Research focused on gaining a better understanding of the entrepreneurial
personality and related psychological characteristics continues to be of interest.
Narcissism has often been associated with the entrepreneurial personality, with
some scholars highlighting how it is a personality trait that is central to
entrepreneurship. Narcissism has also been suggested as having significant
positive and negative influences on the entrepreneurial journey. This research
study set out to explore the narcissistic traits of established entrepreneurs so as to
gain deeper insights into the prevalence of narcissism, and also to understand how
it influences the entrepreneurial journey both positively and negatively.
The study employed a qualitative, exploratory approach in order to gain new
insights and a deeper understanding of the dynamic between narcissism and
entrepreneurship. 12 in-depth interviews were conducted with established
entrepreneurs across various industries.
The findings of the study indicated the prevalence of narcissistic traits among
established entrepreneurs. The study contributed to existing literature through
emerging insights related to a dynamic of identity separation among entrepreneurs
that involved an Authentic Identity and an Entrepreneur Identity. Also, the positive
and negative influences of narcissistic traits on the entrepreneur’s personal
development as well as their business journey provided new insights.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2020.