Conceptualizing executive hubris: The role of (hyper-)core self-evaluations in strategic decision-making

Nathan J. Hiller, Donald C. Hambrick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

459 Scopus citations


Researchers have long been interested in how an executive's self-concept affects his or her behaviors, but have lacked a theoretically grounded, validated construct for conducting systematic inquires. The concept of 'core self-evaluation' (CSE), which has been recently validated in the psychology literature, concisely encompasses and consolidates the common, overlapping portions of four previously unconnected personality dimensions: self-esteem, self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability. CSE has great potential to provide substantial leverage for research on executive self-concept. We review and reconcile prior research on related constructs in executive settings (including narcissism, hubris, and overconfidence) and argue that CSE should be adopted as a robust, well-validated umbrella construct for research on executive self-concept. Indeed, a very high level of CSE, or hyper-CSE, aligns closely with what is often colloquially called 'hubris.' We anticipate that hyper-CSE executives - who possess supreme levels of self-confidence, self-potency, and conviction that they will prevail-will manifest this trait in their job behaviors. We develop a set of integrated propositions that describe the implications of CSE for strategic decision processes, strategic choices, and organizational performance. Finally, we propose additional avenues for research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-319
Number of pages23
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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