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Effects of CEO narcissism on decision-making comprehensiveness and speed

Zhuolin She (School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Quan Li (Department of Human Resource Management, Nankai University, Tianjin, China)
Manuel London (College of Business, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA)
Baiyin Yang (School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Bin Yang (Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 23 January 2020

Issue publication date: 23 January 2020




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between CEO narcissism and strategic decision-making (SDM) processes (decision comprehensiveness and decision speed), and to explore the mediating role of top management team (TMT) members’ participation in decision making and the moderating role of TMT power distance.


Data were collected from a multisource, time-lagged survey of 103 CEOs and their corresponding TMT members in China. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships.


The results indicated that CEO narcissism was negatively related to decision comprehensiveness and positively related to decision speed. These relationships were mediated by TMT members’ participation in decision making, especially when TMT power distance was high.

Practical implications

The results show the potential negative effects of CEOs’ narcissistic personality and suggest ways to attenuate it by increasing TMT participation and decreasing TMT power distance.


This study is an initial attempt to empirically examine how and under what conditions CEOs’ narcissism is a barrier to more comprehensive and more deliberate (slower) SDM.



This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, Project ID: 71872096).


She, Z., Li, Q., London, M., Yang, B. and Yang, B. (2020), "Effects of CEO narcissism on decision-making comprehensiveness and speed", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 42-55.



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