Entrepreneurial Orientation: The Dark Triad of Executive Personality

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Kraus, S., Berchtold, J., Palmer, C., & Filser, M. (2017). Entrepreneurial Orientation: The Dark Triad of Executive Personality. Journal of Promotion Management, 24(5), 1-21. (ABDC_2019: B)

Publication type

Article in Scientific Journal


The purpose of this study is to shed light on how certain executive personality traits, what we call the Dark Triad of Personality, impact the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) performance. Existing research has demonstrated a positive EO-performance relationship, and this study seeks to examine whether the strength of the EO-performance relationship depends upon executive narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. A regression analysis was conducted to test the effect of executive personality over a sample of 131 executives of SMEs in Eastern Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Vorarlberg (Austrian Rhine Valley). Very few studies focus on the moderating role of executive personality with regard to the EO-performance relationship. Even though our findings indicate a strong positive relationship between EO and SME performance, analysis of the contingency model produced no significant findings. Executive narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy hence only show insignificant negative effects on the EO-performance relationship.


Organizational Units

  • Institute for Entrepreneurship
  • Chair of Entrepreneurship and Leadership

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