Narcissistic Bosses Block Knowledge Flow and Cooperation, Study Finds
Narcissistic bosses – self-centered, selfish and involving a sense of entitlement, lacking in empathy and desperate for admiration – tend to block the cooperative flow of knowledge within organizations.
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That’s according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington. They interviewed the business units of a headhunting company in China that helps organizations recruit talent and find technical staff.
Pools are invited to share their knowledge on building talent pools, identifying skills and encouraging prospects to accept offers.
The researchers asked unit leaders to rate their own narcissistic traits, local market environmental complexity, and perceived competition with other units. They then asked MPs to rate the level of knowledge imported from other units.
The level of narcissism was measured using a 16-item Narcissistic Personality Inventory self-report scale that presented pairs of statements and asked individuals to select one of the best that described them..
Researchers have found that unit leader narcissism can actually affect knowledge sharing. The trend faded in fast-paced environments as narcissists had an excuse to pursue outside ideas.
However, when companies have high competition between units, narcissists were more eager to differentiate themselves from other units.
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Study co-author Abhinav Gupta, associate professor of management at the UW Foster School of Business, explained, “There are two perspectives on how multi-enterprise businesses create value. One is that you want to run an organization like a home market. units actively compete for head office resources, and this competition is what enables superior performance.
He added: “This research kind of goes against that. If you create the perception of competition within an organization, it will have downstream effects. knowledge.”
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