Insights into the Criterion Validity of the Toxic Leadership Scale: A Bayesian Comparative Analysis Between Good and Poor Managers

Stefan Liță


This paper presents data about the use of the Toxic Leadership Scale - TLS (Schmidt, 2008; Popa et al., 2013) in Romanian military organizations and analyzes its criterion validity. The study involved 243 participants from two military units with different organizational climate (normal vs. tense) who rated their leaders (Head and First Deputy) using the TLS (which consists in 30 items with five subscales and a global score). According to a Bayesian t-test for independent samples, we found compelling evidence that leaders of the high conflict unit received higher scores on the TLS than leaders of the low conflict unit, a fact that supports the criterion validity of the scale. The study provides additional evidence regarding the psychometric characteristics of the scale and indicates that it can be used in real organizational contexts for assessing senior management, even in high-stakes situations.


toxic leadership, criterion validity, managers, military organizations, high-stake setting

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