Research publications


Destructive leadership in family businesses: Modelling social exchange between generations

Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Robinson, D., Harvey, M., & Yupitun, M. (2009). Destructive leadership in family businesses: Modelling social exchange between generations. International journal of entrepreneurship and small business, 8(2), 226-240.

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2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1503

© Copyright 2009 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


The purpose of this article is to address the effects of social exchange, in particular leadership communication, between the current leader of a family business and the prospective future leader when one is the parent and the other, a next-generation offspring. In light of previous literature that identified seven personal characteristics of the family business leader that could contribute to the occurrence of destructive, counterproductive behaviours, a model has been formulated that examines the probable effects of destructive leadership on the respective welfares of each generation of leaders and examines the resultant willingness of the next generation, i.e., son or daughter, to contribute their time and effort to the firm. The use of a 'communication compass' is proposed as a way of ensuring that the communication patterns between generations is perceived as appropriate to enable both the leader and the follower to benefit in the long run.

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This document has been peer reviewed.