The institutionalization of narcissistic leadership through leader attraction and selection processes
Monahan, Elizabeth Lauren
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This study uses Schneider’s (1983; 1987) attraction, selection, attrition (ASA) theory as a framework to understand the mechanisms by which narcissists attain formal leadership positions. Specifically, we surveyed law enforcement officers who were participating in a promotion system and sought to determine if those scoring high on narcissism were more attracted to leadership positions and further, if they were more likely to be evaluated positively than those scoring lower on narcissism. Not consistent with expectations on the basis of attraction and selection processes, narcissism was unrelated to performance in interpersonal selection tasks, attraction to leadership positions and the proposed mediators. However, the current study showed support for the influence of agentic values and reduced concern for family on attraction to leadership roles. The underlying weak reliability, structural issues, and the non-significant effects of the narcissism measure suggest problems with the self-reported narcissism scale in the current study. The results of this study indicate that the selection environment may have influenced participants’ response patterns on the self-report narcissism measure.