We examine how two seemingly contradictory yet potentially complementary CEO traits—humility and narcissism—interact to affect firm innovation. We adopt a paradox perspective and propose that individuals can have paradoxical traits and that, in particular, humility and narcissism can coexist harmoniously, especially among the Chinese, whose philosophical tradition embraces paradoxical thinking and behaving. CEOs that are both humble and narcissistic are hypothesized to be more likely to have socialized charisma, to cultivate an innovative culture, and to deliver innovative performance. Two studies using multisource data involving 63 CEOs, 328 top managers, and 645 middle managers in Study 1 and 143 CEOs and 190 top managers in Study 2 support the hypotheses and point to new directions for studying CEO traits and their effects on firm outcomes.
- Firm innovation
- Socialized charisma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management