Published Online:https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2017.0005

The importance of strategic behavior in organizations has long been recognized. However, so far the literature has primarily focused on leaders’ strategic behavior, largely ignoring followers’ strategic behavior. In this paper, we take a follower trait perspective on strategic follower behavior, specifically focusing on how followers’ dark triad traits (i.e., narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) influence their strategic behavior. We argue that dark triad–related strategic follower behavior is likely to have negative effects for fellow organizational members and the organization as a whole. We also present “red flag” behaviors that may signal followers’ tendencies to engage in shady strategic behaviors, then put forward factors that may mitigate or increase the occurrence of shady strategic behaviors by followers scoring high on dark triad traits, focusing especially on follower attributes and specifics of the organizational context. Finally, we discuss if and how followers’ dark triad traits could benefit the organization and highlight emerging issues in research on strategic follower behavior.

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