Narcissistic leadership is understood as existing when the head of an organization or part of an organization is self-interested, self-admiring, self-absorbed, and self-prioritizing. In other words, the organizational chief puts their own needs, aims, and objectives before those of the organizations and followers they are supposed to be guiding and managing. Suboptimal organizational outcomes are associated with such leadership, because there may often be a lack of alignment with organizational objectives and the personal objectives of the leader.
Like the definition of a psychopath or a Machiavellian, the definition of a narcissistic leader is human-made and has changed over time. The common definition of a narcissist is anchored in the myth of Narcissus. However, a degree of conceptual drift has occurred. For example, Falkenbach, Howe, and Falki report that extreme...
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