Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Conference Name

75th Annual Conference of the Academy of Management at Vancouver, Brit. Columb., CAN. 7-11. August, 2015


On one hand, psychopaths tend to be callous, emotionally deficient, aggressive,
self promoting, impulsive, and pursuant of unmitigated agency regardless of the extent to which it comes at the expense of others. On the other hand, by all accounts, psychopaths tend to be charming, seductive, self-confident, composed, risk-seeking, and adept at impression management (Babiak & Hare, 2006; Paulhus & Williams, 2002). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to reconcile these contrasting positions by examining whether (non-violent) psychopaths truly can be “successful” in the workplace. Drawing on socioanalytic theory (Hogan, 1983), we hypothesized that psychopaths in possession of political skill would be better able to package, conceal, and/or restrain their desires to get ahead in such a way as to be perceived as less counterproductive and more adaptive. Results provided support for these hypotheses. Implications for theory, practice, and future research are provided in light of a number of notable strengths and limitations.


The published version of this paper is under the following title in JOM:

Schütte, N., Blickle, G., Frieder, R., Wihler, A., Schnitzler, F., Heupel, J., & Zettler, I.(2016). The role of interpersonal influence in counterbalancing psychopathic personality trait facets at work. Journal of Management, 10(4),1338 - 1368. DOI: 10.1177/014920635607967

Original Publication Citation

Schuette, N., Blickle, G., Frieder, R., Schnitzler, F., Heupel, J., & Zettler, I. (2015). Political skill moderates the success of psychopaths at the workplace. Paper presented at the 75th Annual Conference of the Academy of Management at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada., August 7-11, 2015.