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Do your Dark Side Traits Fit? Dysfunctional Personalities in Different Work Sectors

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Abstract

This study investigates differences in “dark side” traits between those in the public and private sectors, as well as between managers in three distinct industries. In all, 5,693 British adults were tested, roughly half of whom clearly worked in public sector jobs and half in the private sector. We also tested three groups of people (total 1,102) working in very different sectors: finance, insurance, and emergency services. They all completed the Hogan Development Survey (HDS; Hogan & Hogan, 1997), which is a measure of dysfunctional personality styles or potential management derailers. It has 11 dimensions and three higher order factors. Multivariate and univariate analyses of co-variance (controlling for sex, age, and social desirability) and logistic regressions showed many significant differences, with private sector employees scoring higher on the factor Moving Against/Cluster B and lower on the factor Moving Away/Cluster A. The analysis of the three groups showed that those in the emergency services differed on most traits while Finance and Insurance industry personnel were very similar.

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