Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 101, Issue 4, pp 563–575 | Cite as

Detecting Linguistic Traces of Destructive Narcissism At-a-Distance in a CEO’s Letter to Shareholders

  • Russell CraigEmail author
  • Joel Amernic


Destructive narcissism is recognized increasingly as a serious impairment to good corporate leadership and ethical conduct. The Chief Executive Officer’s letter to shareholders (an important formal corporate communications medium) has potential to provide linguistic traces of destructive narcissism and insight to aspects of corporate leadership and the ambient ethical culture of a company. We demonstrate this potential through selective analyses of the letters of the Chief Executive Officers of Enron, Starbucks, and General Motors.


annual report Chief Executive Officer communication company Enron General Motors leadership letter narcissism Starbucks 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Accounting and Information SystemsUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Joseph L. Rotman School of ManagementUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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