CEO Narcissism and Corporate Misconduct

9 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2023 Last revised: 11 Jun 2023

See all articles by Han Donker

Han Donker

Central Washington University

John R. Nofsinger

University of Alaska Anchorage

Corey A. Shank

Miami University

Date Written: May 4, 2023


Narcissistic CEOs tend to act to preserve a favorable public image. We content that in their avoidance of behaviors that might harm their reputation as a great leader, a narcissistic CEO minimizes actions that cause corporate misconduct. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find empirical evidence that corporations with narcissistic CEOs have fewer violations and pay lower fines in penalties. When a non-narcissistic CEO is replaced with a narcissistic CEO, the number of corporate violations diminishes, but the converse occurs when a narcissistic CEO is replaced with a non-narcissistic CEO. The findings provide insight into the complex relationship between CEO personality attributes and corporate behavior.

Keywords: CEO behavior, Narcissism, Corporate Misconduct

Suggested Citation

Donker, Han and Nofsinger, John R. and Shank, Corey, CEO Narcissism and Corporate Misconduct (May 4, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Han Donker

Central Washington University ( email )

400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
United States

John R. Nofsinger (Contact Author)

University of Alaska Anchorage ( email )

3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
United States


Corey Shank

Miami University ( email )

Oxford, OH 45056
United States


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