Research

The Origin of Failure: A Multidisciplinary Appraisal of the Hubris Hypothesis

27 February 2014
The Origin of Failure: A Multidisciplinary Appraisal of the Hubris Hypothesis


THE ORIGIN OF FAILURE:
A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPRAISAL OF THE HUBRIS HYPOTHESIS AND PROPOSED RESEARCH AGENDA

Pasquale Massimo Picone
Giovanni Battista Dagnino
Anna Minà

Academy of Management Perspectives
Published online: January 29, 2014
doi: 10.5465/amp.2012.0177

amp.aom.org/content/early/2014/01/29/amp.2012.0177.abstract

Abstract

The hubris hypothesis comes to complement the extant debate on how people make judgments and decisions in organizations. Drawing on the origin of hubris that is rooted in Greek mythology, the psychological approach, and finance studies, this paper portrays an informed picture of the current status of managerial hubris literature that develops a more advanced understanding of what is known about hubris. In more detail, we present a conceptual map that provides a comprehensive appreciation of hubris antecedents-symptoms-strategic choices-feedback performance main cause effect relationships. The conceptual map proposed draws on the idea that managerial hubris is one of the determinants of CEO judgments, strategic choices, and organizational performance. We also show that managerial hubris has a good side and a bad side and detect the implications for strategy formulation and implementation. By doing so, the study not only provides a multidisciplinary introduction to hubris that is tailored to scholars, but also distils a suite of suggestions for managing hubris symptoms and traps that may turn valuable to practitioners.