Strategic entrepreneurial behaviors and firm performance: the moderating role of narcissism and Machiavellianism
This study examines the relationship between strategic entrepreneurial behaviors (SEBs) and the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in an emerging market context. The authors expand upon prior work in this area by building and testing a model that assesses the moderating effect of CEOs’ narcissism and Machiavellianism on the relationship between SEBs and SME performance.
To test the authors’ theoretical model, the authors use the results of a larger data collection project in Russia to create a national random sample of 372 Russian SMEs that were approached between August and November 2019.
The authors found support for the positive relationship between SEBs and SME performance. Additionally, the authors found that CEO narcissism and Machiavellianism strengthen the relationship between SEBs and firm performance.
This study is an important step toward enriching the understanding of the role of CEO personality traits in shaping the efficiency of entrepreneurial behavior at the firm level. Extending previous research, the authors show that SEBs have a positive effect on firm performance in an emerging market context. Additionally, the authors contribute insight about how personality characteristics of CEOs, specifically narcissism and Machiavellianism, influence the relationship between entrepreneurial behavior and firm performance. Finally, the authors’ research contributes to the development of strategic leadership theory: the results offer insight to scholars regarding the potentially beneficial attributes of otherwise “dark” leaders.