The Dark Web of Machiavellianism and Psychopathy: Moral Disengagement in IT Organizations


  • Alexandra Maftei Orcid
  • Andrei-Corneliu Holman
  • Alina-Georgiana Elenescu


In the current paper, we were interested in examining a series of predictors of organizational moral disengagement, namely Machiavellianism and psychopathy, along with a series of demographic variables (i.e., gender, age, and work experience). Our sample consisted of 114 IT employees aged 21 to 54 (M = 28.51, 62% males). We used a cross-sectional approach and an original scale to measure organizational moral disengagement. The hierarchical regression analysis suggested that the most important predictor of organizational moral disengagement was Machiavellianism, followed by gender (i.e., males). A significant, negative association emerged between organizational moral disengagement and age, suggesting that the older we grow, the lower the organizational moral disengagement. Machiavellianism and psychopathy were significantly associated with all moral disengagement mechanisms, except one - diffusion of responsibility. The most powerful association we found were between Machiavellianism and moral justification and between psychopathy and euphemistic language. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.