Rovelli, P., Massis, A. D., & Gomez-Mejia, L. R. (2023). Are narcissistic CEOs good or bad for family firm innovation?. human relations, 76(5), 776-806.

Despite anecdotal evidence showing that some CEOs possess narcissisticpersonality traits, research on this individual characteristic is stilllagging behind. Though the literature has established that narcissistic CEOtraits may affect firm performance, it is not clear whether they act asconstructive or destructing forces in family firms. This is particularlyimportant given family firms’ attention towards the preservation ofsocioemotional wealth. A question thus arises: Can family firms benefit fromnarcissistic CEOs or should they avoid appointing individuals with thispersonality trait? Our analysis of unique data from Italian CEOs – collectedthrough a survey and a psychometric test – reveals that CEO narcissism islower in family firms, and among family CEOs. Nevertheless, in family firms,more narcissistic CEOs tend to exploit greater innovation opportunities byfostering higher top management teams strategic decision comprehensiveness.Our findings advance our understanding of narcissism in leadership positions,highlighting its importance for family firms’ innovation and providingmeaningful contributions for research on CEO personality, family business andinnovation, as well as for practitioners.