Corporate social responsibility or CEO narcissism? CSR motivations and organizational performance

Oleg V. Petrenko, Federico Aime, Jason Ridge, Aaron Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


This study builds on insights from both upper echelons and agency perspectives to examine the effects on corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices of CEO's narcissism. Drawing on prior theory about CEO narcissism, we argue that CSR can be a response to leaders' personal needs for attention and image reinforcement and hypothesize that CEO narcissism has positive effects on levels and profile of organizational CSR; additionally, CEO narcissism will reduce the effect of CSR on performance. We find support for our ideas with a sample of Fortune 500 CEOs, operationalizing CEO narcissism with a novel media-based measurement technique that uses third-party ratings of CEO characteristics with validated psychometric scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-279
Number of pages18
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • CEO narcissism
  • corporate social responsibility
  • organizational performance
  • strategic decisions
  • upper echelons

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