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Subclinical psychopathy, interpersonal workplace exchanges and moral emotions through the lens of affective events theory (AET)

Subclinical psychopathy, interpersonal workplace exchanges and moral emotions through the lens of... The purpose of this paper is to better comprehend the subclinical psychopath's intra and interpersonal moral emotions in the context of their natural habitat, the workplace, alongside implications for employees and organisations.Design/methodology/approachThis study draws on affective events theory (AET) to illuminate this dark-side phenomenon. Thematic analysis is used to identify themes from qualitative data collected from a small sample of interviews conducted with human resource management (HRM) directors and other managers.FindingsThe findings show that the subclinical psychopath is agentic, being unfettered by intra self-directed conscious moral emotions. The predominant moral emotion directed at employees during interpersonal workplace exchanges is typically anger. However, it appears likely the subclinical psychopath fakes this moral emotion as a smokescreen for manipulative and exploitative gains. The predominant moral emotion directed by employees towards the subclinical psychopath is fear. Employees resort to avoidance and withdrawal behaviour and intentions to quit become a reality.Practical implicationsThe signalling quality of employees' moral emotions and subsequent dysfunctional avoidance and withdrawal behaviour can provide valuable information to HRM professionals in the detection of subclinical psychopaths which is acknowledged as notoriously difficult.Originality/valueThis study contributes new knowledge to subclinical psychopathy and makes novel use of AET to explore this personality type as a driver of employees' negative workplace emotions, the impact on employees' behaviour alongside implications for organisational effectiveness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance Emerald Publishing

Subclinical psychopathy, interpersonal workplace exchanges and moral emotions through the lens of affective events theory (AET)

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2051-6614
DOI
10.1108/joepp-12-2019-0120
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to better comprehend the subclinical psychopath's intra and interpersonal moral emotions in the context of their natural habitat, the workplace, alongside implications for employees and organisations.Design/methodology/approachThis study draws on affective events theory (AET) to illuminate this dark-side phenomenon. Thematic analysis is used to identify themes from qualitative data collected from a small sample of interviews conducted with human resource management (HRM) directors and other managers.FindingsThe findings show that the subclinical psychopath is agentic, being unfettered by intra self-directed conscious moral emotions. The predominant moral emotion directed at employees during interpersonal workplace exchanges is typically anger. However, it appears likely the subclinical psychopath fakes this moral emotion as a smokescreen for manipulative and exploitative gains. The predominant moral emotion directed by employees towards the subclinical psychopath is fear. Employees resort to avoidance and withdrawal behaviour and intentions to quit become a reality.Practical implicationsThe signalling quality of employees' moral emotions and subsequent dysfunctional avoidance and withdrawal behaviour can provide valuable information to HRM professionals in the detection of subclinical psychopaths which is acknowledged as notoriously difficult.Originality/valueThis study contributes new knowledge to subclinical psychopathy and makes novel use of AET to explore this personality type as a driver of employees' negative workplace emotions, the impact on employees' behaviour alongside implications for organisational effectiveness.

Journal

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and PerformanceEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 12, 2021

Keywords: Subclinical psychopathy; Affective events theory (AET); Moral emotions; Organisational effectiveness; Interpersonal workplace exchanges; Affective empathy; Intentions to quit; Thematic analysis

References