Narcissists too self-centred to make good leaders

August 11th, 2011 - 4:06 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 11 (IANS) Narcissists–people with excessive self-love are supposed to make good leaders, seemingly because of traits like self-confidence, authority and self-esteem. But that doesn’t seem to be true, says a new study.

“Our research shows that the opposite seems to be true,” says study co-author Barbora Nevicka, a doctoral scholar in organisational psychology, University of Virginia.

“The narcissistic leaders had a very negative effect on their performance. They inhibited the communication because of self-centeredness and authoritarianism,” adds Nevicka, reports the journal Psychological Science.

The narcissists’ self-centeredness inhibits free and fair exchange of information and ideas, negating decision-making and performance, according to a university statement.

The study recruited 150 participants and divided them into groups of three. One person
was randomly assigned to be the group’s leader; all were told they could contribute advice but the leader was responsible for making the decision.

Then they undertook a group task: choosing a job candidate. Of the 45 items of information about the candidate, some were given to all the three, and some to only one of the participants.

Predictably, the group members rated the most narcissistic leaders as most effective.
But they were wrong. In fact, the groups led by the greatest egotists chose the worse
candidate for the job.

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