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Hogan Assessments Shares Insight on Dealing With Narcissism in the Workplace in Latest E-Book

(January 28, 2013) New Research Uncovers the Beneficial Aspects of Narcissistic Behaviors

Narcissism, an individual's belief that he or she is unique or exceptional in some way, is on the rise in the workplace. A recent study of 37,000 college students found that narcissistic personality characteristics have risen as fast as obesity from the 1980s through the present. Although it has typically been thought of in negative terms, new research from Hogan Assessment Systems finds that narcissism, when in controlled doses, can be a valuable tool for advancing one's career.

In its new e-book, The Upside of Narcissism in the Workplace," Hogan explores the positive impact that narcissism can have, despite being associated with negative outcomes.

Jeff Foster, director of the Hogan Research Department, and Dara Pickering, research consultant, examined the relationship between the job performance data of nearly 1,000 participants and their scores on the Bold scale of the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) to study the effect of narcissism in workplace interactions.

Key findings include:
  • Individuals with high scores on the Bold scale (which indicates a proclivity toward narcissistic behavior) are more likely to be seen as knowledgeable about their industry and proficient in taking initiative, managing their performance and achieving results.

  • Despite the positive aspects of narcissism, this characteristic can become detrimental to an individual's performance under increased stress or pressure, leading to aggressive ambition and fearlessness when facing difficult tasks, resistance to negative feedback, insensitivity in dealing with peers and subordinates and feelings of entitlement and special consideration.

  • To successfully manage employees who display narcissism, managers must present developmental feedback as a strategy for advancing their own personal agenda.

  • Through this strategy, narcissistic individuals can be persuaded to lower their expectations for special treatment, stop regarding team interactions as opportunities for competition and realize the subordinates are most likely to be productive when they feel respected.
"Our research shows that individuals who display narcissism often show high levels of industry knowledge, initiative, sales ability and communication skills," said Foster. "Although such characteristics may be strengths under normal circumstances, they can also lead to derailment under stress or high-pressure situations. The key to dealing with narcissism in the workplace is to get these individuals to use their confidence, energy and determination in a positive light that motivates rather than intimidates their colleagues."

"The Upside of Narcissism in the Workplace" is available for download at:

About Hogan Assessment Systems
With more than 30 years of experience, Hogan is the global leader in providing comprehensive, research-based personality assessment and consulting. Grounded in decades of science, Hogan helps businesses dramatically reduce turnover and increase productivity by hiring the right people, developing key talent, and evaluating leadership potential.

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