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Narcissistic business leaders as heralds of the self-proclaimed excellence

Loukas N. Anninos (Department of Maritime Studies, School of Maritime and Industrial Studies, University of Piraeus , Piraeus, Greece)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 19 March 2018




The paper aims to investigate the relation of narcissism to leadership in business contexts and presents its impact on specific organizational variables, which are crucial for the pursuit of excellence. Narcissism constitutes a personality trait which is considered responsible for both positive and negative behavioral outcomes that impact decisions and actions.


The approach, by which this paper is structured, is theoretical and has been based on a literature review regarding narcissism (and more specifically, narcissistic leadership) in business contexts.


Narcissism can have positive (mainly in the short term) and/or deleterious effects both for the individual and the organization. The self-proclaimed excellence of narcissists results from a combination of their beliefs about their extreme intelligence, abilities and leadership and their high motives for reassuring their supremacy. However, the behavior of narcissistic leaders impacts various organizational parameters which are preconditions for organizational excellence.

Research limitations/implications

The study at hand can be used as an input for further research on the effects of narcissism on quality performance variables.

Practical implications

The behavior of narcissists (and its positive and/or negative consequences) should be evaluated in relation to any specific organizational context and circumstances.


The study examines narcissistic leadership and attempts to examine its implications for factors that are crucial for the achievement of organizational excellence.



Anninos, L.N. (2018), "Narcissistic business leaders as heralds of the self-proclaimed excellence", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 49-60.



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