A question of false self-esteem: Organization-based self-esteem and narcissism in organizational contexts

Donald G. Gardner, Jon L. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This paper seeks to explore the relationships between organization-based self-esteem and narcissism, and their correlates. It aims to distinguish the two constructs, as well as to examine the degree to which organization-based self-esteem is contaminated by "false self-esteem" (namely, narcissism). Design/methodology/approach: Participants completed questionnaires containing measures of organization-based self-esteem, narcissism, and a variety of motivational, attitudinal, and behavioral consequences. Co-workers rated the participants' extra-role and in-role performance behaviors. Findings: Organization-based self-esteem and narcissism appear to be quite distinct constructs. The organization-based self-esteem scale is unbiased by variance associated with narcissism. Organization-based self-esteem is associated with a variety of positive outcomes. In particular, organization-based self-esteem correlates negatively with hostility, while narcissism correlates positively with hostility. Practical implications: The hypothesized negative attitudes and behaviors of narcissists were not found. However, organizations need to be cautious when delivering negative feedback to employees high in narcissism. Supervisors need to provide concrete evidence about deficiencies in narcissists' performance when providing feedback. Originality/value: This is the first study to examine the relationships between organization-based self-esteem and narcissism in an organizational context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-699
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Volume26
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

Keywords

  • Employee attitudes and behaviors
  • Employees
  • Hostility
  • Motivation (psychology)
  • Narcissism
  • Negative feedback
  • Organization-based self-esteem
  • Self esteem

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