Research Insights

How CEO Narcissism and Hubris Affects CSR?

By Dr. Yi Tang

Shall we uphold our auditing standards when serving important clients?

Many CEOs are narcissistic, or over-confident (hubristic), both narcissistic and over-confident. Research and conventional wisdom would predict that narcissistic and over-confident CEOs tend to care less about societies and thus may engage less in in corporate social responsibility (CSR, ops, think of Donald Trump as a typical example). Dr. Tang and his colleagues recently conducted a study to understand whether narcissistic and over-confident CEOs are more harmful to the societies. Contrary to our common sense, based on a sample of S&P 1500 firms for 2003–2010 Dr. Tang and his colleagues found that narcissistic CEOs care more about CSR but hubristic CEOs care less. Interestingly, when narcissistic CEOs observe their peer firms engaging in more or less CSR than their own firms, they tend to respond in an opposite manner; in contrast, hubristic CEOs will only engage in even less CSR when their peers also do not emphasise CSR.


Tang, Y., Mack, D., & Chen, G. (2018). The differential effects of CEO narcissism and CEO hubris on corporate social responsibility. Strategic Management Journal, 39(5), 1370-1387.