Dark triad personalities and counterproductive work behaviors among physicians in China

Liu Ying, Aaron Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between the dark triad personality (DTP) and organizational and individual counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs), based on the argument that situational variables mediate this relationship. The data were collected at Beijing Children's Hospital, the largest children's hospital in China. Paper and pencil questionnaires were distributed to 200 randomly selected physicians, of whom 168 responded, an 84% response rate. The findings of regression analysis and mediation analysis show a strong relationship between the DTP and CWBs. Of the three traits of the DTP, Machiavellianism was significantly related to both dimensions of CWBs, organizational and interpersonal. The findings also show that the relationship examined here was affected by mediators, particularly organizational commitment and organizational justice, emphasizing the effect of the environment on the behavior of dark personalities. The environment, represented by the mediators, had no effect on narcissists' CWB, and psychological contract breach was the only mediator found to have no mediating effect. The paper concludes with suggestions and recommendations for future research, in particular in different settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e985-e998
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • China
  • counterproductive work behavior
  • dark triad personality
  • physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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