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Is Narcissism Long-Lived in the C-Suite?


Is Narcissism Long-Lived in the C-Suite?

Harris, William (2023) Is Narcissism Long-Lived in the C-Suite? Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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It has long been understood through Upper Echelons Theory that personality dispositions of top executives can significantly influence strategic decision-making and ultimately firm-level outcomes (Hambrick & Mason, 1984). This study expands on the Upper Echelon’s perspective and provides novel insights into how narcissism, a prominent personality trait in top executives, impacts the length of time spent in top executive positions. Currently, record-high CEO turnover rates are posing threats to the long-term profitability of organizations, and shareholders are losing billions in market value. It was hypothesized that highly narcissistic executives would have shorter tenures due to the self-prioritizing nature of narcissism. The sample consisted of 264 executives who led publicly traded corporations between 2000 to 2018. CEOs have considerable control over the content of company publications, thus there are specific components of these documents that demonstrate biases influenced by narcissistic dispositions. In many cases, narcissistic CEOs have larger self-portraits in annual reports, use a higher percentage of first-person singular pronouns during interviews, and have their names mentioned in press releases more frequently. CEO narcissism was measured using these three indicators of the index developed by Chatterjee & Hambrick (2007). Results reveal that there is not a significant difference in the length of time narcissistic executives remain in positions beneath CEO, including CFO, President, and Chairman. However, once a narcissistic individual is appointed CEO, they tend to remain there for a longer period. This suggests that once a narcissistic executive has risen to the top of an organization, they have a harder time letting it go.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Management
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Harris, William
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Date:August 2023
Thesis Supervisor(s):Alexandre, Bitektine
ID Code:992826
Deposited By: William David Robertson Harris
Deposited On:16 Nov 2023 20:29
Last Modified:16 Nov 2023 20:29
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