SOURCE: Macquarie Graduate School of Management

Macquarie Graduate School of Management

December 16, 2013 09:00 ET

Narcissism as a Predictor of Company Performance -- MGSM

America's Least Narcissistic CEOs Revealed in New Study

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - Dec 16, 2013) - Australia's Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) has conducted a study into the level of narcissism as a leadership trait among CEOs at the USA's top 100 companies, as a first step in investigating narcissism as a leadership quality and predictor of company performance.

Visit to see the list of the ten least narcissistic American CEOs.

The research team, led by MGSM's Dean, Professor Alex Frino, are developing a new natural language technology to identify narcissism, as well as other personality traits, by analysing CEO's verbal communications. The team will use the data to examine whether narcissistic CEOs build better performing management structures, if they are able to extract higher pay from their remuneration committees, generate greater shareholder returns and are better communicators. The study ultimately aims to quantify leadership qualities as predictors of company performance in the market, as well as informing strategies to better educate company leaders of tomorrow.

"Many leaders dominating the workforce today possess narcissistic leadership traits, and in this era of constant change and innovation, it seems natural that charismatic, risk takers would take charge," Frino said. "Is narcissism, generally viewed as a personality defect, actually a good thing? Does the world in fact need more narcissistic CEOs? Or is this a trait we should be actively teaching future leaders to avoid?"

Professor Frino said the study would directly inform MGSM curricula. "I'm in the business of creating the next wave of elite businesspeople," he said. "This is an innovative top-down approach to identifying what personality traits typify very successful executives, so we can work that knowledge into the way we educate and mentor our students."

Narcissism is only one of many personality traits that are to be examined by the team, who are also developing a natural language technology platform which enables users to extract personality traits through the impromptu communications given by CEOs.

The ranking was measured via the personal pronoun usage of each CEO in the Q&A sessions of Analyst Briefings conducted by companies to announce their earnings. The narcissism score for each CEO is the ratio of first person singular pronouns to total first person pronouns used in their speech. 

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About Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM)
has maintained a reputation for providing high quality, flexible postgraduate education over the past 40 years. The schools MBA and management programs are formally accredited by AACSB International and are ranked consistently among the top business schools globally. With world-class campuses in Sydney and Hong Kong, MGSM's comprehensive MBA Program, and Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate Programs, are designed to fulfil the needs of the experienced management professional, extend and challenge students and provide relevant, higher management and leadership skills. The school is also an acknowledged leader in the delivery of short-term Executive Education Programs and customised degree or non-degree programs for organisations.

Contact Information

  • For further information and interviews with Professor Alex Frino:
    Kristin Westlake
    The Continuum Partners
    Tel: +61 2 416 219 358
    Email: Email Contact