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The Dark Triad and Competitive Psychological Climate at Work: A Model of Reciprocal Relationships in Dependence of Age and Organization Change

Andreas Hirschi

Spurk, D., & Hirschi, A. (2018). The Dark Triad and competitive psychological climate at work: A model of reciprocal relationships in dependence of age and organization change. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 27(6), 736-751.doi:10.1080/1359432X.2018.1515200


Integrating an interactionist model of personality development, the cumulative continuity model of personality development, and selection-evocation-manipulation theory, the present study analysed reciprocal relations of the Dark Triad common core and its sub-traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism with competitive psychological climate. Moreover, within a large (N = 1,185) and longitudinal sample of employees from Germany, latent cross-lagged panel analyses were applied to analyse the moderating roles of age and organization change (i.e., organizational turnover). Overall, results revealed positive reciprocal relations between the Dark Triad common core, its sub-traits, and competitive psychological climate. The Dark Triad common core and Machiavellianism were more stable within the older (50 to 59 years) compared to the younger (25 to 34 years) age group. However, we found no age differences for the relation between competitive psychological climate and change in the Dark Triad common core or its sub-traits. Among employees who changed organizations, the Dark Triad common core, narcissism, and psychopathy were more strongly positively related to the change in competitive psychological climate than in the non-change group. This suggests stronger selection compared to evocation- manipulation effects for individuals with high values in the Dark Triad common core, narcissism, and psychopathy, but not for Machiavellianism.

Keywords: Dark Triad, Competitive Climate, Age, Organizational Turnover, Reciprocity

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