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Acting superior but actually inferior?: Correlates and consequences of workplace arrogance. (2010)

“…(while) constructs such as narcissism and hubris have been measured, they are not synonymous with arrogance…”

Russell E. Johnson, Michigan State University; Stanley B. Silverman, University of Akron; Aarti Shyamsunder, Infosys Leadership Institute; Hsien-Yao Swee, The Eaton Corporation; O. Burcu Rodopman, Bogaziçi University, Istanbul; Eunae Cho and Jeremy Bauer, University of South Florida.

“Accounts of arrogant employees abound, yet there is little systematic research on arrogance within organizations…..

“Although behavioral manifestations of arrogance are recognizable, less is known about what effects it has on other attitudes and behaviors at work. One reason for the lack of empirical evidence is that no established measure of workplace arrogance exists.

“Although constructs such as narcissism and hubris have been measured, they are not synonymous with arrogance.

“….future research ought to empirically investigate the role of arrogance vis-a`-vis hubris in order to identify points of similarity and divergence across the two constructs.”

In response to the relative lack of research into workplace arrogance, this paper presents the findings from four studies.

The authors developed a Workplace Arrogance Scale (WARS) and tested it for validity. They then included WARS in a 360-degree performance feedback survey. Results revealed agreement between self- and other-ratings of arrogance and also that arrogance was negatively related to self- and other-rated task performance.

Findings from their final study suggested that arrogance (“acting superior”) is negatively related (“actually inferior”) to cognitive ability and self-esteem.

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