Call for Papers: Dark Side of Leadership Conference

The Dark Side: The Problem of Corrupt, Evil, and Incompetent Leaders

Call for Papers

Ron Riggio, Jay Conger, David Day, Sherylle Tan

Kravis Leadership Institute, Claremont McKenna College

            This call for proposals encourages scholars engaged in cutting edge research on the “dark side” of leadership (e.g., studying abusive, toxic, tyrannical, unethical leadership, etc.) to share their work in conjunction with the 28th Kravis-de Roulet Leadership Conference to be held October 30-31, 2020 at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA USA. Authors of proposals selected by the editorial team for the conference presentation will have an opportunity to showcase their work at the conference, and be considered for an edited book on the topic. The timeline and important dates for the conference and submissions are provided below.

            Recent history has highlighted many instances of bad leadership, ranging from despotic rulers of nations (Kets de Vries, 2006), to destructive leaders (Schyns & Schilling, 2013), to Toxic Leaders (Pelletier, 2012), to abusive bosses (Zhang & Bednall, 2016). Although volumes have been written on exemplary and ethical leadership, there has been relatively little attention given to the dark side of leadership. Topics that will be considered – either empirical or theoretical contributions — for this conference and special issue will include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessment of the dark side dynamics/manifestations of leadership
  • Antecedents (e.g., personality, motivational, environmental) of bad leadership
  • The impact of destructive/tyrannical/abusive leadership on followers and organizations/societies
  • The liabilities associated with pathological, narcissistic leaders
  • The dysfunctional dynamics fostered with followers by dark side leaders
  • Integrative, multidisciplinary, or transdisciplinary approaches to dark side leadership

About the Conference

The Kravis-de Roulet Leadership Conference, which began in 1990, is funded jointly by an endowment from the Henry R. Kravis and de Roulet families. This perpetual funding, along with additional support from the Kravis Leadership Institute and Claremont McKenna College, enables us to attract the finest leadership scholars and practitioners as conference presenters and participants. Kravis-de Roulet regularly brings together hundreds of leadership researchers and professionals from all over the world. A limited budget will be available to help defray cost of conference presenters who do not have sufficient travel funds to attend.

Submission Process

            Authors should submit their proposals by May 1, 2020, to

In addition to a group of invited speakers, we anticipate having concurrent paper and poster sessions during the conference to showcase research on the dark side of leadership.

Deadlines and Important Dates

May 1, 2020: Proposal deadline (10 pages maximum, double spaced; note that references, figures, and tables do not count in the 10-page limit).

July 1, 2020: Decisions and feedback for proposals making the short list for conference presentation.

October 30-31, 2020: Working papers presented at the 28th Kravis-de Roulet Leadership Conference.

January 1, 2021: Full paper submission due for consideration in an edited volume.

June 1, 2021: Final revisions due

Spring or Summer 2022: Edited volume publication (to be determined)


Kets de Vries, M.F.R. (2006). The spirit of despotism: Understanding the tyrant within. Human Relations, 59(2), 195-220.

Pelletier, K.L. (2012). Perceptions of and reactions to leader toxicity: Do leader-follower relationships and identification with victim matter? The Leadership Quarterly, 23(3), 412-424.

Schyns, B., & Schilling, J. (2010). How bad are the effects of bad leaders? A meta-analysis of destructive leadership and its outcomes. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(1), 138-158.

Zhang, Y., & Bednall, T.C. (2016). Antecedents of abusive supervision: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Business Ethics, 139(3), 455.471.

Ronald Riggio
Claremont McKenna College
Claremont CA
(909) 607-2997

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