CEO grandiose narcissism and firm performance: The role of organizational identification

Christopher S. Reina, Zhen Zhang, Suzanne Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


This study reconciles the positive and negative sides of CEO grandiose narcissism by examining the role that CEO organizational identification plays in moderating the effect of CEO grandiose narcissism on top management team (TMT) behavioral integration. We first distinguish between grandiose and vulnerable narcissism and we then draw on upper echelons theory and executive personality research to hypothesize and test a model in which CEO grandiose narcissism is positively related to TMT behavioral integration when CEOs are high in organizational identification. The relationship is expected to be negative when CEOs do not identify strongly with their organizations. TMT behavioral integration, in turn, predicts subsequent firm performance. Findings based on multi-source data from a sample of 97 CEOs and their firms supported the hypotheses. These results highlight the complex nature of CEO grandiose narcissism - namely, that the construct has both positive and negative aspects as it relates to top management team dynamics and firm performance and that the relationship is affected by CEOs' identification with their organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-971
Number of pages14
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014


  • CEO narcissism
  • CEO personality
  • Firm performance
  • Organizational identification
  • TMT behavioral integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'CEO grandiose narcissism and firm performance: The role of organizational identification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this