Impact of founder CEO and CEO ownership on entrepreneurial orientation, moderating role of CEO narcissism

Aiza Shabbir (Department of Economics, Superior University, Lahore, Pakistan)
Shazia Kousar (Department of Economics, Superior University, Lahore, Pakistan)

Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 2398-7812

Article publication date: 13 May 2019

Issue publication date: 24 October 2019



This study aims to explore the moderating impact of narcissism overload on the relation between founder CEO and entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in registered private schools of Pakistan.


Data were collected through a stratified random sampling method with the help of previously validated questionnaires. A sample of 121 replies was gathered for analysis. SPSS has been used to find the results.


Results depict that CEO narcissism moderates the relation between founder CEO and EO and does not moderate the relationship between and CEO ownership and EO.


Many studies focused on the founder personality characteristics (such as generalized self-efficacy or locus of control) are not directly observed, but rather inferred their effect indirectly. The study contributes to examine how the founder CEO variable interacts with CEO personality to influence EO. This study will propose a practical approach to investigate whether and how the narcissism constructs moderate the founder CEO–EO relationship. Direct association between stock ownership and EO will also be examined.



Shabbir, A. and Kousar, S. (2019), "Impact of founder CEO and CEO ownership on entrepreneurial orientation, moderating role of CEO narcissism", Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 153-167.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Aiza Shabbir and Shazia Kousar.


Published in Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at

1. Introduction

Entrepreneurial behaviors and entrepreneurial conducts are very famous among the current organizational researchers (Lumpkin and Dess, 2001). Until now, we have little knowledge about the impact of these behaviors on entrepreneurial aspects which are very important for organizational success (Stam and Elfring, 2008). In routine work circumstances, the role of a leader or a chief executive officer and its impact on employees’ behavior is an undeniable fact. Therefore, it is very appealing to investigate how distinct leadership status and attitudes support the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) (Murad, 2014). The perspective of the current study is the relation between funder leader and EO and the moderating role of narcissism of a leader.

It has been established that the founder CEO is a better protector of the original mission by which the organization was constructed as compared to agent CEO (Randøy et al., 2015). Thus, the EO of the organizations led by founder CEO is better than those led by a hired CEO. Research on entrepreneurship has put forward that founder CEOs are above all superior at encouraging expansion by creating and applying strategic schemes to take advantage of on latest opportunities (Jayaraman et al., 2000). Agency theory states that ownership makeup may shape decision-making behavior and organization’s performance.

However, the meanings of entrepreneurship varies because it depends on the business nature and the specific situation of the business which can be changes country to country and generation to generation but the main definition used in the current studies Miller’s (1983) notion of definition which demonstrates the entrepreneurship is the name of behavior that redistributes the business resources with enterprising spirit and innovativeness by considering risk-taking mind set to create a new worth of theses and resources and business. The purpose of this study is to investigate that how narcissism construct moderating effect between CEO and the EO in small firms i.e. registered private schools in different cities of Pakistan. Where it will also be tested the direct relationship between stock ownership and EO.

2. Literature review and hypotheses

2.1 Founder CEO

Founders have unique relationships with their firms. Because of their privileged position, founders may be able to extract higher private benefits of control (Jayaraman et al., 2000). A person who is founder CEO may also distort decisions related to investment(s) as they are not well-diversified (Fahlenbrach, 2009). Firms do also evolve; people who were founders may no longer possess the necessary expertise to run such companies; at the same time, they may be hesitant to relinquish control (Wasserman, 2003). In case they give up control, it may be a preference for transferring it to the potentially under-qualified person because he is a family member. It is the other thought that founders may be more aligned toward outside shareholders instead of managers who may be professional; this could be due to longer investment horizon and the high ownership percentage they have in the firm (Agrawal and Knoeber, 1996). This may be due to high care for the firm being found by them so they may like to exert more high efforts for the ownership structure woven around them.

2.2 CEO ownership

There is a mixed answer from research findings for considering the effect of ownership percentage by CEO on the value of the firm and EO (Liu et al., 2011; Wang, Sun, Yu, and Zhang, 2014). Few researchers have a firm opinion that there exists a non-linear relationship within percentage ownership of top executives and firm value and some researchers also highlight non-monotonic relationship amongst CEO ownership and value of the firm (Schmidt and Fahlenbrach, 2017). Few also suggest a formula whose value increases if percentage ownership remains 0-15 per cent, declines in the range of 15-50 per cent and finally increases again upon 50 per cent or more ownership level by CEO (Boone et al., 2007). Many researchers investigated the relationship of a firm's value with the structure of equity ownership (Demsetz and Lehn, 1985; McConnell and Servaes, 1990). Another researcher has investigated this relationship of value and ownership by taking the hypothesis that amount of only the ownership of CEO as a singular individual has a significant impact on firm's value (McConnell and Servaes, 1990).

