Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Girardi

Second Supervisor

Jennifer Schulman

Abstract

Toxic leadership is defined in the Army as a combination of self-centered attitudes, motivations, and behaviors that adversely affect others (US Army, 2012). Toxic leadership is currently a phenomenon that is problematic for the U.S. Army and its consequences it has on solider morale (Ellie, 2012). Moreover, the US Army’s recognition of this problem and movement to eradicate it has been a slow process with limited resolutions. The present research yields participant agreement on the negative impact that toxic leadership has on solider morale. In order to determine the impact that toxic leadership has on the morale of its personnel, a series of interviews involving five retired army personnel was carried out. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was conducted to analyze their perspectives to explore the effects of toxic leadership on each of them, personally. Specifically, the study found that the impact of toxic leadership resulted in decreased morale, suicidal tendencies, and army personnel ending their careers early due to their experience in toxic command climates. Additionally, the study found that the U.S. Army is not eradicating the problem at an effective or an efficient pace. The information gathered will assist the U.S. Army in altering their views on toxic leadership and enforcing an immediate change on how they can address this problem in the future.

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