Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest leader of them all? The...


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Title Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest leader of them all? The emergence and effectiveness of narcissistic leadership in different contexts
Period 01 / 2008 - 10 / 2011
Status Completed
Dissertation Yes
Research number OND1337597
Data Supplier Website Kurt Lewin Instituut


This PhD project examines narcissistic leadership with a focus on the contextual aspects in determining their effectiveness and emergence as a leader. Furthermore, the project will investigate the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of narcissistic leaders and their motivational processes. Narcissistic leaders have been identified as visionaries of the organization, as bold innovators who are not afraid to step out of conformity with others, charismatic, socially confident, energetic, entertaining and independent thinkers. Yet on the other hand they are very self-absorbed, possess a sense of entitlement, are exploitative, lack empathy, have grandiose illusions about their talents and abilities, and are oversensitive. Nonetheless, narcissistic personalities appear to be climbing to the top and assuming leadership positions despite these negative personality attributes. Narcissistic individuals will most likely emerge, and be perceived as effective, in contexts of high reward interdependence, crisis and when they complement their follower s own narcissism.

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Other involved organisations

Macquarie University (Sydney)

Related people

Supervisor Prof.dr. A.E.M. van Vianen
Co-supervisor Dr. A.H.B. de Hoogh
Doctoral/PhD student Dr. B. Nevicka

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