2.3 Entrepreneurial orientation

This specific finding associated with the recent studies by Dess and Lumpkin (2005) and Sanchez (2013), who explained that entrepreneurs have the capability to deliver an innovative and resourceful solution to sort out the business problems. Thus, creativity and innovativeness had statistically insignificant but positive effect on the performance of enterprise (Dimitratos et al., 2014).

Study of EO concerning literature, people define EO as structure, processes and behaviors characterized through proactiveness, innovativeness, risk-taking, autonomy and competitive aggressiveness (Dai et al., 2014). The five dimensions of EO explained as follows: innovativeness (encouraging and supporting new ideas by encouraging creativity and experimentation); risk-taking (allowing to move in support when the possibility of success is considered low); and proactiveness. According to the Schumpeter (1942) entrepreneurship theory, within a given period, an entrepreneur has a new opportunity to attempt an innovation using his or her skill and knowledge.

The current study states entrepreneurship on the basis of EO by Miller (1983), who has been gained attention of so many researchers recently.

From previous research, EO is found to have three (3) dimensions, these are risk-taking, innovativeness, and pro-activeness (Rauch et al., 2009), alternatively other researchers perceive EO as having five (5) dimensions, these further include competitive aggressiveness and autonomy (Narayanan, 2017). For entrepreneurship, EO is considered the valid concept, due to its ability to act as a tool for evidence gathering for actions of entrepreneurs and decision-making by them across multiple geographic and organizational contexts (Fernández-Mesa and Alegre, 2015).

2.4 CEO narcissism

Narcissism is an inflated but fragile view of one’s self-importance; further, it is a construct which generated widespread interest within social science discipline for few decades (Gerstner et al., 2013). It is evident from the literature that negative consequences relating to narcissism are well documented (Chatterjee and Hambrick, 2007). It is true that narcissistic individuals are found principally concerned only with those actions that reflect favorably for themselves, which most of the time leads to perceptions like taking of entitlement, excessive arrogance, shameless self-admiration, and hostility for external criticism (Aktas et al., 2016).

CEO narcissism is considered as charisma in many studies (Agle et al., 2006; Deluga, 1997). In this context, few positive attributes from narcissism operate similarly as those evident from charisma. First of all, both of them may inspire commitment and devotion in others to achieve a higher performance level for the organization (Galvin et al., 2010). This resemblance helps to understand why sometimes individuals are attracted by narcissistic leaders, people may, in this case, view the leadership as transformational. While narcissism at its extreme is considered a personality disorder which can be diagnosed also. Second, research in social science generally views this behavior measured in degree of disorder, ranging from severe to mild. In line with contemporary research in strategic management and social psychology, researchers view narcissism trait among executives like the one which is not necessarily reflecting a personality disorder that presents the disorder in a binary state (Galvin et al., 2015).

2.5 Founder CEO and entrepreneurial orientation

Research related to entrepreneurship suggests that CEOs who are founder are principally excellent in promoting development by devising and carrying out strategic enterprises to take advantage of latest opportunities and taking risks which are core factors of EO (Adams et al., 2009; Wasserman, 2003). Founders, as shown by the word, have more significant occupancy and additional firm related understanding. They are always the expert in internalizing the targets and goals of the firm (Willard et al., 1992) and they pay attention entirely to accomplish all such goals. For instance, it has been reported in detail that founders, because of their more considerable reputational hazard, possibly will put forth new endeavor to assure firm achievement as compared to non-founders (Willard et al., 1992). Moreover, the existence of a founder as CEO potentially diminishes the chances of conflict and power politics (De Jong et al., 2013). Furthermore, founder CEO has a more extensive business and additional establishment know-how (Zheng et al., 2015), and usually generate commerce in manufacturing wherever they have understanding; which time and again allows competitive advantage (Chen et al., 2015). This show that founder CEO have a direct link to EO.

2.6 Stock ownership and entrepreneurial orientation

The relationship between CEO ownership and EO is mostly advocated through classical agency theory, which states that stockholders stock owner and employee have different interests; hence, when the CEO has a huge ownership share, then interests are shared and EO increases (Eisenhardt, 1989). Moreover, stock ownership has a direct impact on various aspects of EO like risk-taking and strategic proactiveness (Bammens et al., 2015; Zona et al., 2013). Various aspects of stock ownership have been associated to elements of EO such as risk-taking (Dong, Meng, Firth, and Hou, 2014) and innovation (Chen et al., 2014; Shapiro et al., 2015). Usually, the ownership structure of large firms has been discussed where CEO has a small portion of the total fraction, and there is much dispersion in ownership (Zajac and Westphal, 1994). On the contrary, it has been observed that when the ownership increases, the risk-taking ability and intentions decreases (Wright et al., 2002). As CEO of a small firm owns a more substantial part of the firm, hence, the findings of large firms can be applied to the small firms. This shows that stock ownership is associated with EO.

2.7 CEO narcissism and entrepreneurial orientation

The narcissist CEOs are more prone to struggle for daring activities which add to their position by enhancing their leadership level (Pan and Yu, 2017). Narcissists always have competitive intentions; hence, they take risks and dare to do what they want to achieve (Luchner et al., 2011). This is why, narcissistic CEOs inspire their followers to get more out of available resources (Braun et al., 2018). EO relates to the policy-making that firms use to recognize and start on an innovative undertaking (Wales et al., 2013). EO demonstrates a superior degree of being innovative and being proactive; therefore, EO captivates the level to which firm may be dealt entrepreneurial strategic conducts (Lechner and Gudmundsson, 2014). Numerous characteristics of a narcissistic character add to the probability that narcissistic leader behavior will be strongly associated with entrepreneurial, managerial plans (Engelen et al., 2015). This distinctiveness of narcissistic people comprises prejudiced outlook that goal achievement will be winning, a wish to motivate fear and respect between supporters and require of worry for supply limitation when chasing their schedule (Stöckmann et al., 2015).

2.8 Moderating role of CEO narcissism between founder CEO and entrepreneurial orientation

The term narcissism an exaggerated, but the delicate concept that a person may have for his influence and importance (Gerstner et al., 2013). Research work on this term to date has explored only negative implications stem from this phenomenon especially for leadership and individual-level functioning (Gerstner et al., 2013). Despite the research also indicated that quite a many Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) who were considered narcissistic were leading companies which were highly successful (Navis and Ozbek, 2016). Primarily, the research concerning narcissism revealed the negative effect of the conduct for organization whereas a few works also commented that many narcissistic CEOs pull out enormously prosperous management (Colbert et al., 2014). The originator CEOs of the organization experience individuality regarding personal and production wellbeing thus the central undertaking is the growth of the CEOs personal goals, in the course of heavy affecting affiliations between the originator CEO and their firms (Gali et al., 2016). It is suggested in the present literature that future scholars should find out narcissism as a moderator in the association between founder CEO and EO (Deb and Wiklund, 2017).

2.9 Moderating role of CEO narcissism between CEO ownership and entrepreneurial orientation

One of the critical reasons narcissists tend toward organizational leadership roles is the desire to have an admirable legacy left behind for the achievement being made (Simsek et al., 2010). At few places, Organizational settings are such that it may provide narcissistic leaders opportunities via power and authority that can help facilitate achieve personal ambitions of those persons (Lee and Walsh, 2014). So in general, a role taken as CEO provides a narcissists person with the highest authority; therefore, studies in management discipline's literature were previously focused only on examining CEOs narcissism (Gerstner et al., 2013). The researchers noted about narcissism that typically it is viewed being detrimental, but it can be considered as beneficial in situations for firm's leaders and then it can be linked to EO (Engelen et al., 2016). The CEO who has a more substantial portion of stock ownership are more narcissist and tend to have a more risk-taking and strategic nature (Liu et al., 2011). The moderating role of CEO narcissism can be proven by the upper echelon theory which refers that all the behaviors of the upper echelon, i.e. CEOs may impact the plans and strategies made and patterns taken on by a firm (Seaton and Boyd, 2007). The managerial features change the strategies made and then impact the result for the firm (Higgins and Gulati, 2003), as the CEOs having larger stock and their EO are affected by their narcissist behavior.

The above discussion has made us able to hypothesis the research model as depicted in Figure 1, and the hypotheses are stated as below:


There is a direct relation between founder CEO and EO.


There is a direct association between stock ownership and EO.


There is a significant impact of CEO narcissism on EO.


CEO narcissism plays a role of moderator between founder CEO and EO.


CEO narcissism has a moderating role between CEO Ownership and EO.

3. Research methodology

3.1 Sampling and measurement

The population for the current study consists of CEO heads of private schools in Pakistan. These schools are registered in respective district education offices. They have registered NTN numbers and paid income tax. For getting the data of the survey, the respondents from all four provinces of Pakistan have been approached. Initially, 200 questionnaires (50 to each province) were sent out, of which 121 utilizable questionnaires have been collected. Hence, the rate of response was 60.5 per cent. The scales for all the four variables of interest, which are founder CEO, CEO ownership, EO and CEO narcissism, were used as per literature to produce a questionnaire for the current study. Questions regarding demographics were also included in the questionnaires. The question regarding CEO being a funder or otherwise was asked in Yes or No. The same was later on coded as 1 and 0 in SPSS during data entry.

While designing the questionnaire, the ownership was asked in five major categories. First was 20 per cent ownership, and value below this was coded as 1 in SPSS during data entry. The second was 21-40 per cent, which was coded as 2 in SPSS, third was between 41 and 60 per cent, which was coded as 3, the fourth category was between 61 and 80 per cent, which was coded as 4, and the 81 per cent and above was coded as 5 in SPSS.

The scale of EO was adopted from the previous study by Kam-Sing Wong whereby the full scale has been given (Kam-Sing Wong, 2014). Examples of items are “Rates of change in R&D investment of our industry are very high,” “Our firm has a strong proclivity for the high-return high-risk project” and “Our firm typically initiates actions to which competitors have to respond to”.

