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Do narcissistic CEOs rock the boat?

Do narcissistic CEOs rock the boat? The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of narcissistic supply for the association between CEO narcissism and corporate risk taking.Design/methodology/approachThe authors investigate a sample of 281 non-financial S&P 1500 firms and a corresponding 457 CEOs in the 10-yr period 2006–2015.FindingsThe association between CEO narcissism and corporate risk taking depends on the admiration, attention, and affirmation of own superiority (“narcissistic supply”) that the CEO receives given her/his current position. Thus, a narcissistic CEO with an insufficient narcissistic supply (small firm/small compensation) will crave for more and take more risks (“rock the boat”) while a narcissistic CEO with a sufficient narcissistic supply (large firm/large compensation) will protect the status quo and be reluctant to take new risks. Specifically, the authors find that a change from a slightly narcissistic CEO to a strongly narcissistic CEO, for positions entailing limited (abundant) narcissistic supply, is associated with an increase (a decrease) in corporate risk of 6%–8% (11%–27%).Originality/valuePrevious research indicates a positive association between CEO narcissism and corporate risk taking in specific domains such as M&A and R&D activities. This paper provides a novel contribution to the existing literature by identifying and assessing the important role of narcissistic supply for the association between CEO narcissism and corporate risk taking in general. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Behavioral Finance Emerald Publishing

Do narcissistic CEOs rock the boat?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1940-5979
DOI
10.1108/rbf-09-2019-0118
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of narcissistic supply for the association between CEO narcissism and corporate risk taking.Design/methodology/approachThe authors investigate a sample of 281 non-financial S&P 1500 firms and a corresponding 457 CEOs in the 10-yr period 2006–2015.FindingsThe association between CEO narcissism and corporate risk taking depends on the admiration, attention, and affirmation of own superiority (“narcissistic supply”) that the CEO receives given her/his current position. Thus, a narcissistic CEO with an insufficient narcissistic supply (small firm/small compensation) will crave for more and take more risks (“rock the boat”) while a narcissistic CEO with a sufficient narcissistic supply (large firm/large compensation) will protect the status quo and be reluctant to take new risks. Specifically, the authors find that a change from a slightly narcissistic CEO to a strongly narcissistic CEO, for positions entailing limited (abundant) narcissistic supply, is associated with an increase (a decrease) in corporate risk of 6%–8% (11%–27%).Originality/valuePrevious research indicates a positive association between CEO narcissism and corporate risk taking in specific domains such as M&A and R&D activities. This paper provides a novel contribution to the existing literature by identifying and assessing the important role of narcissistic supply for the association between CEO narcissism and corporate risk taking in general.

Journal

Review of Behavioral FinanceEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 27, 2021

Keywords: Behavioral corporate finance; Corporate risk; CEO narcissism; Narcissistic supply

References