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Study title:    

The relationship between perceived narcissism, demographic factors and entrepreneurial leadership.



Student Name: Pakwei Lai; Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Minna Lyons



You are cordially invited to participate in this research study. Before you decide to participate, please understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please be reminded that your participation is voluntary. You may decide not to take part in this study and should only agree to participate if you want to so.


Purpose of study:

The first aim of this study is to understand the effects of perceived leaders’ narcissism on effectiveness and derailment of entrepreneurial leaders as perceived by employees. For instance, perceived narcissism of entrepreneurial leaders may be associated with perceived effectiveness of the leaders. We are also interested in studying whether such perceived narcissism is related to observed derailment of the leaders as well. The second aim is to determine the contribution of demographic factors and perceived leaders’ narcissism on effectiveness and derailment of entrepreneurial leaders as perceived by employees. Please refer to Definitions for explanation of terms used in this study.


Why have you been invited to take part?

The participants of this study are employees rating for perception for their own entrepreneurial leaders. You are invited to participate because you are an employee (aged 18 and above) working for an entrepreneurial leader who have founded and operates an innovative business that has been established for at least three years. Moreover, you are able to read and understand English. Please be reminded to check these requirements/conditions again to confirm whether you meet the criteria for taking part in this study. Please continue your participation when all criteria are met.


How much of your time will be used for the participation?

In the survey, you will be asked to respond to 44 questions. The survey will normally last 15 to 20 minutes.


Are there any thank you gifts, compensation, or reimbursement for the participation?

Your participation will be greatly appreciated. But there are no thank you gifts, compensation, or reimbursement for the participation.


Are there any potential benefits in taking part?

There are no particular direct benefits to the individual participants in this study. But the research outcomes may be helpful for improvement in entrepreneurial leadership contributing to the society in terms of economic development.


Are there any potential risks in taking part?

The final research findings, but no data, will be shared with entrepreneurs associations which are aimed at promoting the leadership and other aspects of entrepreneurs. Risks may be present due to the negative ratings given for leadership effectiveness and derailment. However, on the other hand, entrepreneurial leaders can take such an opportunity to understand themselves more. They can enhance their success by increasing the effectiveness while minimizing the impact caused by derailment. As such, the relationships between the leaders and their employees are expected to improve after the sharing.


How will my participation be kept confidential?

Confidentiality and privacy will be protected for all participants in this study. Please use your personal emails to communicate with the Student Investigator if necessary. Upon receipt, all email records will be removed from the researcher’s email and saved as soft copies in a password protected computer. Please do not copy your emails to any one else. In the meantime, the online collection of data will be carried out anonymously. Therefore no one, including your own employer, will be able to know the participants’ identity. Moreover, no results about the participation will be compiled or sent to your employer/organisation for record. Finally, the data files will be electronically stored in a personal and then deleted after a data analysis. In the meantime, a soft copy of all email records and data collected will be kept in a USB, which will be put in a safe place (like a locked drawer) for five years and then deleted properly.


What if there are any unexpected outcomes or adverse events?

If there are any unexpected outcomes or adverse events, for example, if you are unhappy, please feel free to contact the Student Investigator ( Please be advised that, the Dissertation Advisor (DA) will supervise the project regularly. The DA is supported by the Faculty Manager who is in turn supported by the Director of Online Studies.


Can I stop taking part?

You may think about your desire to participate and come/go back into this system again later. You may even withdraw at any time and without giving a reason.


Who can I contact if I have questions?

Please raise your concerns or questions to the Student Investigator. If necessary, you may also contact the university’s Research Participant Advocate (USA number 001-612-312-1210).


Declaration of Conflict of Interest: The Student Investigator is not a member of any local entrepreneurial associations. The Student Investigator does not work in any organisation contacted for this study.



“Narcissism” is a personality trait commonly characterised by “grandiosity, self-love and inflated self-views” (Campbell, Hoffman, Campbell, & Marchisio, 2011, p. 269).

“Effectiveness” of leaders are explained by their behaviours or competence items for the accomplishment of organisation goals (Oyinlade, 2006).

“Derailment” may be used to describe the performance of leaders who become incompetent or destructive (Inyang, 2013).



Campbell, W. K., Hoffman, B. J., Campbell, S. M., & Marchisio, G. (2011). Narcissism in organizational contexts. Human Resources Management Review, 21(4), 268-284.

Inyang, B. J. (2013). Exploring the concept of leadership derailment: Defining new research agenda. International Journal of Business and Management, 8(16), 78-85.

Oyinlade, A. O. (2006). A method of assessing leadership effectiveness. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 19(1), 25-40.

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