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Me, myself and I: The role of CEO narcissism in internationalization decisions

Michael-Jörg Oesterle, Corinna Elosge and Lukas Elosge

International Business Review, 2016, vol. 25, issue 5, 1114-1123

Abstract: Internationalization decisions represent major objects of international business research; in this context, the respective role of decision-makers, i.e., strategic actors has been under study for now nearly 50 years. However, some important individual characteristics of strategic actors, which seem to influence individual decision-making in a significant way, have been – in contrast to general management research – widely disregarded. Among those characteristics, narcissism plays a decisive role. Trying to provide a first attempt to fill this research gap our paper aims at theorizing on as well as empirically analyzing potential relationships between narcissistic tendencies of CEOs and their internationalization decisions. The empirical study of major German manufacturing firms over the period 2004–2013 shows that CEOs with a high degree of narcissism tend to intensify business activities abroad in general while the expected effect on intensified activities in markets with a high psychic distance cannot be identified. These research results help to better understand the drivers of firms’ internationalization, stress the importance of recognizing managerial decision-making in the context of analyzing business activities abroad, and improve the prediction of CEOs’ decision-making behavior in general.

Keywords: CEO narcissism; Managerial decision-making; Individual risk-taking; Internationalization decisions; Degree of internationalization; Psychic distance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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