Narcissistic leaders poison their organizations for decades

If you want a preview of the post-Trump era, you might read Jennifer Chatman’s latest paper out of the Berkeley Haas School of Business. It shows that narcissistic leaders inflict long-lasting damage on their organizations, which continues many years after they depart.

Le sigh.

Chatman and her coauthors are finishing a timely series of studies on narcissistic leaders. The latest finds that narcissistic leaders “infect” work cultures, resulting in less collaboration and integrity throughout the rank and file.

“It’s about the leader creating a culture that induces people to act less ethically and less collaboratively than they would otherwise,” says Chatman. Interestingly, some of the most harmful, long-lasting impacts come from what they don’t do, such as not implementing policies to curb unethical behavior or pay disparities.


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