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Fostering and supporting research was an important part of the Daedalus Trust’s mission. It is hoped this emphasis will be continued by the Maudsley Philosophy Group with which the Daedalus Trust has merged. This section details research projects the Daedalus Trust supported in the past and research questions that might merit exploration in future.

Current research

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In 2014 the Trust invited applications with an open competitive call for grants to be awarded for innovative and interdisciplinary research into hubristic behaviour across areas of human activity including business, neurosciences, psychology, politics etc.

Many applications were received. Following peer review of a shortlist, five applications were awarded grants. These include four research projects (outlined below), plus a grant of funds to provide additional support for fieldwork and dissemination for two PhD studentships. Work relating to all five grants is steadily reading completion. Information about the projects will be published on this website, including links to the published work.

The projects approved were as follows:

1. Hubristic Leadership and Reconciliation in the Workplace
Constantine Sedikides, Tim Wildschut, and Joost Leunissen, School of Psychology, University of Southampton

“We argue that hubristic leaders who commit workplace transgressions will be unwilling to reconcile with their subordinates. This is because hubristic leaders are relatively unempathetic and guilt-free.” Read the full abstract here: Hubristic Leadership and Reconciliation.

(The first manuscript of this research is reported here: Narcissism and apologizing: The role of empathy and guilt)

2. Confidence, over-confidence and hubris in the banking sector: The identification of key behaviours, critical incidents and tipping points
Professor Dennis Tourish, Royal Holloway (University of London)

“..we need to know more about what kinds of behaviours suggest a leader is falling victim to hubris .. This project will explore those behaviours that are most associated with hubris among leaders in the banking sector.” Read the full abstract here: Confidence.

3. Developing a Process Model of Corporate Hubris
Dr Jane Hendy (Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, University of Surrey)
Dr Danielle Tucker (Lecturer, Essex Business School, University of Essex)

“Hubris in organisational life is often explained as an individual leader who is left unchecked…. At the heart of this idea is the organisation itself, the part it plays in perhaps ignoring, supporting or legitimising toxic beliefs and actions. This research project sets out to understand this complex relationship…”. Read the full abstract here: Developing a Process Model of Corporate Hubris

4. Power and Hubris Behaviour: Neural Basis and Attenuating Factors
Ana Guinote, Antonia Hamilton, Laura Weis, University College London

“The project will use interdisciplinary knowledge …. to better understand the ways power affects the individual …. Power will be experimentally manipulated in the laboratory or assessed in natural work contexts. An fMRI study, as well as behavioural and field studies will be conducted.” Read the full abstract here: Power And Hubris Behaviour

5. Two PhD research studentships at Surrey Business University

Daedalus Trust is supporting two PhD research projects at Surrey Business University, under the supervision of Professor Eugene Sadler-Smith.

Vita Akstinaite is exploring the ‘Use of Linguistic Markers in the Identification and Analysis of Chief Executives’ Hubris’. She will explore the hypothesis that “language produced by hubristic CEOs shows consistent differences from the language produced by CEOs who have not been identified as possessing hubristic tendencies.”  Read her full abstract here: Use of Linguistic Markers in the Identification and Analysis of Chief Executives’ Hubris Vita Akstinaite Abstract 09 02 16

Tim Wray’s project is ‘Hubristic leadership: A processual perspective’. His research aims to provide fresh insights into hubris in business and management by exploring how the process of hubristic leadership unfolds through time. His abstract makes the point that “there is little hubris research in business and management which has considered the critical importance … of time”. Read his full abstract here: Tim Wray Abstract 09 02 16

Research aims

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The research aims of the Trust included:

Potential research questions

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Research questions that might be explored in future include: