Robert Allen


This study examines a large corporation's capability to recognize pathic subtleties (i.e., abeyant personality traits) in leadership candidates through the application of conventional pre-employment screening methods. This study's protologism for executive applicants harboring near-pathic or sub-clinical behavioral tendencies is the Pseudopath. The ill-fated significance of pathics (i.e., narcipaths, sociopaths, and psychopaths) to corporate America is well-documented and studied. The characterization and significance of the pseudopath to corporate America is nascent, and as such, is largely undocumented and minimally studied. Recent literature suggests a high incidence of pseudopaths in corporate America's executive job-seeking marketplace. Related research and real-world observations further suggest that pseudopaths in positions of power or dominance are no less harmful to productivity and profitability than their clinically-pathic cousins. The literary review included within this study begins with general discussions around the bad leader and then drives towards more finite discussions around the pseudopathic leader and the behavioral nuances peculiar to the pseudopath. Literature review also explores the prevalence of pseudopaths hired for executive leadership, the risks posed by their employment, and the efficacy of traditional pre-employment screens where pseudopathic applicants may be involved. Given additional interest in encouraging the use of pre-employment screening models designed with the pseudopath in mind, literary review also ventures into the conceptual and theoretical tenants supportive to the development of a practical and effective pseudopathic screening methodology. This study applies mixed methods for research and analysis using explanatory dimensions involving both quantitative and qualitative instruments. Quantitative research applies non-experimental methods of data collection. Data analysis is approached with both descriptive and inferential purpose. The personality dimensions foundational to Dr. Theodore Millon's MIPS (Millon Index of Personality Styles) Revised test provided a relational backdrop for this study's qualitative research. The research applies phenomenological methods of data collection and inquiry. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of research data renders sound conclusion that the organizational entity of focus to the study recurrently suffered at the hands of pseudopathic leaders. It also concludes that the inability of the corporation's pre-employment screening processes to detect pathic subtleties contributed to the prevalence of Pseudopaths amongst its leadership ranks.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Employee screening; Psychology, Industrial; Executive ability; Executives -- Psychology; Leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Stephens, Ronald;