Tempted to mock, doomed to burnout? The relational costs associated with the dark personality triad in teams

P.L. Curseu, Alina Maria Flestea, Oana Catalina Fodor, Mara Bria

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


Contemporary working teams are fluid socio-technical systems displaying complex affective dynamics. As such, teams impact the affective experiences of their members. Employee well-being is central to most modern organisations, yet literature about the role of team dynamics on well being is rather scarce. The present study tackles this gap and aims to explore the interplay between dark personality nuances and team relational aspects on team members burnout. Dark triad personality traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) have been generally investigated as drivers of dysfunctional behaviour in interpersonal settings. In particular Machiavellianism and narcissism were associated with using ag-gressing humour in relational settings (Furnham et al., 2013; Veselka et al., 2011; Martin et al., 2012). Aggressive humour has been defined as an emergent group level phenomenon resulting from team members’ pattern of aggressive communication (Curșeu & Fodor, 2016). For the present research we argue that in team settings, the tendency to use aggressive humour ultimately erodes the interpersonal relationships generating negative interpersonal ties that are taxing for the well-being of the individual group members. We build an argument stating that the dysfunctional interpersonal tendencies associ-ated with the dark triad bear relational consequences in teams, ultimately leading to burnout (Furnham et al., 2013). Building on the results reported in Aghababaei and Blanchino (2015) we hypothesise that narcissism has a negative association with burnout, while psychopathy and Machiavellianism have a positive association with burnout.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2018
EventInternational Workshop on Teamworking: Teamworking and technology at work - Leiden, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Sept 20187 Sept 2018
Conference number: 22


WorkshopInternational Workshop on Teamworking
Abbreviated titleIWOT 2018


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