Th-SYM-877-7 - A Perfect Match: Narcissists Work Well With Those Who Need Structure

Antecedents of constructive/destructive leadership
1 hour
Leadership and management
Antecedents of constructive/destructive leadership
A Perfect Match: Narcissists Work Well with Those Who Need Structure
B. Nevicka 1,*, F. ten Velden 1, M. Baas 1
1University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Main Abstract Content: Purpose: Narcissists possess maladaptive interpersonal characteristics (lack of empathy, aggression) yet also exhibit characteristics associated with leadership (e.g., dominance, confidence). While their dominance and overconfidence is often detrimental in contexts that involve egalitarian information-sharing in groups, it may sometimes be beneficial, for example during unstructured tasks. We investigated narcissists’ functioning in teams involved in unstructured brainstorming, taking into account fellow team members’ personal need for structure (PNS).
Design/Methodology: We report four studies. Study1-2 measured perceptions of prospective group members’ high versus low PNS (S1) or high versus low narcissism (S2) profiles, while measuring participants’ narcissism (S1) or PNS (S2). Studies 3-4 involved group brainstorming tasks, and assessed members’ narcissism and PNS, and group creativity and members’ perceptions as outcome measures.
Results: Results showed that highly narcissistic individuals prefer group members with high (versus low) PNS, who, in turn, prefer high (versus low) narcissistic group members. Additionally, a match between a highly narcissistic group member and two group members with high PNS led to more group creativity.
Limitations: While findings were consistent across four studies, team members interacted for only a short period.
Research/Practical Implications: Results showed that narcissists function well with team members with high PNS. This team-level combination of personalities positively affects team performance on unstructured tasks.
Originality/Value: This is the first work to examine how group composition involving high narcissism affects group performance. We show that narcissists can actually work well with certain team members and that by providing structure they help improve group performance.

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