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Too arrogant for their own good? Why and when narcissists dismiss advice. (2015)

“…narcissistic managers may perform poorly because, among other reasons, they are particularly ineffective in taking advice from others when making decisions.”

Edgar E. Kausel, University of Chile; Satoris S. Culbertson, Kansas State University; Pedro I. Leiva, University of Chile; Jerel E. Slaughter, University of Arizona; Alexander T. Jackson, Kansas State University

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 131, 33-50

The ability to take advice is central to better decision making, but is an ability some individuals seem to lack. This research explored whether there was a relationship between advice-taking and narcissism.

“Our results suggest that narcissistic managers may perform poorly because, among other reasons, they are particularly ineffective in taking into consideration advice from others when making decisions. This is consistent with (the) idea that narcissistic managers avoid ‘‘the real interchanges of ideas needed for optimal decision-making’’…

“Our findings are also important for three reasons…

“First, we found that confidence was not significantly related to narcissism and just weakly related to perceived usefulness of advice. Interestingly, this finding suggests that narcissists’ spite for others can occur regardless of their confidence in their own skills….

“Second, our paper underscores the importance of state and trait personality … people experience between- and within-individual variation in personality. Individuals are constantly changing as a consequence of environmental or internal events, although trait personality provides boundaries to these changes… Accordingly, recent research has suggested that narcissism can fluctuate in relatively short periods of time…

“A third important implication is that these results underscore the superiority bias as an important explanation of why people often discount advice….

Access the full paper here: Too arrogant for their own good?

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