The CEO Narcissism scale was adopted from the paper of Ames, Rose, and Anderson which gives as 16 items scale (Ames et al., 2006). Examples of items of the scale are “I know that I am good because everybody keeps telling me so,” “I am going to be a great person” and “I like to be the center of attention”.

The data for the study was taken from the CEOs of private schools of all four provinces through a stratified random sampling method where the representation of all four provinces of Pakistan was shown. The total sample was 121 among which 29 samples were from Punjab, 28 from KPK, 40 from Karachi and 24 were from Baluchistan based on the rational estimate of private schools in the provinces.

The two scales of EO and CEO narcissism in the questionnaire were devised on the five-point Likert scale. In SPSS, strongly disagree was coded as 1, disagree was coded as 2, neutral was coded as 3, agree was coded as 4 and strongly agree was coded as 5 on the scale. At the end of the questionnaire, questions regarding demographic variables, i.e. CEO education, CEO tenure, CEO age, CEO gender, board size and firm inheritance, were asked.

4. Results and discussion

The data was examined through SPSS by carrying on statistical analysis of demographics, construct, and hierarchical regression analysis.

The profile of respondents has been given in Table I, showing complete details of all demographic variables.

Before the testing of hypothesis, we performed two types of analysis i.e. validity analysis and reliability testing. Analysis of the reliability test of measurements list means respectively measurement of the identical concept to develop identical progress. The reliability score shows the internal consistency which can be analyzed by using Cronbach’s Alpha. It is also called Cronbach’s coefficient α. Analysis of validity of the measurement list examines whether measurement list was available to assume that what this survey proposed to achieve. Our paper used hierarchical regression analysis. As two scales were adopted from earlier papers, the Cronbach’s alpha was checked using SPSS to find their T2 internal reliability. The values of Cronbach’s alpha are given in Table II.

To analyze the collected data to accept or reject our hypothesis, we conducted hierarchical regression analysis through SPSS according to the assumptions laid down by Baron and Kenny (Baron and Kenny, 1986). The results are shown in Tables IV and V. Table III shows the correlation analysis among all variables. This shows that our four main variables are well associated hence we can move toward regression analysis.

H5 states that CEO narcissism has a moderating role between CEO ownership and EO. Table V shows that moderation does not exist (β = 0.055, R2 = 0.133, adjusted R2 = 0.111); hence, H5 has been rejected. This may be due to weak questionnaire formulation or a lack of understanding by the respondent. H1 states that there is a direct relation between founder CEO and EO. The relation is evident from both the correlational analysis and regression analysis where the values are significant (r = 0.282**, β = 0.282***). Hence, H1 is accepted. The result is in line with the findings of earlier papers (Adams et al., 2009; Wasserman, 2003).

The study on EO has revealed that there are positive and negative aspects of the high level of EO (Wiklund and Shepherd, 2011). It seems that EO works like a double-edged sharp sword where high-level EO linked with short term relative performances in the result of failure with the highest probability. Therefore, managers of small business need to balance both situations. We applied governance as a lens to explain variation in EO across firms which largely support for the future theoretical predictions. The CEO in small business and private firms have the overruling power and this is linked to the related flaws of the board (Uhlaner et al., 2007). So, this study reveals that ownership, Narcissism, and CEO Founder status influence EO (Figure 2).

H2 states that there is a direct association between stock ownership and EO. Like earlier relation, H2 is accepted as both the correlation and regression values are significant (r = 0.291**, β = 0.291***). The link is established as earlier researchers has been supported (Bammens et al., 2015; Zona et al., 2013). As far as H3 is concerned, the supposition that there is a significant impact of CEO narcissism on EO has been accepted as the correlation values are r = 0.302** and β = 0.252***. Thus the studies of Pan and Yu (2017) Luchner et al. (2011) are again supported by the current study.

H4 states that CEO Narcissism moderates the relation between founder CEO and EO. The results shown in the regression Table IV states that the significant moderation exists in the immediate relation (β = −1.251*, R2 = 0.367, adjusted R2 = 0.112**). The results are in line with the recommendation Deb and Wiklund (2017), which is the fundamental study to theorize about the current model. This study is very consistent in regard that the founder CEO has the highest risk-taking tendency as compared to the CEOs who are just CEOs but not the founder as well (Begley 1995). Additionally, some other studies (Schulze et al., 2001) claim that founder CEO can construct serious like agency problem. Because the founder CEO will take decision linked with an uncertainty that may threaten the long term existence of the firm. H5 states that CEO Narcissism has a moderating role between CEO Ownership and EO. CEO Narcissism is a crucial aspect in the life of CEO especially in small firms like private schools where all responsibility is considered on the shoulder of CEO. In such circumstances, a person having too much responsibility also devises innovative plans, takes risks and competes in the environment. Therefore, CEOs of such organizations can attend training for a better understanding of the narcissist behaviors so that their decisions may not be impacted by the negative impacts of narcissism which may alternatively decrease productivity. Regular meditation and self-analysis may help the CEOs to control the negative impacts of narcissism and thus increase the EO to increase the performance of the firm. Table V shows that moderation does not exist (β = 0.055, R2 = 0.133, adjusted R2 = 0.111); hence, H5 has been rejected. This may be due to weak questionnaire formulation or a lack of understanding by the respondents.

