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It’s all about me: narcissistic chief executive officers and their effects on company strategy and performance. (2007)

“Narcissistic CEOs favor bold actions …, resulting in big wins or big losses, but their firms’ performance is generally no better or worse than non-narcissistic CEOs’ firms.

Arijit Chatterjee and Donald C. Hambrick, Pennsylvania State University
Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 3 (Sep., 2007), pp. 351-386

This study uses unobtrusive measures of CEOs’ narcissism to examine its effect on a firm’s strategy and performance.

It considers observational markers such as the prominence of the CEO’s photograph in annual reports, their prominence in press releases, their use of first-person singular pronouns in interviews, and their compensation relative to the second-highest-paid firm executive.

Results of an empirical study of 111 CEOs in the computer hardware and software industries in 1992–2004 show that narcissism in CEOs is positively related to strategic dynamism and grandiosity, as well as the number and size of acquisitions, and it engenders extreme and fluctuating organizational performance.

The results suggest that narcissistic CEOs favor bold actions that attract attention, resulting in big wins or big losses, but that, in these industries, their firms’ performance is generally no better or worse than firms with non-narcissistic CEOs.

Access the full paper here: It’s all about me

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