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Research Proposal on Toxic Leadership

6 pages
1532 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Research proposal
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I was faced with the question of what interested me and why. From this, it was determined that my research interest was born from 23 years in the United States Army as a junior Soldier moving through the rank into senior leadership. Over my journey serving under many leaders crossing the range of seven leadership styles of charismatic, participative, situational, transactional, transformational, quiet and servant leadership. Each of these styles have both pros and cons, they are both influenced by the leaders emotional intelligence resulting in an impact on those under their command. Real-time observation has shown low emotional intelligence decreases the leaders ability to detect intellectual icebergs. Serving as a master resilience trainer I often worked with Soldiers to help them identify core beliefs and core values that fuel out-of-proportion emotions and reactions When the below the surface part of the iceberg is not identified and a risk management assessment isnt executed leader toxicity in the workplace is born. This is when junior Soldiers experience a decline in skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling US Army (R), said in a tweet, Real leaders pull people together, insert themselves when needed to drive their team toward success, and achieve the goals that are best for the entire organization. Real leaders dont insult, they influence and inspire. This is lost in a toxic environment. Finally, the Religious Support Team (RST) is responsible for providing for the military community including Soldiers, Family Members and Department of the Army (DA) Civilians. To accomplish this task within the walls of an installation chapel requires a group of subject matter expert working together to meet the budgetary and logistical challenges that comes with operating any facility. When the group is not operating in a cohesive manner, Soldier morale/motivation declines and support to the operations fail. This dynamic is something Ive personally witnessed and the catalyst for my interest of investigating the impact of toxic leadership on caregiving organizations specifically, the US Army Chaplains Corp RSTs.

Why are you interested in this topic? And to whom this topic would be interesting? (about 150 words)

As a career Soldier having served my entire 23 years in the United Chaplains Corps, I came to the realization that because of our role as the providers, caregivers, godsend for highly sensitive areas suicide intervention and prevention, family wellness and yes, toxic leadership. Chaplains and senior Chaplain Assistant Non-Commission Officers are expected to be the gatekeepers who speak up to command teams when attributes of toxicity begin to rear within an organization. But what about? What about the caregivers? The gatekeepers to keep negativity and toxicity out of the organization. What happens when toxic leadership infiltrates the very group responsible for providing for the needs of others? On the surface we can deduce that it wont work based on a toxic leaders demonstrating the characteristic of narcissism. The topic of toxic leadership is not a new phenomenon and has been researched and challenged by the military for years. However, it seems taboo discussing a negative topic and its existence within a caregiving group. Toxic leadership has a universal interest as well as toxic leadership in the military. On the other hand, toxic leadership in the chaplains corps will garner an interest among the hundreds of commissioned, enlisted and civilians serving in installation level organizations as well as the command teams responsible for the overall religious needs of the installation. Being able objectivity recognize the individual characteristic beyond the titles will enable organizations a path too self-correct.

What are the main journals publishing this area of research? Provide a list of 3 to 5 journals.

Academy of Management Journal

MIS Quarterly

Journal of Nursing Scholarship

International Journal of Management

What methodologies are mostly used in this area of research?

Descriptive, Correlational, experimental.

Identify at least three variables that you plan to use in your study and you are interested in studying. Fill out this table with that information. The scales can come from the same source or from multiple sources. (Use space as needed).

Variable Name Definition Scale Source

Emotional Intelligence (I) Ability to imagine other peoples feelings. 252 Shepherd, Dean A., Holger Patzelt, and Marcus Wolfe (2011), "Moving Forward from Project Failure: Negative Emotions, Affective Commitment, and Learning from the Experience", Academy of Management Journal, 54, 1229-1259.

Job Satisfaction (D) Employees job satisfaction. 177 Rutner, Paige S., Bill C. Hardgrave, and D. Harrison McKnight (2008), "Emotional dissonance and the information technology professional", MIS Quarterly, 32, 635-652.

