CEO Narcissism and the Impact of Interlocks on Corporate Strategy

David H. Zhu

Arizona State University (ASU) - W. P. Carey School of Business

Guoli Chen

INSEAD - Singapore


Administrative Science Quarterly, Forthcoming

We examine how CEO narcissism influences the impact of interlocks on interorganizational imitation of corporate strategy. Our theory explains why narcissistic CEOs are influenced more by the corporate strategies that they witnessed on other boards, and less by the corporate strategies witnessed by other directors. We then explain why these effects are strengthened by the status of other firms to which the CEO had interlock ties and by the CEO’s power vis-à-vis the board. Results based on longitudinal analyses of Fortune 500 companies’ decisions on acquisition emphasis of growth strategy and international diversification (1997-2006) provide support for our theoretical expectations. This study contributes to organization research by introducing personality psychology theories to the literature of interorganizational imitation and to corporate governance research on board functions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

Keywords: CEO, narcissism, network, diffusion, imitation, director, interlock, personality, psychology, acquisition, international, corporate governance, board

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Date posted: May 4, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Zhu, David H. and Chen, Guoli, CEO Narcissism and the Impact of Interlocks on Corporate Strategy (2014). Administrative Science Quarterly, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2429586

Contact Information

David Hongquan Zhu (Contact Author)
Arizona State University (ASU) - W. P. Carey School of Business ( email )
Tempe, AZ 85287-3706
United States
4807278737 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://my.wpcarey.asu.edu/directory/people/profile.cfm?person=2227202
Guoli Chen
INSEAD - Singapore ( email )
Feedback to SSRN

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