Skip to Content

Articles, News & Updates

The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership

People have been horrified by the story of three women in London who were rescued by the police from what was initially described as a case of ‘slavery.’ It has since emerged that they were part of a small political cult for over 30 years, run by a married couple. Dennis Tourish is Professor of Leadership at Royal Holloway, University of London. His latest book, The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership, explores how manipulative leaders can sometimes exercise total control over their followers. Dennis has been interviewed on all the main UK news programmes including Radio 4’s World at One, Sky News, BBC, ITV and BBC World News, to provide expert commentary on a case that has fascinated and appalled the public.

He says: “It is far from unprecedented to find people attracted to an individual who promises them a way to change the world, and add meaning to their own lives. They are then encouraged to gradually increase their commitment to the group’s activities, so that eventually it monopolizes their time and their thinking. This appalling example warns us all of the need to retain our ability to think for ourselves, and never to imagine that any one person or small group has all the answers to our problems. I hope my book offers some insights that will help inoculate us against these kinds of groups.”

Related Products

  1. The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership

    A Critical Perspective

    By Dennis Tourish

    Most research into leadership has presented leaders as heroic, charismatic and transformational ‘visionaries’. The leader, whether in business, politics or any other field, is the most important factor in determining whether organizations succeed or fail. Indeed, despite the fundamental mistakes...

    Published March 3rd 2013 by Routledge