Making CEO Narcissism Research Great: A Review and Meta-Analysis of CEO Narcissism

Ormonde Rhees Cragun, Kari Joseph Olsen, Patrick Michael Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Chief executive officer (CEO) narcissism is an important area of research due to the strategic implications of how this multifaceted personality trait affects CEO behavior. This article presents a combined meta-analytic and narrative review of CEO narcissism and makes future research recommendations. Our review and meta-analytic findings lead to the creation of a framework for CEO narcissism research focused on narcissistic CEO supply, demand, behavior, and consequences. Additionally, our review identifies five methods of measuring CEO narcissism, each with strengths and weaknesses. We find that while extant findings exhibit common themes, such findings remain mixed and potentially dependent upon methods. We recommend that future research expand beyond the strategic consequences of CEO narcissism to consider additional foci of the research framework and its moderators. Additionally, we suggest that research can benefit from moving beyond the predominant theoretical lenses of upper echelons theory and leadership theory to the lenses of the extended agency model of narcissism, the admiration-versus-rivalry perspective of narcissism, and tournament theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)908-936
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • CEO narcissism
  • chief executive officer
  • executive narcissism
  • leadership
  • meta-analysis
  • narcissism
  • personality


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