This study makes also theoretical contribution in the literature on the governance of small firms. The literature has mainly consist on traditional industry perceptions (Beuselinck and Manigart 2007). However, calls have been prepared to integrate unconventional theoretical perspectives, i.e. steward theory and also principal–principal agency theory toward small firm’s literature (George et al., 2005; Uhlaner et al., 2007; Wasserman, 2003).

5. Conclusion

As it has been established from that EO may give inconsistent results when tested in empirical studies and so is the case of narcissism (Wiklund and Shepherd, 2011). Similarly, the personality of CEO is also vital which is impacted by its ownership and shares. However, the force represented by CEO's personality is not sufficient to thoroughly explain the phenomena of changes in performance of the firm. For CEO ambitions and attributes to exert influence upon organizational outcomes, it is a must that those ambitions be translated into the behavior of specific firm-level strategy. On the other hand, EO is considered the valid concept, due to its ability to act as a tool for evidence gathering for actions of entrepreneurs and decision-making by them across multiple geographic and organizational contexts. Such features make it interesting for a comparative study like this. Based on these concepts five hypotheses have been developed which have been discussed in detail below.

CEO Narcissism is a crucial aspect in the life of CEO especially in small firms like private schools where all responsibility is considered on the shoulder of CEO. In such circumstances, a person having too much responsibility also devises innovative plans, takes risks and competes in the environment. Therefore, CEOs of such organizations can attend training for a better understanding of the narcissist behaviors so that their decisions may not be impacted by the negative impacts of narcissism which may alternatively decrease productivity. Regular meditation and self-analysis may help the CEOs to control the negative impacts of narcissism and thus increase the EO to increase the performance of the firm.

Like all other studies, the current study has some limitations. First of all, data was collected in a cross-section manner from various schools of all four provinces located at Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, and Quetta to give a representation of all provinces. Second, the data were collected through self-reported questionnaires which may bring self-serving bias among the respondents. Third, a sample size of 121 is a bit low because the population was loose and only one respondent, i.e. that the head of the school could respond to our questionnaire. Fourth, the two scales were adopted from previous studies which were not validated in Pakistan. Last, the population comes from only one industry.

Given the above discussion, some directions for future research are advocated. Leading factor is that of sample size which may be so high to support views of all industries and markets. In future studies data from many industries may be collected. Second, EO has five dimensions which could be tested separately in future studies. Last, of all, the present study is restricted to only one moderating variable.


Research model

Figure 1.

Research model

Interaction effects of CEO

Figure 2.

Interaction effects of CEO

Statistical analysis of demographics

Demographic variables F (%)
Gender 121
Male 65 53.7
Female 56 46.3
CEO education
Intermediate 20 16.5
Bachelor 21 17.4
Master 21 17.4
MPhil 26 21.5
PhD 33 27.3
CEO tenure
1-6 years 63 52
7-10 years 41 33.9
11-12 years 17 16.1
CEO age
28-38 years 48 39.7
39-49 years 28 23.1
50 and above 45 37.2
CEO gender
Male 59 48.7
Female 62 51.2
Board size
10 8 6.6
9 6 5.0
8 9 7.4
7 13 10.7
6 12 9.9
5 12 9.9
4 20 16.5
3 9 7.4
2 16 13.2
1 16 13.2
Firm is inherited
Yes 65 53.7
No 56 46.3

Statistical analysis of construct

Scale Cronbach's Alpha N
EO 0.770 16
CEO Narcissism 0.817 16

Correlation analysis

Variables 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
CEO education
CEO tenure 0.086
CEO age 0.076 0.002
CEO gender 0.016 0.106 −0.036
Board size 0.012 0.179* 0.061 0.015
Firm is inherited 0.042 0.045 −0.168 0.125 0.057
Founder CEO 0.079 −0.020 0.042 −0.058 −0.001 −0.076
CEO ownership 0.108 −0.095 −0.007 −0.052 −0.033 −201* 0.296**
EO 0.165 0.045 −0.093 −0.074 −0.119 −0.046 0.282** 0.291**
CEO narcissism 0.011 −0.016 0.013 0.046 0.005 −0.148 0.221* 0.327** 0.302**

Regression analysis

Dependent variable: EO (Founder CEO)
Variables B R2 ΔR2
Step 1
CEO ownership 0.291*** 0.085 0.077***
Step 2
CEO ownership 0.216**
CEO narcissism 0.232* 0.133 0.118**
Step 3
CEO ownership 0.17
CEO narcissism 0.213
EO* CEO narcissism 0.055 0.133 0.111

