Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business Administration (MBA)


Management, Marketing, and International Business

First Advisor

Beth Polin

Department Affiliation

Management, Marketing, and International Business

Second Advisor

Allen D. Engle

Department Affiliation

Management, Marketing, and International Business

Third Advisor

Marcel Robles

Department Affiliation

Management, Marketing, and International Business


Dyads, whether in an academic or practical setting, are commonplace. Workforces and academic settings alike are often comprised of groups of two or more individuals working together towards a common goal. As these interactions continue to be prevalent and important in the various settings, the context in which these interactions takes place and the people involved, influence the efficiency of these pairings. More specifically, the realm of business harbors more individuals considered high in a personality trait referred to as Machiavellianism (i.e., Mach) than other common professions. To better understand how Machiavellianism influences commonplace dyads in settings applicable to everyday situations commonly found in a practical and academic setting, a more thorough understanding must be developed regarding the relationship between high and low Machs.

This thesis has several objectives. First, previous findings in the literature will try to be replicated regarding the Big Five Personality traits and Emotional Intelligence (EI) as they relate to varying levels of Machiavellianism. Secondly, the impact of high-high, high-low, and low-low Mach pairings have regarding team cohesion, benevolence, trust, integrity, participation, team cohesion, team work preferences is explored. The completion of both objectives will help clarify the role of Machiavellianism in interpersonal relationships in the context of competition in both high and low task interdependency settings.

To investigate the research questions regarding the relationship of Machiavellianism in dyadic settings under the context of competition, data were gathered from upper-level undergraduate students from a large regional university in the Midwest United States. Following a discussion of the results, strengths and limitations are explored, both academic and practitioner implications are formulated, and future research directions are proposed.