By Associate Professor Klaus J Templer, Psychology Programme
In this study, an indirect effect chain model was tested which proposes that dark employees receive good performance ratings through political skill. Dark personality was operationalized by low scores on the honesty-humility factor of the HEXACO personality model. One hundred and ten employees provided self-ratings on honesty-humility and political skill. Their supervisors provided observer ratings on political skill and job performance.
Results show a positive direct effect of honesty-humility on the performance measure of team facilitation, and support at the same time the opposing indirect effect hypothesis: Dark, as opposed to honest-humble, employees are more likely to view themselves as politically skilled, and when equally perceived as politically skilled by their supervisors, they receive higher ratings on task performance and team facilitation. Because performance is important for career advancement, the model leads to a potential explanation of why toxic individuals may get ahead at work.