Destructive and Transformational Leadership in Africa

39 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2016

See all articles by Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries

INSEAD - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise

Jennifer Sexton

West Virginia University

B. Parker Ellen

Northeastern University

Date Written: July 1, 2016

Abstract

The continent of Africa presents a unique context of study for leadership scholars. A vast expanse of land encompassing over 50 countries, territories, and states with over 1.1 billion people, Africa’s diversity of ethnicities, cultures, and languages are both sources of richness and potential conflict.

In this article, the authors explore examples of two leadership extremes within the context of Africa: transformational and destructive leadership. Through foundational work on transformational leadership, as well as relatively newer work on destructive leadership, the authors explore some of the psychological, situational, and institutional forces that account for the contrasting natures of exemplary transformational and notorious despotic African leaders.

Following this contrast, the authors present countermeasures that can be taken to survive and thrive despite narcissistic leaders, and even the possibility of transforming them before they become truly destructive.

Keywords: Destructive Leadership, Transformational Leadership, Narcissism

Suggested Citation

Kets de Vries, Manfred F.R. and Sexton, Jennifer and Ellen, B. Parker, Destructive and Transformational Leadership in Africa (July 1, 2016). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2016/45/EFE. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2803042 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2803042

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries (Contact Author)

INSEAD - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise ( email )

Fontainebleau Cedex, F-77305
France

Jennifer Sexton

West Virginia University ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

B. Parker Ellen

Northeastern University ( email )

220 B RP
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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