Date of Conferral







Donna Dimatteo-Gibson


Research has shown that managerial leaders have a higher motivational need for power than those in other positions. A leader's personality traits have been shown to affect organizational performance. Leaders who score high in dark traits (undesirable personality attributes shown to predict career derailment across organizations, levels, and positions) could also be more likely to use company resources for personal gain. There is a paucity of research examining the correlation between managerial dark traits and the need for power. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between managers' dark trait scores as measured by the Hogan Development Survey (HDS), and their motivational need for power as measured by the Hogan Motives, Values, and Preference Inventory (MVPI). The effect of Ambition as measured by the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) was used as a mediating variable upon dark traits scores and the need for power. The dependent variable in this study was the need for power, and the independent variables were the 11 personality traits measured by the HDS. Participants were managers and executives provided by Hogan Assessments database (N = 500). Multiple regression analysis revealed a significant correlation between the dark traits of those who move against others and their need for power. Ambition had a small effect in mediating the dark trait scores and the need for power. If selection committees could use the HDS and remove candidates with high scores in dark traits that move against others, they could remove many who could be likely to abuse the executive position through a strong need for power. Potentially destructive leaders could be avoided, leadership career derailment could be averted, and even corporate criminal activity might be prevented.