Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 85, Issue 3, pp 301–308 | Cite as

Organizational Narcissism and Virtuous Behavior

  • Dennis DuchonEmail author
  • Brian Drake


Extreme narcissistic organizations are unable to behave ethically because they lack a moral identity. While such organizations are not necessarily unethical intentionally, they become self-obsessed and use a sense of entitlement, self-aggrandizement, denial, and rationalizations to justify anything they do. Extreme narcissistic organizations might develop formal ethics programs, but such programs will have little effect on behavior.


organizational narcissism virtue 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Psychiatric Association: 2000, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition. Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). American Psychiatric Association: Washington, DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anand V., B. E. Ashforth, M. Joshi: 2005, Business as Usual: The Acceptance and Perpetuation of Corruption in Organizations. Academy of Management Executive, 1, 9–23Google Scholar
  3. Bjorck, F.: 2004, ‹Institutional Theory: A New Perspective for Research into IS/IT Security in Organizations’, Proceedings, 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences Google Scholar
  4. Brown, A. D.: 1997, Narcissism, Identity, and Legitimacy. Academy of Management Review, 22, 643–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Duchon, D. and M. Burns: 2007, ‹Organizational Narcissism’, Proceedings, Southwest Academy of Management meeting, San Diego, CA Google Scholar
  6. Ganesh, S.: (2003), Organizational Narcissism. Management Communication Quarterly, 16, 558–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gregory, B.: 1999, ‹The Impact of Narcissism on Leadership and Sustainability’, in A. Cohill and J. Kruth (eds.), Pathways to Sustainability: The Age of Transformation (published on-line at by the Tahoe Center for a Sustainable Future, 1999)
  8. Hatch M. J., M. Schultz: 2000, Scaling the Tower of Babel: Relational Differences Between Identity, Image, and Culture in Organizations. In M. Schultz, M. J. Hatch, & M. L. Larson (Eds.), The Expressive Organization: Linking Identity, Reputation, and the Corporate Brand. New York: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  9. Ketola, T.: 2006, Corporate Psychological Defences: An Oil Spill Case. Journal of Business Ethics, 65, 149–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. MacIntyre, A.: 2007, After Virtue, 3rd Ed. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame PressGoogle Scholar
  11. Moore G., R. Beadle: 2006, In Search of Organizational Virtue in Business: Agents, Goods, Practices, Institutions and Environments. Organization Studies, 27(3), 369–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Nielsen, R. P.: 2006, Introduction to the Special Issue. In Search of Organizational Virtue: Moral Agency in Organizations. Organization Studies, 27(3), 317–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Powell W., P. DiMaggio: 1991, The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago PressGoogle Scholar
  14. Roberts, J.: 2001, Corporate Governance and the Ethics of Narcissus. Business Ethics Quarterly, 11, 109–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schein, E. H.: 1992, Organizational Culture and Leadership, 2nd Ed. San Francisco: Jossey-BassGoogle Scholar
  16. Scott, W.: 2004, Institutional Theory. In G. Ritzer (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: SageGoogle Scholar
  17. Stein, M.: 2003, Unbounded Irrationality: Risk and Organizational Narcissism at Long Term Capital Management. Human Relations, 56, 523–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Tajfel, H.: 1972, La Categorisation Sociale. In S. Moscovici (Ed.), Introduction a la Psychologie Sociale. Paris: LarousseGoogle Scholar
  19. Tajfel H., J. C. Turner: 1986, The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behaviour. In S. Worchel, W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of Intergroup Relations. Chicago: Nelson-HallGoogle Scholar
  20. Toffler B., J. Reingold: 2003, Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed, and the Fall of Arthur Anderson. New York: Broadway BooksGoogle Scholar
  21. Treviño L. K., M. E. Brown: 2004, Managing to be Ethical: Debunking Five Business Ethics Myths Academy of Management Executive, 18, 69–81Google Scholar
  22. Trice H. M., J. M. Beyer: 1993, The Cultures of Work Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-HallGoogle Scholar
  23. Turner, J. C.: 1985, Social Categorization and Self Concept: A Social Cognitive Theory of Group Behavior. Advances in Group Processes, 2, 77–122Google Scholar
  24. Weaver, G. R.: 2006, Virtue in Organizations: Moral Identity as a Foundation for Moral Agency Organization Studies, 27(3), 341–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Whetten, D. A.: 2006, Albert and Whetten Revisited: Strengthening the Concept of Organizational Identity. Journal of Management Inquiry, 15, 219–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ManagementUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleU.S.A.
  2. 2.University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations