Do Birds of a Feather Flock Together? The Joint Effects of Manager and Subordinate Narcissism on Performance Evaluation
57 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2022 Last revised: 16 May 2023
Date Written: May 15, 2023
This study investigates the interactive effect of superior and subordinate manager narcissism on subjective performance evaluation. We build on extant research in the psychology literature and propose that superiors evaluate narcissistic subordinates worse than non-narcissistic subordinates. However, based on the homophily effect (i.e., the tendency of like to associate with like), we also hypothesize that narcissistic superiors show greater tolerance toward narcissistic subordinates than non-narcissistic superiors do. We conduct two online experiments and find that superiors, both high and low in narcissism, evaluate narcissistic subordinates less favorably than non-narcissistic subordinates. Our results further show that this effect is mediated by the superiors’ weaker feelings of closeness to narcissistic subordinates. Finally, we find that superiors high in narcissism show greater feelings of closeness to narcissistic subordinates and, hence, evaluate them more favorably than non-narcissistic superiors do. Our results provide novel insight into the pivotal role of individual traits in subjective performance evaluation.
Keywords: Subjectivity, Performance evaluation, Narcissism, Homophily
JEL Classification: M12, M41, M52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation