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Think MBA Students Are Arrogant? Blame Their Narcissistic Teachers

Over the past decade, academics have produced a steady stream of research on the problems posed by narcissistic executives. Narcissists create toxic work environments, spend more lavishly, and tend toward risky decision-making. They’re also more likely to engage in white-collar crime. Research has also shown that business school students are more narcissistic than students in other disciplines. Not all research points to narcissism as a bad thing in a business setting, but the question remains: What should management programs do to develop less self-involved students?

A team of researchers from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., believe one solution can be found at the front of the classroom. “If you want less narcissistic business grads, it might help you to hire less narcissistic faculty,” says Jim Westerman, one of the authors who will present a new paper at the annual meeting of the Western Academy of Management later this month.