Narcissism in the Workplace

Narcissism in the Workplace

Research, Opinion and Practice

New Horizons in Management series

Andrew J. DuBrin

The author describes both the positive and negative features of narcissism and presents strategies and tactics for dealing constructively with narcissistic traits and behaviors in oneself and in others. Self-tests and questionnaires found throughout the volume enable readers to reflect on their standing on a variety of behaviors and attitudes associated with narcissism. Each chapter includes a section labeled ‘Guidelines for Application and Practice’ that provides practical advice for applying the research and theories presented within. Further, each chapter concludes with a case history of narcissism, accompanied by a brief analysis of the narcissistic aspects of the case’s subject.

Chapter 10: Social media, mobile phones, email, and narcissism

Andrew J. DuBrin

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour, politics and public policy, leadership


Computer-mediated approaches to communication create substantial oppor tunities to express narcissistic tendencies. Literally millions of people share details of their life with anyone who will read their messages, such as the tweet, “I had a nice warm shower this morning.” In years past few people would post such a message by writing a note and affixing it to the door of their home. Thousands of people march through airports and malls sharing their personal conversations in a loud voice, enabled by a smart phone and a microphone attached to their ear. In the past, people who behaved in this manner were perceived to be mentally ill. In this chapter we describe opinion and research about how the social media, mobile phones, email and instant messaging are forces for encouraging narcissism in the workplace. For many people the narcissism encouraged by these devices can result in such dysfunctional consequences as being rejected as a job candidate or job loss. As a starting point in the discussion of communication technology and the expression of narcissism, you are invited to take the checklist presented in Exhibit 10.1. It will help you think about your standing on the expression of narcissism electronically. Social Media and the Expressions of Narcissism You have probably heard more times than you want about how social media, particularly Facebook, has changed our lives. How did people live without consulting Facebook every hour to see if a friend has a new post? What did supervisors do before they had to...

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