Defining the Good, the Bad, and the Evil | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Defining the Good, the Bad, and the Evil

Defining the Good, the Bad, and the Evil


  • Jack D . Wood
  • Alyson Meister
  • Han Liu


Debating Bad Leadership: Reasons and Remedies, April (2nd Quarter/Spring) 2021




This chapter offers a framework that distinguishes between “a leader” (a formal or informal role) and “leadership” (a complex psychosocial behavioral process). We suggest that virtually all leadership is exercised within a small- group context, even leadership exercised in large organizations, and we suggest that the question “Why are there so many bad leaders?” pivots on the definitions one uses, and invariably conflates effective leadership with morality. We offer a framework that clarifies an understanding of leadership that distinguishes a functional (effective) from a relational (moral) dimension. Various types of good and bad leaders—integral, ineffectual, shadow, and dark—can be placed within this framework.<br>