UAE companies with narcissistic bosses underperform, research shows

The results will make for uncomfortable reading for many corporate chiefs – especially expatriate chief executives in the UAE, who scored twice as highly for narcissism than their Emirati counterparts.

Bosses who like to talk about “me, myself and I” have been called out by researchers investigating narcissism in the UAE boardroom.

A professor at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia measured how many times chief executives used the personal pronoun during earnings briefings.

The results will make for uncomfortable reading for many corporate chiefs – especially expatriate chief executives in the UAE, who scored twice as highly for narcissism than their Emirati counterparts.

It also found that companies with narcissistic chief executives underperformed their non-narcissistic counterparts by 2 per cent on a monthly basis.

Alex Frino of the economics department at UOW said: “Narcissism at chief executive level puts a measurable drag on company performance. We think, as a result, that we should be actively teaching students to avoid the leadership weaknesses of this personality type.”

The narcissism score for each chief executive assessed in the research was the ratio of first person singular pronouns (I, my and mine) to total first person pronouns (the three above plus we, our and ours) used in their speeches.

The trait that was first identified in 1988 as being correlated with narcissistic personalities and replicated in subsequent research.

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Published: September 5, 2016 04:00 AM

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