Team Work (D) Conscious activity aimed at achieving unity of effort in the pursuit of shared objectives. 64 Erickson, Jeanette Ives, Mary E. Duffy, and M. Patricia Gibbons (2004), "Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Professional Practice Environment (PPE) Scale", Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 36, 279-285.

Toxic Leadership (I) Various attitudes, motivations, and behaviors from the leaders which adversely affect their subordinates 103 Mehta, S., & Maheshwari, G. C. (2014). Toxic leadership: tracing the destructive trail. International Journal of Management, 5(10), 18-24.

Describe briefly how each of the variables was used in the cited source. This review should include at least 300 words for each variable. Explain how that variable was study and what the findings were.

Emotional Intelligence

The term emotional intelligence was used in the study to show how time would heal the wounds of people including reducing their negative emotional towards project failure. The study aimed at theorizing how emotional intelligence can help define the specific coping orientations from project failure. The findings of the study were that emotional orientation has benefits of restoration after project failure.

Job satisfaction

The study which used this variable sought to show how emotional dissonance, and the conflicts between the display of emotions, affect job satisfaction and ultimately organizational performance. The finings of the study were that job satisfaction influence the employee turnover and the employee turnover intention. The implication of such findings was that organizations need to devise ways of improving the job satisfaction of their employees so that there can be reduced turnovers.

Team Work

Professional practice environment (PPE) was used in this study to evaluate how individuals in the healthcare sector working together can help increase their productivity. After 849 professional staff were studied various findings were established. One of those is that teamwork is key to increased productivity and that it results in increased job satisfaction. The results of the study are critical in showing the importance of teamwork.

Toxic Leadership

The aim of the study where toxic leadership was used was to evaluate the theory of toxic leadership, its origins, and its impact on both individual performances as well as organizations. The findings of the study were that toxic leadership is a disease to organizational life as it sucks life out of the employees and reduces their individual performance. Additionally, the performance of the individual employees has an adverse effect on the organizational performance. As such, toxic leadership is averse to organizational performance.

Develop a model where the variables you selected are included as independent, dependent, moderating or mediating variables.

The following figures shows the typical representations of variables


What is your research question? (about 20 words)

(Draft) How do leaders with low emotional intelligence impact the overall job satisfaction of the religious support team (RST) and organization performance?

How do you plan to contribute to this area of study? (about 100 words).

I plan to use the findings of my proposed study to provide leaders with a greater understanding of how low emotional intelligence correlates with the level of job satisfaction especially with relation to the religious support team (RST) in the military as well as the performance of organizations. The results will be used by various organizations including the military sector to devise ways in which they can increase emotional intelligence and hence ensure greater job satisfaction which would eventually ensure optimal job performance. I envisage using the findings to proof a case for the impact of low emotional intelligence on overall organizational performance.

What kind of data do you plan to use for your dissertation? (about 50 words)

I plan to use data from the review of literature that I will do. As such, the data that I will use will be secondary in nature as it will mostly arise from secondary my dissertation the use of secondary data will save on costs and time.


Review your work before submitting and make any refinements necessary in accordance with each of the following expectations:

Your work is to demonstrate an in-depth level of thought processing and subsequent understanding of the concepts addressed via the case task and the corresponding readings.

All key points and assertions are to be research-based, with corresponding supporting references cited throughout your work accordingly.

Your essay is to address each of the specified items for the Case task via a scholarly academic essay, consisting of the following items:

ASSIGNMENT-DRIVEN CRITERIA: covers all key elements of the assignment in a substantive way.

CRITICAL THINKING: conceptualizing the problem. Viewpoints and assumptions of experts are analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated. Conclusions are logically presented with appropriate rationale.

SCHOLARLY WRITING: proficiency in scholarly writing following required structure and organization of the assignment, using relevant and quality sources to support ideas, using in-text citations of sources, and properly formatting references (bibliography).


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