The enemy has passed through the gate: insider threats, the dark triad, and the challenges around security

Fischbacher-Smith, D. (2015) The enemy has passed through the gate: insider threats, the dark triad, and the challenges around security. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 2(2), pp. 134-156. (doi: 10.1108/JOEPP-03-2015-0010)

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the potential role that the so-called “toxic triangle” (Padilla et al., 2007) can play in undermining the processes around effectiveness. It is the interaction between leaders, organisational members, and the environmental context in which those interactions occur that has the potential to generate dysfunctional behaviours and processes. The paper seeks to set out a set of issues that would seem to be worthy of further consideration within the Journal and which deal with the relationships between organisational effectiveness and the threats from insiders.<p></p> Design/methodology/approach – The paper adopts a systems approach to the threats from insiders and the manner in which it impacts on organisation effectiveness. The ultimate goal of the paper is to stimulate further debate and discussion around the issues.<p></p> Findings – The paper adds to the discussions around effectiveness by highlighting how senior managers can create the conditions in which failure can occur through the erosion of controls, poor decision making, and the creation of a culture that has the potential to generate failure. Within this setting, insiders can serve to trigger a series of failures by their actions and for which the controls in place are either ineffective or have been by-passed as a result of insider knowledge.<p></p> Research limitations/implications – The issues raised in this paper need to be tested empirically as a means of providing a clear evidence base in support of their relationships with the generation of organisational ineffectiveness.<p></p> Practical implications – The paper aims to raise awareness and stimulate thinking by practising managers around the role that the “toxic triangle” of issues can play in creating the conditions by which organisations can incubate the potential for crisis.<p></p> Originality/value – The paper seeks to bring together a disparate body of published work within the context of “organisational effectiveness” and sets out a series of dark characteristics that organisations need to consider if they are to avoid failure. The paper argues the case that effectiveness can be a fragile construct and that the mechanisms that generate failure also need to be actively considered when discussing what effectiveness means in practice.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fischbacher-Smith, Professor Denis
Authors: Fischbacher-Smith, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Author
First Published:First published in Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance 2(2):134-156
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
479842Cargo Screening FerretDenis Fischbacher-SmithEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/G004307/1BUS - MANAGEMENT