Narcissistic Force Meets Systemic Resistance: The Energy Clash Model:

Published on May 1, 2017in Perspectives on Psychological Science8.19
· DOI :10.1177/1745691617692105
Constantine Sedikides67
Estimated H-index: 67
(University of Southampton),
W. Keith Campbell64
Estimated H-index: 64
(UGA: University of Georgia)
This article focuses on the interplay between narcissistic leaders and organizations. It attempts to capture the gist of this interplay with a model outlining the narcissistic organizational trajectory. The Energy Clash Model borrows and adapts a phase/state physics metaphor to conceptualize narcissism as a force that enters or emerges in a stable system (i.e., organization) as a leader, destabilizes it, and stabilizes it at a different state or is expelled. The model consists of three time-contingent phases: perturbation, conflict, and resolution. Narcissists create instability through waves of excitement, proposed reforms, and an inspiring vision for organization’s future (perturbation). With the passage of time, though, systemic awareness and alertness intensify, as organizational costs—in terms of human resources and monetary losses—accrue. Narcissistic energy clashes directly with the organization (conflict), a clash likely to restabilize the system eventually. The conflict may provoke the exit of th...
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