Literature Review of Narcissism and Implications for Leadership with Personality Profiles of Bernard Madoff and Rod Blagojevich

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Aubrey Immelman, Psychology


Multiple theories of narcissism have been presented since the term was first coined in 1898 by Havelock Ellis. Since its inception, many psychologists such as Freud, Kernberg, Kohut, and Millon have presented their own theories of narcissism. Although the theories overlap in many areas, in some respects they are contradictory. This paper will be divided into two sections. The first will provide a literary review of the historical development of narcissism. This discussion will be followed by an examination of the implications of narcissistic personalities on general leadership styles. The second section of the paper will be two empirical case studies assessing the personalities of convicted Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff and disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich using the at-a-distance assessment methods created by Immelman.