How CEO narcissism affects corporate social responsibility choice?

  • Jing ChenEmail author
  • Zhe Zhang
  • Ming Jia


This study aims to explore how CEO narcissism affects firms’ CSR choice given that the relationship between chief executive officer (CEO) narcissism and corporate social responsibility (CSR) has yielded inconclusive results. On the basis of upper echelon theory and the attention-based view, we first propose that narcissistic CEOs allocate more attention to peripheral CSR and less attention to embedded CSR. We then explore the boundary conditions that may affect CEO narcissism and CSR choice. We find that CEO narcissism is positively related to peripheral CSR and negatively related to embedded CSR via a sample of 4792 firm-year observations in the manufacturing industry of Chinese A-share listed firms. Results show that family ownership weakens the negative relation between CEO narcissism and embedded CSR. Moreover, CEO duality strengthens the positive relation between CEO narcissism and peripheral CSR and strengthens the negative relation between CEO narcissism and embedded CSR. These findings have significant implications for the CSR literature, narcissism research, and the attention-based view.


CEO narcissism Peripheral CSR Embedded CSR Family ownership CEO duality 



We sincerely acknowledge editor Maoliang Bu and the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions and excellent contributions to this manuscript. This study is funded by grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.71672139) and (Grant No.71932007) and is sponsored by Humanities and Social Science Talent Plan of Shaanxi University.


This study was funded by grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.71672139) and (Grant No.71932007), and was sponsored by Humanities and Social Science Talent Plan of Shaanxi University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Author Jing Chen declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Zhe Zhang declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Ming Jia declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.School of ManagementNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anChina

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