUCTIVE LEADERSHIP IN THE MILITARY: A QUALITATIVE INVESTIGATION INTO THE PERCEIVED EFFECTS THAT IT CAN HAVE ON JUNIOR ENLISTED MARINES - Essay Example

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After the suicide death of Private Keiffer Wilhelm, an American soldier serving in Iraq, a military panel convicted Staff Sergeant Enoch Chatman of offenses, most prominently for mistreating subordinates, which is consistent with destructive leadership tendencies (Viviano, 2010).
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DESTRUCTIVE LEADERSHIP IN THE MILITARY: A QUALITATIVE INVESTIGATION INTO THE PERCEIVED EFFECTS THAT IT CAN HAVE ON JUNIOR ENLISTED MARINES
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Download file to see previous pages Further investigation into this soldier’s mistreatment revealed destructive leadership practices were endemic among leaders in the soldier’s squadron (Tann, 2009). Captain Holly Graft was dismissed as captain of a billion-dollar warship in 2009 after repeated mistreatment of subordinates and using the position for personal gain (Thompson, 2010). Chatman and Graft’s actions and the results that occurred from their actions, potentially underline the growing problem of destructive leadership tendencies in the United States military contexts.
Einarsen (2007) defined destructive leadership as leadership repeatedly and systematically pushing against the organization’s functional interests by sabotaging or undermining the organization’s goals, resources, or effectiveness. Reed (2009) suggested military leaders make poor leadership decisions that can ruin their career or the career of others. Schilling (2009) noted destructive leadership has also been referred to as negative leadership. Schilling’s 2009 research on the meaning of negative leadership, suggested negative leadership may be related to certain behavior categories such as laissez-faire, insincere, restrictive, and active/passive avoiding leadership.
Additional studies have tied leadership to poor actions such as bullying, managerial abusive behavior, and discrimination (Hauge, Einarsen, Knardahl, Lau, Notelaers, & Skogstad, 2011; Johnston & Marie, 2010; Simmons, 2009). While the above leadership studies provide a broad overview of destructive leadership behavior, the proposed study plans to take a different approach from previous research conducted in the area of leadership; it will specifically explore the perceived effects of destructive leadership and investigates the perceptions of subordinates based on experiences. Australian School of Business (2010) posited destructive leadership is on the rise. Destructive leadership is a topic rarely mentioned, and is often considered the dark side of organizations (Goodspeed, 2009; Popper, 2001; Lipman-Blumen, 2005; Reed, 2004). Oftentimes, subordinates are afraid to come forward with claims of verbal abuse and bullying because management has the control (Ashkenas, 2011). Witnesses of the abuse and bullying may also be afraid to come forward because of the possible repercussions. Cameron (2008) defined positive leadership as the ability of transforming poor behavior of subordinates to good behavior with positive influence and established how positive leadership influences the performance of subordinates and increases a better working environment. According to Mundy (1995) the greatest responsibility for Marines is leading Marines. Mundy further suggested the Marine Corps has achieved great success over those years, and leadership has played a vital role in that success. Cheneworth noted the Marine Corps came into existence in 1775. Since then, the Marine Corps has been in the forefront when defending the United States of America, along with the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard (Cheneworth, 2010). According to the National Security Act of 1947 (1947), the Marine Corps’ mission consists of different elements such as providing forces to conduct amphibious operations, defend naval bases, and serve as a force in readiness in defense of the United States of America. Ultimately, the effective functioning of these elements is contingent on strong and positive leadership (Cheneworth, 2010). Leadership consists of traits, principles, and behaviors, which includes integrity and setting the example. Edney (1998, p. 12) stated: In the military ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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