The Dark Triad at work

Critical review for the following journal : The Dark Triad at work: How toxic employees get their way. Personality and individual differences
Jonason, P.K., Slomski, S. and Partyka, J., 2012. The Dark Triad at work: How toxic employees get their way. Personality and individual differences, 52(3), pp.449-453. • Read the academic journal article listed above (it is also attachedO • Write a critical review of the academic journal article listed above • You will identify one more journal article and use it to support your critical review • Word limit 1000 words • All references to be in Harvard format as outlined by the UOW Referencing Guide available from the UOW Library website An insightful, well written essay will have a clear introduction, body and conclusion. The essay should be structured using sections /subsections to ensure a clear flow of information and good readability. You need to refer to at least 3 relevant scholarly references. Make judicious choice of scholarly articles to develop a coherent and strong narrative. The conclusion should analyze the implications of the theory, you discussed in the essay, on behavioral practices (particularly in this region). The essay should be typed using single line spacing, 12-point font (Arial or Times New Roman or equivalent



The concept of dark triad is a prevalent aspect that affects the personality of a person in
society. From a psychological point of view, the dark triad is a personality trait characterized by
psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism. In the workplace, the dark triad is also common,
and it impacts the relationship between employers and employees. Thus, the primary objective of
this paper is to develop a critical review of the article “The Dark Triad at work: How toxic
employees get their way” by Jonason Slomski and Partyka. Due to the seriousness of toxic
employees in the workplace, authors examine 419 participants to determine the role played by
the dark traits in the Workplace (Jonason et al., 2012). Besides, authors the study to measure the
level at which employees are manipulated in the workplace through the ideology of the dark triad

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How Employees Use the Dark Triad Traits in the Workplace
Employees in the Workplace can volatile at times. Therefore, employees develop some
psychological mechanisms in the workplace to allow them to survive hardships. Such employees
use at least three psychological mechanisms, namely psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and
narcissism (Jonason et al., 2012). Employees use these measures in the workplace to predict
some tactics on manipulation and how the ideology of the dark triad can be used to mediate
sexual differences via soft tactics such as providing complements. They also use the dark triad
traits to manipulate others via hard tactics such as threats. In line with the usage of hard tactics,
employees believe that the main aspects of the dark triad to use in the Workplace are
Machiavellianism and psychopathy. In that regard, the authors argue that there is a perfect
association between psychopathy and Machiavellianism to the adoption of hard tactics by

employees. Moreover, the study also demonstrates a perfect positive correlation between soft
tactics to the use of narcissism and Machiavellianism in the workplace.
More importantly, the dark triad is a critical philosophical concept that mediates
employees in the workplace to use hard tactics and soft tactics based on the sex of other
employees. In other words, employees in the workplace use the dark triad traits to determining
the type of tactics to use on men and women (Prusik & Szulawski, 2019). For most men, the dark
triad influences them to use hard tactics through aggression, threats, and force. Conversely, the
dark triad affects women in the workplace to adopt soft tactics to affect interpersonal
relationships at the workplace.

How the Dark Triad Adversely Affect the Outcome at the Workplace
For many years, many researchers have tried to explore the concept of the dark triad and
its impacts on different setups in society. In this article, the authors have explored the adverse
effects of the dark triad at the workplace. Mainly, the authors argue that each element of the dark
triad have specific outcomes at the workplace. First, the authors say that narcissism is highly
connected with the unethical behavior of employees in the workplace. These employees have
been branded “toxic employees” in the article (Jonason et al., 2012). Thus, narcissist CEOs
would do all unethical behaviors to gain power at work. Secondly, psychopathy also adversely
affects the outcome at the workplace because corporate psychopaths have minimized their levels
of due diligence and corporate responsibility. Therefore, the main idea that the authors focus on
addressing corporate psychopaths is that they can adversely impact the productivity of
employees and the overall performance of the company (LeBreton et al., 2017).
On the other hand, the authors argue that Machiavellianism is highly connected with a
minimum commitment of team members and diminished organizational performance of

supervisors. Machiavellianism is also associated with massive abuse by subordinate employees
whose central focus is to maintain their power using manipulative behaviors. Therefore, despite
displaying different adverse impacts at the workplace, the author unanimously agrees that
psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism are moderately inter-correlated.
How Employees with Dark Triad Traits Use Soft and Hard Tactics at the Workplace
The majority of organizations focus on the performance of employees regardless of being
‘toxic’ or not. Mainly, an individual with dark triad traits also hires to work for the company
because it is challenging to determine undesirable traits by literally looking at a person. Besides,
the authors claim that such employees embody desirable characteristics, such as impressive
management skills, leadership, assertiveness, and charming (Jonason et al., 2012). Therefore,
employees with the dark triad trait many employ soft and hard tactics to push their agendas at the
workplace. However, the company should be cautious about how much employees may use these
tactics in the workplace to bring positive outcomes. The central factor to consider is the
forcefulness, and employees should be engaged when using these tactics.


Accommodating toxic employees in a company is not easy. Mainly, employees with the
dark triad traits behave differently based on their nature of psychopathy, narcissism, and
Machiavellianism. In that regard, the multiple regression analysis used by authors in the article
demonstrates that employees with dark triad traits are toxic. In other words, they are associated
with bringing problems to the supervisors, fellow employees, and even the company. Overall, by
exploring and understanding how toxic employees with dark triad traits behave at the workplace,
then it is easy to generate preventative measures that can help them overcome their undesirable



Jonason, P.K., Slomski, S. & Partyka, J. (2012) “The Dark Triad at work: How toxic employees
get their way.” Personality and individual differences, 52(3), pp.449-453.
LeBreton, J.M., Shiverdecker, L.K. & Grimaldi, E.M. (2017) “The dark triad and workplace
behavior.” Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior,
5(1), pp. 378-414.

Prusik, M. & Szulawski, M. (2019) “The Relationship between the Dark Triad Personality Traits,
Motivation at Work, and Burnout among HR Recruitment Workers.” Frontier in
Psychology, 10(12), pp. 1290-1298.  Doi:  10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01290 .