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Age Differences in Managers' Responses to Narcissistic Subordinates' Aggressive Accounting

aUniversity of Nevada, USA
bArizona State University, USA

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research

ISBN: 978-1-80455-799-0, eISBN: 978-1-80455-798-3

Publication date: 13 March 2023


Prior research in psychology reports an age-based bias against narcissists. We examine whether managers' reactions to narcissistic subordinates exhibit a similar bias. Using an experimental method, where we manipulate subordinate narcissism, we find evidence of an age-based bias. Older managers react to a narcissistic subordinate by making conservative revisions to the subordinate's aggressive accounting estimates. They do so even at the cost of failing to meet a personally beneficial earnings target. A test of moderated mediation shows the actions of older managers (in their late 40s and older) were driven by their negative perceptions of the narcissistic subordinate. Our work demonstrates that not all individuals perceive narcissists the same way, and has implications for manger/subordinate relationships, and group dynamics involving mixed personalities and ages.




The authors would like to thank the editor, Dr. Khondkar Karim and an anonymous reviewer. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Jordan Lowe, Dr. Eldar Maksymov, and workshop participants at Arizona State University, the University of Michigan – Dearborn and Ivey Business School.


Hayes, M.J. and Reckers, P.M.J. (2023), "Age Differences in Managers' Responses to Narcissistic Subordinates' Aggressive Accounting", Karim, K.E. (Ed.) Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research (Advances in Accounting Behavioural Research, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-23.



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