The dynamics of management derailment

By Michael M. Lombardo & Cynthia D. McCauley
Center for Creative Leadership


Research on derailment has focused primarily on retrospective perceptions of why managers derail. Reasons for derailment based on previous studies have included both personal flaws and managerial inadequacies, as well as poor image and narrow business experience. These studies have generated further interest in understanding the dynamics of derailment. This study outlines some additional questions and attempts to shed light using a database of boss’ ratings of over 300 middle to upper level managers in eight  companies.


Lombardo, M. M., & McCauley, C. D. (1988). The dynamics of management derailment (Technical Report No. 34). Center for Creative Leadership.

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