*, ** and *** denote significance at 1%, 5% and 10%, respectively

Regression analysis

Dependent variable: EO (CEO ownership)
Variables B R2 ΔR2
Step 1
Founder CEO 0.282*** 0.291 0.077***
Step 2
Founder CEO 0.226**
CEO narcissism 0.252*** 0.365 0.118**
Step 3
Founder CEO 1.421**
CEO narcissism 0.407***
EO* CEO narcissism −1.251 0.367 0.112**

*, ** and *** denote significance at 1%, 5% and 10%, respectively


Adams, R., Almeida, H. and Ferreira, D. (2009), “Understanding the relationship between founder–CEOs and firm performance”, Journal of Empirical Finance, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 136-150.

Agle, B.R., Nagarajan, N.J., Sonnenfeld, J.A. and Srinivasan, D. (2006), “Does CEO charisma matter? An empirical analysis of the relationships among organizational performance, environmental uncertainty, and top management team perceptions of CEO charisma”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 161-174.

Aktas, N., De Bodt, E., Bollaert, H. and Roll, R. (2016), “CEO narcissism and the takeover process: from private initiation to deal completion”, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Vol. 51 No. 1, pp. 113-137.

Ames, D.R., Rose, P. and Anderson, C.P. (2006), “The NPI-16 as a short measure of narcissism”, Journal of Research in Personality, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 440-450.

Bammens, Y., Notelaers, G. and Van Gils, A. (2015), “Implications of family business employment for employees’ innovative work involvement”, Family Business Review, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 123-144.

Baron, R.M. and Kenny, D.A. (1986), “The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 51 No. 6, pp. 1173-1182.

Boone, A.L., Field, L.C., Karpoff, J.M. and Raheja, C.G. (2007), “The determinants of corporate board size and composition: an empirical analysis”, Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 85 No. 1, pp. 66-101.

Braun, S., Aydin, N., Frey, D. and Peus, C. (2018), “Leader narcissism predicts malicious envy and supervisor-targeted counterproductive work behavior: evidence from field and experimental research”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 151 No. 3, pp. 725-741.

Chatterjee, A. and Hambrick, D.C. (2007), “It's all about me: Narcissistic chief executive officers and their effects on company strategy and performance”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 52 No. 3, pp. 351-386.

Chen, V.Z., Li, J., Shapiro, D.M. and Zhang, X. (2014), “Ownership structure and innovation: an emerging market perspective”, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 1-24.

Chen, Y.M., Liu, H.H., Ni, Y.T. and Wu, M.F. (2015), “A rational normative model of international expansion: Strategic intent perspective, market positions, and founder CEOs/family-successor CEOs”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 68 No. 7, pp. 1539-1543.

Colbert, A.E., Barrick, M.R. and Bradley, B.H. (2014), “Personality and leadership composition in top management teams: Implications for organizational effectiveness”, Personnel Psychology, Vol. 87 No. 2, pp. 351-387.

Dai, L., Maksimov, V., Gilbert, B.A. and Fernhaber, S.A. (2014), “Entrepreneurial orientation and international scope: the differential roles of innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk-taking”, Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 511-524.

de Jong, A., Song, M. and Song, L.Z. (2013), “How lead founder personality affects new venture performance: the mediating role of team conflict”, Journal of Management, Vol. 39 No. 7, pp. 1825-1854.

Deb, P. and Wiklund, J. (2017), “The effects of CEO founder status and stock ownership on entrepreneurial orientation in small firms”, Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 55 No. 1, pp. 32-55.

Deluga, R.J. (1997), “Relationship among american presidential charismatic leadership, narcissism, and rated performance”, The Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 49-65.

Demsetz, H. and Lehn, K. (1985), “The structure of corporate ownership: Causes and consequences”, Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 93 No. 6, pp. 1155-1177.

Dess, G.G. and Lumpkin, G.T. (2005), “The role of entrepreneurial orientation in stimulating effective corporate entrepreneurship”, Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 147-156.

Dimitratos, P., Liouka, I. and Young, S. (2014), “A missing operationalization: entrepreneurial competencies in multinational enterprise subsidiaries”, Long Range Planning, Vol. 47 Nos 1/2, pp. 64-75.

Dong, Y., Meng, C., Firth, M. and Hou, W. (2014), “Ownership structure and risk-taking: comparative evidence from private and state-controlled banks in China”, International Review of Financial Analysis, Vol. 36, pp. 120-130.

Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989), “Agency theory: an assessment and review”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 57-74.

Engelen, A., Gupta, V., Strenger, L. and Brettel, M. (2015), “Entrepreneurial orientation, firm performance, and the moderating role of transformational leadership behaviors”, Journal of Management, Vol. 41 No. 4, pp. 1069-1097.

Engelen, A., Neumann, C. and Schmidt, S. (2016), “Should entrepreneurially oriented firms have narcissistic CEOs?”, Journal of Management, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 698-721.

