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The Dark Side of Leadership with Prof. Dennis Tourish

16 March 2021 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Speaker: Prof. Dennis Tourish, University of Sussex

Date: Tuesday March 16th 2021

Time: 6.00 pm


How can organisations minimise creeping dysfunctionality in their leaders? 


We are often told that the solution for any problem is more and better leadership. It is also frequently assumed that this must mean leaders should have more power to make important decisions. In this talk, I take a different view. Giving leaders too much power can lead to disaster. There are many dysfunctional leaders in both politics and business – Donald Trump in the US, and Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos, currently awaiting trial for fraud. Leaders can develop hubris, coming to believe that they are uniquely qualified to develop useful insights, and that the job of their followers is to offer more or less blind obedience. They create toxic and fragile organisations. I will look at these ‘dark sides’ of leadership, offering examples from Theranos and my own study of hubris among leaders in the banking and finance industry. I will also discuss what organisations can do to limit their effects.



Dennis Tourish is Professor of Leadership and Organisation Studies at the University of Sussex. He is the editor of the journal Leadership, and the author several books. These include The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership, published by Routledge in 2013, and Management Studies in Crisis: Fraud, Deception and Meaningless Research, published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.


This session will last approximately 50 minutes plus opportunities for Q&A.

Looking forward to welcoming you.


16 March 2021
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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