The Dark Side of Organizational Behavior

By Ricky W. Griffin; Anne M. O'Leary-Kelly | Go to book overview

Preface

George Lucas has made numerous contributions to American popular culture, none more ubiquitous than the concept of “the dark side.” Indeed, there are not many people today who cannot readily see or hear Darth Vader beckoning young Luke Skywalker to “give in and turn to the dark side of the force.” And more than a few no doubt secretly think that perhaps once, just once, the noble hero should consider using his adversary's own methods against him. After all, wouldn't it be just the sweetest justice of all to see Luke embrace the dark side but then use it to smite down both Lord Vader and the evil emperor and his minions before returning to the light and again becoming the noble hero?

But when the concept of the dark side is taken off the movie screen and applied to a real world context such as an organization it quickly loses its allure. Indeed, there is nothing lighthearted about the real dark side—situations in which people hurt other people, injustices are perpetuated and magnified, and the pursuits of wealth, power, or revenge lead people to behaviors that others can only see as unethical, illegal, despicable, or reprehensible.

This book represents a collective effort by an array of organizational scholars to explore and reveal the true nature of the dark side as applied to organizational behavior. The contributors were selected because of their past and current work in areas that reflect the dark side. Each was invited to tackle a specific part of the dark side of organizational behavior, charged with reviewing existing theory and research about that behavior, and challenged to outline and propose avenues for future research.

We would like to thank these contributors for agreeing to join us and for working diligently to achieve the goals set out before them. We would also like to thank Robert Pritchard. It was Bob who first proposed this volume to us and who then provided encouragement and support in many different ways as we moved

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