Narcissistic Followership

  • Alex J. BensonEmail author
  • Christian H. Jordan


As organizations become more adaptive and fluid in the knowledge era of work, people also have to adjust to more flexible and dynamic role responsibilities. Perhaps more than ever, people are navigating roles of leadership and followership. Narcissists may prefer leadership positions but are nonetheless likely to find themselves in positions of followership. With an emphasis on grandiose narcissism, we discuss how the demands of followership may clash with narcissistic tendencies. Emerging lines of inquiry provide insight into the ways that narcissism accounts for systematic differences in how people view positions of followership and behave in them. Recent advances also highlight the potential implications of narcissistic followership at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and group levels of analysis. We conclude by advancing concrete recommendations for future research, including efforts to better understand the behavioral dynamics of narcissistic followership, when and why narcissists support or thwart their leaders, and the efficacy of strategies to manage and lead narcissistic followers.


Followership Leadership Workplace behavior Energy clash model Hierarchy Status 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada

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