Does Narcissism Help or Hinder Entrepreneurial Success?

In a recent series, we explored the strengths and weaknesses of narcissistic leaders — those who might, for example, prove to be highly effective risk-takers, yet also threaten employee well-being or even get their organizations into serious trouble, as detailed in contributor Mark Stein’s recent post. Noting that successful entrepreneurial firms have especially high levels of innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk-taking, a new study published in the Journal of Management asks under what circumstances narcissism might help or harm these firms:

JOM_v38_72ppiRGB_150pixWExtant research has shown that firms with high levels of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) outperform competitors. The present study sheds light on this performance relationship in large, publicly listed high-tech firms by examining whether the strength of this relationship depends upon the CEO’s narcissism, an executive personality trait recently debated controversially in both academic and practitioner publications. A theoretically derived research model is empirically validated by means of multisource secondary data for 41 S&P 500 firms from 2005 to 2007. Findings indicate that narcissistic CEOs usually weaken the EO-performance relationship, although the opposite is true under some conditions, such as in highly concentrated and dynamic markets.

Read the article, “Should Entrepreneurially Oriented Firms Have Narcissistic CEOs?” by Andreas Engelen, Christoph Neumann, and Susanne Schmidt of TU Dortmund, forthcoming in the Journal of Management and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.

Stay up to the minute: get the latest research from JOM as soon as it’s published.

This entry was posted in Entrepreneurship, Leadership and tagged , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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