Fahlenbrach, R. (2009), “Founder-CEOs, investment decisions, and stock market performance”, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 439-466. No

Fernández-Mesa, A. and Alegre, J. (2015), “Entrepreneurial orientation and export intensity: examining the interplay of organizational learning and innovation”, International Business Review, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 148-156.

Gali, N., Hughes, M., Mallet, O. and Karam, A. (2016), Entrepreneurial Orientation and Firm Performance in the Context of Upper Echelon Theory, Universitat Politècnica de València, València, Spain.

Galvin, B.M., Lange, D. and Ashforth, B.E. (2015), “Narcissistic organizational identification: seeing oneself as Central to the organization's identity”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 163-181.

Galvin, B.M., Waldman, D.A. and Balthazard, P. (2010), “Visionary communication qualities as mediators of the relationship between narcissism and attributions of leader charisma”, Personnel Psychology, Vol. 63 No. 3, pp. 509-537.

Gerstner, W.C., König, A., Enders, A. and Hambrick, D.C. (2013), “CEO narcissism, audience engagement, and organizational adoption of technological discontinuities”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 58 No. 2, pp. 257-291.

Higgins, M.C. and Gulati, R. (2003), “Getting off to a good start: the effects of upper echelon affiliations on underwriter prestige”, Organization Science, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 244-263.

Jayaraman, N., Khorana, A., Nelling, E. and Covin, J. (2000), “CEO founder status and firm financial performance”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 21 No. 12, pp. 1215-1224.

Kam-Sing Wong, S. (2014), “Impacts of environmental turbulence on entrepreneurial orientation and new product success”, European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 229-249.

Lechner, C. and Gudmundsson, S.V. (2014), “Entrepreneurial orientation, firm strategy and small firm performance”, International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 36-60.

Lee, L.F. and Walsh, J.P. (2014), Moneymaking Dealmakers: Rewarding Dynamic Managerial Capabilities or Narcissistic Displays of Power?, Ann Arbor, 1001, p. 48109.

Liu, Y., Li, Y. and Xue, J. (2011), “Ownership, strategic orientation and internationalization in emerging markets”, Journal of World Business, Vol. 46 No. 3, pp. 381-393.

Luchner, A.F., Houston, J.M., Walker, C. and Houston, M.A. (2011), “Exploring the relationship between two forms of narcissism and competitiveness”, Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 51 No. 6, pp. 779-782.

Lumpkin, G.T. and Dess, G.G. (2001), “Linking two dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation to firm performance: the moderating role of environment and industry life cycle”, Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 429-451.

McConnell, J.J. and Servaes, H. (1990), “Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value”, Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 595-612.

Miller, D. (1983), “The correlatives of entrepreneurship in three types of firms”, Management Science, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 770-791.

Murad, S. (2014), “Influence of entrepreneurial orientation on leadership styles”, Bachelor's thesis, University of Twente.

Narayanan, V. (2017), “Theorizing on entrepreneurial orientation in international business: a synthetic review”, Przedsiębiorczość Międzynarodowa, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 9-23.

Navis, C. and Ozbek, O.V. (2016), “The right people in the wrong places: the paradox of entrepreneurial entry and successful opportunity realization”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 109-129.

Pan, Q.Q. and Yu, F. (2017), “The influential effects of narcissism leadership and its managerial implications”, in Humanity and Social Science: Proceedings of the International Conference on Humanity and Social Science, ICHSS, 2016, pp. 48-54.

Randøy, T., Strøm, R.Ø. and Mersland, R. (2015), “The impact of entrepreneur–CEOs in microfinance institutions: a global survey”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 927-953.

Rauch, A., Wiklund, J., Lumpkin, G.T. and Frese, M. (2009), “Entrepreneurial orientation and business performance: an assessment of past research and suggestions for the future”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 761-787.

Schmidt, C. and Fahlenbrach, R. (2017), “Do exogenous changes in passive institutional ownership affect corporate governance and firm value?”, Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 124 No. 2, pp. 285-306.

Schumpeter, J.R. (1942), Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Harper and Row, New York, NY.

Seaton, L.J. and Boyd, M. (2007), “The organizational leadership of the post baby boom generation: an upper echelon theory approach”, Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol. 13 No. 2.

Shapiro, D., Tang, Y., Wang, M. and Zhang, W. (2015), “The effects of corporate governance and ownership on the innovation performance of chinese SMEs”, Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 311-335.

Simsek, Z., Heavey, C. and Veiga, J.J.F. (2010), “The impact of CEO core self‐evaluation on the firm's entrepreneurial orientation”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 110-119.

Stam, W. and Elfring, T. (2008), “Entrepreneurial orientation and new venture performance: the moderating role of intra-and extraindustry social Capital”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 51 No. 1, pp. 97-111.

Stöckmann, C., Kollmann, T., Linstaedt, J.W. and Peschl, A. (2015), “Linking narcissism and business planning via self-efficacy and entrepreneurial orientation”, in Academy of Management Proceedings: Academy of Management, Briarcliff Manor, New York, NY, Vol. 2015, No. 1, pp. 16684-10510.

