Narcissism and Entrepreneurship

The relationship between entrepreneurship and narcissism has been a topic of interest among researchers and scholars for many years (Campbell et al., 2011). 

While some studies suggest that narcissistic traits can be beneficial for entrepreneurial success, others argue that they can have negative effects on both the entrepreneur and their ventures (Leung et al., 2021).

Entrepreneurs tend to score higher on measures of narcissism than non-entrepreneurs. Some researchers suggest that moderate levels of narcissism may be associated with increased self-confidence, risk-taking, and charisma, which could help CEOs in some situations. For example, a confident CEO may be more likely to pursue new opportunities or navigate challenging situations with ease.

Narcissistic CEOs can also have a detrimental impact on the company and the work environment they create. Narcissists take credit for successes and blame others for failures, resulting in a lack of accountability and toxic workplace dynamics. 

Prioritizing their own interests over those of the company or stakeholders, they may engage in unethical behaviour that could damage the company's reputation. Additionally, narcissistic CEOs may struggle to accept feedback or constructive criticism, hindering their growth as leaders. 

Overconfidence and a tendency to overestimate their abilities can lead to poor decision-making and financial losses. Furthermore, narcissistic CEOs may exhibit aggressive or hostile behaviour towards competitors, potentially causing harm to the industry and even legal repercussions. It is important to be aware of the potential negative impact of narcissistic CEOs and take measures to mitigate their behaviour.

Liu et al. (2021) suggest that narcissistic traits can have negative effects on entrepreneurship. For example, narcissistic entrepreneurs are more likely to engage in unethical behaviour and deceive investors. Narcissistic entrepreneurs may be less likely to seek advice and collaborate with others, which could limit their opportunities for growth.

Overall, the relationship between entrepreneurship and narcissism is complex and multifaceted. While some aspects of narcissism may be beneficial for entrepreneurial success, others, such as unethical behaviour and a lack of collaboration, can have negative effects on both the entrepreneur and their ventures.


Campbell, W. K., Miller, J. D., & Collins, B. (2011). The narcissistic CEO: A study of executive grandiosity. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(4), 463-479.

Leung, Y. K., Franken, I., Thurik, R., Driessen, M., Kamei, K., Torrès, O., & Verheul, I. (2021). Narcissism and entrepreneurship: Evidence from six datasets. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 15, e00216.

Liu, D., Zhu, T., Huang, X., Wang, M., & Huang, M. (2021). Narcissism and entrepreneurship: a systematic review and an agenda for future research. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 657681.



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