Race Effects on the Employee Assessing Political Leadership: A Review of Christie and Geis' (1970) Mach IV Measure of Machiavellianism

By Moss, Jennifer | Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, Winter 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Race Effects on the Employee Assessing Political Leadership: A Review of Christie and Geis' (1970) Mach IV Measure of Machiavellianism


Moss, Jennifer, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies


Machiavellianism has commonly been defined as the need to develop and defend one's power and success (Machiavelli, 1513/1902). Scholars have adopted the perspective of Machiavelli to examine political dynamics in organizations (Andersson, 2000; Harrell-Cook, 1999: Harrison, 1998; Hochwarter, 2000: Shankar, 1994). The Mach IV (Christie & Gels, 1970) has been the primary measure of Machiavellianism as a distinct personality construct. The purpose of this paper is to review the use of the Math IV in organizational behavior research. Given the inadequacies of the current version of the Mach IV, this paper suggests a revised measure of Machiavellian personality be developed and used in conjunction with other measures of political behavior and skills.

Introduction

Dating back 500 years to the days of Niccolo Machiavelli, leadership behaviors have been widely discussed. Machiavelli's perspectives are well known, most notably such generalizations as "the ends justify the means" and the belief that unethical behavior is acceptable, even necessary, if it helps attain goals or protect political position. Historically, philosophers have disagreed on Machiavelli's intentions (Berlin, 1955), but the most popular meaning applied to Machiavelli's writing derives from Elizabethan thought.

Modern scholars have adopted this perspective of Machiavelli to examine and understand political dynamics in organizations (Andersson & Bateman, 2000; Cheng, 1983: Harrell-Cook et al., 1999: Harrison et al., 1998; Hochwater et al., 2000; Kumar & Beyerlein, 1991; Shankar et al., 1994: Vecchio & Sussmann, 1991). This paper addresses the validity and reliability of the most commonly used measure of Machiavellianism, the Mach IV (Christie & Geis, 1970).

One key factor often neglected in discussion of Machiavellian beliefs is Machiavelli's conviction that leadership is a pursuit that serves the needs of the "common good" (Ledeen, 1999). Contemporary political scholar Michael Ledeen clarifies the intentions of Machiavelli in his book Machiavelli on Modern Leadership (1999), and enhances our understanding of Machiavelli when he states:

   Even after half a millennium,
   Machiavelli's advice to leaders is as
   contemporary as tomorrow. He goes
   to the essence every time. He doesn't
   allow us the comfort of easy
   generalizations or soothing moralisms.
   He wants leaders to play for the
   highest stakes of all--the advancement
   of the human enterprise and the
   defense of the common good--and it
   infuriates him to see leaders of
   corporations, religions, armies and
   nations ignoring the basic rules of
   power (p. 185).

Origins of the Machiavellian Construct

The contemporary understanding of Machiavellianism begins to make sense when one examines the origins of the Mach IV, based on Niccolo Machiavelli's book, The Prince (1513/1902). This book was written after Machiavelli had been stripped of his political power and essentially shunned by the political leaders of his time. Machiavelli had been an effective statesman for the Republic of Florence, participating in high-level decisions, negotiating agreements, and commanding battles. The Prince represents just one work written by Machiavelli--a work that does not reflect the entirety of his political philosophy, intellect, or intentions. It was The Prince that gave ultimate form to the widely used Mach IV.

Instrument Development

Richard Christie developed the 20-item Mach IV in 1970. It has not been revised since that time and is intended to assess adults ages 18-65 years. The Mach IV was developed to measure political personality orientation of leaders in organizations. Political personality, as defined by Christie and Geis (1970), is a disposition in which formal and informal power is used to control and/or manipulate others.

Richard Christie developed the Mach IV while a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Race Effects on the Employee Assessing Political Leadership: A Review of Christie and Geis' (1970) Mach IV Measure of Machiavellianism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.