Wales, W.J., Gupta, V.K. and Mousa, F.T. (2013), “Empirical research on entrepreneurial orientation: an assessment and suggestions for future research”, International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 357-383.

Wang, D., Sun, D., Yu, X. and Zhang, Y. (2014), “The impact of CEO duality and ownership on the relationship between organisational slack and firm performance in China”, Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 94-101.

Wasserman, N. (2003), “Founder-CEO succession and the paradox of entrepreneurial success”, Organization Science, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 149-172.

Wiklund, J. and Shepherd, D.A. (2011), “Where to from here? EO-as-experimentation, failure, and distribution of outcomes”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 925-946.

Willard, G.E., Krueger, D.A. and Feeser, H.R. (1992), “In order to grow, must the founder go: a comparison of performance between founder and non-founder managed high-growth manufacturing firms”, Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 181-194.

Wright, P., Kroll, M., Lado, A. and Van Ness, B. (2002), “The structure of ownership and corporate acquisition strategies”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 41-53.

Zajac, E.J. and Westphal, J.D. (1994), “The costs and benefits of managerial incentives and monitoring in large US corporations: When is more not better?”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 15, pp. 121-142.

Zheng, Y., Devaughn, M.L. and Zellmer-Bruhn, M. (2015), “Shared and shared alike? Founders' prior shared experience and performance of newly founded banks”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 37 No. 12, pp. 2503-2520.

Zona, F., Zattoni, A. and Minichilli, A. (2013), “A contingency model of boards of directors and firm innovation: the moderating role of firm size”, British Journal of Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 299-315.

Further reading

Afzal, M.N.I., Mansur, K. and Manni, U.H. (2018), “Entrepreneurial capability (EC) environment in ASEAN-05 emerging economies: an empirical approach”, Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 206-221.

Al Mamun, A. and Fazal, S.A. (2018), “Effect of entrepreneurial orientation on competency and micro-enterprise performance”, Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 379-398.

Campbell, W.K. and Campbell, S.M. (2009), “On the self-regulatory dynamics created by the peculiar benefits and costs of narcissism: a contextual reinforcement model and examination of leadership”, Self and Identity, Vol. 8 Nos 2/3, pp. 214-232.

Campbell, W.K., Hoffman, B.J., Campbell, S.M. and Marchisio, G. (2011), “Narcissism in organizational contexts”, Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 268-284.

Cavusgil, S.T. and Knight, G. (2015), “The born global firm: an entrepreneurial and capabilities perspective on early and rapid internationalization”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 3-16.

Cho, Y.H. and Lee, J.-H. (2018), “Entrepreneurial orientation, entrepreneurial education and performance”, Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 124-134.

Covin, J.G. and Wales, W.J. (2012), “The measurement of entrepreneurial orientation”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 677-702.

Furnham, A., Trickey, G. and Hyde, G. (2012), “Bright aspects to dark side traits: dark side traits associated with work success”, Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 52 No. 8, pp. 908-913.

Jaskiewicz, P., Block, J.H., Miller, D. and Combs, J.G. (2017), “Founder versus family owners’ impact on pay dispersion among non-CEO top managers: implications for firm performance”, Journal of Management, Vol. 43 No. 5, pp. 1524-1552.

Ko, E.J., Wiklund, J. and Nason, R.S. (2015), “Team diversity and new venture performance: the role of family relationships”, in Academy of Management Proceedings: Academy of Management, Briarcliff Manor, New York, NY, Vol. 2015, No. 1, pp. 10510-18156.

Krause, R., Acharya, A.G. and Covin, J.G. (2014), “Here I come to save the day: proposing necessary and sufficient conditions for founder-CEO comeback”, Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Vol. 1, pp. 26-30.

Matosic, D., Ntoumanis, N., Boardley, I.D., Sedikides, C., Stewart, B.D. and Chatzisarantis, N. (2017), “Narcissism and coach interpersonal style: a self‐determination theory perspective”, Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 254-261.

Park, C. (2017), “A study on effect of entrepreneurship on entrepreneurial intention: focusing on ICT majors”, Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 159-170.

Resick, C.J., Whitman, D.S., Weingarden, S.M. and Hiller, N.J. (2009), “The bright-side and the dark-side of CEO personality: examining core self-evaluations, narcissism, transformational leadership, and strategic influence”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 94 No. 6, pp. 1365.

Rijsenbilt, A. and Commandeur, H. (2013), “Narcissus enters the courtroom: CEO narcissism and fraud”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 117 No. 2, pp. 413-429.

Sheldon, P. and Bryant, K. (2016), “Instagram: motives for its use and relationship to narcissism and contextual age”, Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 58, pp. 89-97.

Wales, W.J. (2016), “Entrepreneurial orientation: a review and synthesis of promising research directions”, International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 3-15.

Corresponding author

Aiza Shabbir can be contacted at: