Anda di halaman 1dari 15

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

G00305113

Maverick* Research: How to Manage a 'Selfie-


Centered' Workforce
Published: 21 September 2016

Analyst(s): Jenny Sussin, Tina Nunno, Carol Rozwell

IT leaders must understand the workforce impact of the next generation of


employees, who grew up in an age of technology that affected their world
view and the world's view of them. (Maverick research deliberately exposes
unconventional thinking and may not agree with Gartner's official positions.)

Key Findings
More of the incoming generation of selfie-centered workers will have seemingly narcissistic
tendencies as compared with their predecessors tendencies exacerbated by technology.
Managers who were brought up in earlier technology eras will have trouble managing this
workforce, wasting time and effort in trying to make them conform to older behavioral
standards.
Managing this new generation of workers, and those that follow, requires knowledge of who
they are, what they do and how they use technology.

Recommendations
Understand the next generation's relationship to technology and what it means to your
organization's ability to operate productively.
Anticipate the range of behaviors that selfie-centered employees will exhibit to identify how to
best manage them.
Exploit these employees' best workplace qualities, while minimizing the impact of their most
detrimental ones.
Manage extreme cases of selfie-centered employees to a more moderate level of self-
absorption.
Use technology to optimize the work of selfie-centered employees.

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

Table of Contents

Strategic Planning Assumption............................................................................................................... 2


Analysis.................................................................................................................................................. 2
*Maverick Research..........................................................................................................................3
Coming of Age in an Age of Technology........................................................................................... 4
Manage the Selfie-Centered Generation by Understanding Their Range of Behaviors....................... 6
Manage the Selfie-Centered Generation by Understanding Their Best and Worst Qualities in the
Workplace........................................................................................................................................ 8
Technology Created Selfie-Centered People and Can Help Managers Deal With and Optimize Them
.......................................................................................................................................................11
Identify and Classify Potential Narcissistic Tendencies...............................................................11
Identify and Shut Down Escalation............................................................................................12
Foster Listening, Balanced Participation and Collaboration....................................................... 12
Acknowledgements........................................................................................................................ 13
Gartner Recommended Reading.......................................................................................................... 13

List of Tables

Table 1. Behaviors and Motivators of Three Types of Narcissists.............................................................7


Table 2. The Positive Traits of Narcissists................................................................................................ 9
Table 3. The Negative Traits of Narcissists.............................................................................................. 9
Table 4. Keeping Selfie-Centered Employees Centered........................................................................ 10

List of Figures

Figure 1. Technology Adoption and Age Range...................................................................................... 4

Strategic Planning Assumption


By 2025, there will be half a billion narcissists in the global workforce, and organizations will be
woefully unprepared.

Analysis
This document was revised on 7 October 2016. The document you are viewing is the corrected
version. For more information, see the Corrections page on gartner.com.

Page 2 of 15 Gartner, Inc. | G00305113

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

*Maverick Research
This is "Maverick" research, designed to spark new, unconventional insights. Maverick research is
unconstrained by our typical broad consensus-formation process to deliver breakthrough, innovative
and disruptive ideas from our research incubator. We are publishing a collection of more than a
dozen Maverick research lines this year, all designed for maximum value and impact. We'll explore
each of these lines of research to help you be ahead of the mainstream and take advantage of
trends and insights that could impact your IT strategy and your organization (see Note 1 and Note 2).

Between 1990 and 2000, about 1.4 billion people were born across the world. Our research into the
influence of "me"-oriented technologies indicates that more than 50% of them will have strong
narcissistic tendencies. As a result, managers are bound to have a big challenge on their hands.
Young adults aged 16 to 26 span the traditional millennial and Generation Z categories, and in this
research, we'll refer to them as the "selfie-centered generation."

Narcissism is a lifelong personality trait characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a


need for admiration and a lack of empathy. Narcissists are criticized for being manipulative,
distorting facts and acting superior. Researchers suggest that these behaviors are a result of fragile
self-esteem, making narcissists most likely to act out when they feel threatened.

Young people have always been focused on self this is not unique to any particular generation.
Several factors in youth contribute to the development of adolescent narcissism, including a lack of
limit setting, overindulgence and being idealized. But adolescent narcissism is something that most
young adults grow out of. This is where the selfie-centered generation is different. Whereas in times
past, young adults have had to face an imperfect reality rife with criticism and technical limits,
technology innovations during the coming of age of the selfie-centered generation have halted their
development beyond adolescent narcissism.

Experts on generational narcissism Dr. Jean Twenge, Dr. W. Keith Campbell and their peers
analyzed data from around American college students who responded to a "Narcissistic Personality
Inventory" (NPI; see Note 3) survey prior to 2006. In the 15,000 records analyzed, they found that
narcissism scores of students in the early part of the 21st century were significantly higher than
1
those in the 1980s and 1990s.

Organizations are not ready for this huge influx of selfie-centered employees, and IT leaders cannot
rely on HR departments to have best practices in place in time for this change.

In this research, we'll discuss the impact of technology in the development of the selfie-centered
generation, and how technology innovations have contributed to the development, or lack of
development, in this generation's understanding of the surrounding world. To manage this incoming
generation of selfie-centered employees, IT leaders must:

Understand the impact of employees coming of age in an age of technology


Understand technology's impact on the range of behaviors that employees will exhibit
Understand selfie-centered employees' best and worst workplace qualities

Gartner, Inc. | G00305113 Page 3 of 15

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

Play to the strengths of selfie-centered employees.


Use technology to optimize the work of employees who exhibit these self-absorbed and
narcissistic-like tendencies.

Coming of Age in an Age of Technology


It is not likely a coincidence that the widespread adoption of the internet, smartphones, social
media and video gaming coincides with critical points of development for an incoming generation of
workers the selfie-centered workforce (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Technology Adoption and Age Range

Source: Gartner (September 2016)

Consider common behaviors of young adults using each technology and how they reflect the way
the next generation of employees engages with peers and coworkers that makes them appear
narcissistic.

The Internet Helps People Self-Affirm and Develop a Lack of Empathy

The internet is a treasure trove of information, much of which can be used to prove whichever point
someone is trying to prove. Rather than arguments ending with one person or party articulating his
or her understanding of a topic best, both parties can go to Google and find thousands, if not
millions, of articles proving their point and individuals who agree with their point of view. This
approach to argument has always existed in the lives of the selfie-centered generation. Better yet, if
selfie-centered people can't get the people around them to agree, they can always reassure
themselves that they are correct by finding people online who will affirm and admire their
intelligence.

An article in Scientific American articulates it well. Natalie Wolchover notes, " because comment-
section discourses don't happen in real time, commenters can write lengthy monologues, which
2
tend to entrench them in their extreme viewpoint."

Page 4 of 15 Gartner, Inc. | G00305113

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

And several studies allude to remote engagement leading to a lack of empathy. Research shows
that, when people are not physically with each other, they're more likely to behave unkindly. A
University of Lincoln study of game show contestants found they were more likely to be critical and
3
vote off other contestants who were not near them, as opposed to those standing next to them.

Smartphones Keep Selfie-Centered People Focused on Themselves

Young adults use their phones for everything from playing games to social networking and taking
pictures namely, selfies. Selfies are just what they sound like: people taking pictures of
themselves. One report suggests that the average young adult could take up to 25,700 selfies in his
4
or her lifetime and that 95% of young adults admit to having taken at least one selfie. These selfies
almost always make their way to social media, where 36% of young adults alter them before
posting them to sites like Instagram or Snapchat.

But again this extends beyond the behavior of young adults. It's not difficult to picture a family out
to dinner at a restaurant with at least two or three members on their phones at any given time.
Smartphones exacerbate people's ability to connect with the self-affirming resources of the internet
anywhere at any time, rather than engage with people nearby and at least consider their thoughts
and ideas.

Social Media Allows Selfie-Centered People to Continuously Place the Spotlight Back on
Themselves

Besides being a haven for selfies, social media provides a rich environment in which people can be
admired. Consider the terminology used to connect social media users on Facebook ("Jane Doe
has sent you a friend request"), Twitter ("Jane Doe is following you") and YouTube ("Jane Doe has
subscribed to your channel"). Put simply, on social media, all roads lead to you.

Social media allows people to put their best foot forward by populating their pages with the most
exciting or attractive content about themselves, while removing any content that is not received
favorably. This American Life podcast episode 573: Status Update features three American
teenagers discussing their use of Instagram and how they check with their friends before posting
pictures to Instagram to make sure that their friends will "like" the content they're about to post. The
interviewer asks them if they feel like what they're doing is work, and it appears they see themselves
as central to their universe. One of the girls says, "It's like I am a brand, and I am the director To
stay relevant, you have to work hard 'Relevant' means that people care about what you're
posting on Instagram and open your Snapchat Stories." This is behavior not only being exhibited by
young people, but social media users across age groups as they sensationalize their daily activities
in social media posts.

Gaming Gives Selfie-Centered People a Feeling of False Achievement and a Lack of Empathy

With studies reporting anywhere from 52% to 97% of young adults around the world playing
computer, video or smartphone games, it's safe to say a majority of the selfie-centered generation
has some ties to gaming. Dr. Jean Twenge is an expert on generational narcissism and notes that
gaming allows people to play the hero racecar driver, rock star and athlete. She suggests that "while

Gartner, Inc. | G00305113 Page 5 of 15

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

they can turn off their [games] their hearts have raced and their heads have swelled with the false
5
pride for 'being' something they are not."

In a 2007 study, university-aged participants were quizzed on their ability to identify emotional
expressions of a face as it changed from neutral to either angry or happy. That study found that
happy faces were the easiest to recognize, but if the participants had played a violent video game
6
before the quiz, they took longer to recognize a happy expression.

While each example shows how the selfie-centered generation uses technology, and has learned to
use technology, in a unique way, it is just as obvious that not everyone behaves in the same exact
way on the internet, smartphones and social media and in gaming environments. That is because
there are different extremities of narcissistic tendencies exhibited by the selfie-centered generation.
IT leaders will need to understand these differences to best manage the incoming workforce that is
expected to compose 20% of the workforce by 2025.

Manage the Selfie-Centered Generation by Understanding Their Range of Behaviors


Across the technology landscape and beyond the use of technology, the selfie-centered generation
demonstrates its self-importance, need for admiration and lack of empathy. Expectedly, not every
member of the selfie-centered generation will expose his or her narcissistic tendencies in the same
way.

While HR departments are likely to categorize this generation as a homogeneous unit, it is critical
that IT leaders familiarize themselves with different types of "special" employees. According to Dr.
7
Craig Malkin, there are three primary types of narcissists: extroverted, introverted and communal.
We present this model, which describes how these three narcissist types express themselves
through their use of technology in different ways, as a means of better understanding the selfie-
centered generation (see Table 1).

Page 6 of 15 Gartner, Inc. | G00305113

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

Table 1. Behaviors and Motivators of Three Types of Narcissists

Extroverted Narcissists Introverted Narcissists Communal Narcissists

What They Do Show off Stay quiet Say "yes"

What They Want Attention for their To not be forced into To be seen as nurturing and
superiority engaging with inferior peers giving

How to Spot Them Speaking over other Browsing their phone during Telling everyone around them
in Person people group conversations about their responsibilities

How to Spot Them Publishing long posts Anonymously trolling or Publishing posts about what
on Social Media about controversial topics controversially commenting they have selflessly done for
or posting selfies on someone else's status other people or organizations
update

How Are They They have more outlets They have more content than They have more outlets and a
Unique to than ever to seek and gain ever to criticize openly and to greater audience for sharing
Previous attention. themselves. their achievements.
Generations of They can get attention at They can remove themselves They can associate their online
Narcissists? any time of the day from from physical social situations personas with causes that they
any location. via their smartphones. think others will admire.
They can measure their They can gain notoriety while They can compare the amount
superiority in "likes," clicking a button to ignore of time they spend helping
"followers," "friends" and anyone who challenges them. others with that of their peers.
so forth.

Source: Adapted from "Rethinking Narcissism" by Dr. Craig Malkin

It's critical to recognize that, while some of these behaviors are not categorically different from
behaviors we've seen in the past, young adults have grown up learning how to exploit technology to
show that they are special and superior to those around them. They've learned that this type of
over-the-top behavior is normal. Robert Reichmann, the CEO of VISR (a predictive wellness
company for parents), notes: "Teenagers feel like they need to make themselves extreme to be
noticed."

The attention that people get on social media could even be considered addicting. Dr. Cecilie
Andreassen and several of her colleagues at the University of Bergen in Norway developed
something called the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS) as a psychological scale to measure
Facebook addiction, specifically, in 2011. But as other psychological experts note, it might not be
the right measure as Facebook is not necessarily what someone is addicted to, so much as the
feelings it brings. Selfie-centered employees are addicted to feeling special, and they have near-
endless resources to share stories about themselves. They also have millions of new social media
posts to respond to every minute of the day, where they can criticize and also affirm that they're
more thoughtful than the majority of the world around them.

But selfie-centered employees don't project only bad qualities; in fact, many are seen as very
charming. Many CEOs and top leaders who've been accused of being narcissists have successfully

Gartner, Inc. | G00305113 Page 7 of 15

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

climbed the corporate ladder due to some of their most positive qualities and despite their worst
qualities. Managers have an opportunity to help take advantage of selfie-centered employees' top
qualities, but only if they understand how to provoke the best qualities from them, while minimizing
the impact of their bad qualities on the rest of the organization.

This is an area where organizations' HR department has fallen behind. So it's left up to managers to
determine the best approaches for managing this large number of workers with narcissistic
behaviors.

Manage the Selfie-Centered Generation by Understanding Their Best and Worst


Qualities in the Workplace
While it's easy to generalize an entire generation as being self-centered and narcissistic, it's also
easy to see how the word "narcissist" becomes synonymous with something bad. In reality, people
in the selfie-centered generation with narcissistic behaviors are often some of the best salespeople,
marketers and developers.

According to a study out of Stanford University in which students were asked to come up with the
concept for a movie, narcissists' ideas were objectively average as compared with those of their
8
peers, but much more persuasive when presented to an audience by the narcissists. Researchers
concluded that this is because they had much more self-confidence and a stronger belief in
themselves.

Beyond selfie-centered workers having the confidence to assert their ideas, organizations may find
some of them, such as extroverted narcissists, generating more ideas than their peers. A study led
by psychologist Adrian Furnham of the University College London found that narcissists are more
9
likely to engage in creative pursuits.

Each type of narcissist brings a myriad of positive traits to the workplace. Even more
opportunistically, narcissists know how to express these traits using emerging technology (see Table
2).

Page 8 of 15 Gartner, Inc. | G00305113

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

Table 2. The Positive Traits of Narcissists

Positive Trait As Seen in the Workplace

Extroverted Persuasive Delivers superior presentations


Narcissists

Assertive Generates new ideas for product and project development

Introverted Critical Provides feedback outside of team norms


Narcissists

Focused Insists on staying on track, avoiding small talk

Communal Outcome-driven Motivated to present a winning strategy that they lead to management
Narcissists

Generous with time Accepting of new projects and invitations to collaborate

Source: Gartner (September 2016)

But there's a reason why people have a bad reaction when they hear the word "narcissist." Selfie-
centered employees also bring with them negative narcissistic traits that can have a less favorable
impact on organizations. These negative traits tend to be consistent across all types of narcissists
and will be management challenges (see Table 3).

Table 3. The Negative Traits of Narcissists

Negative Trait As Seen in Workplace

Needs to Be Correct Consistently dominates group/team discussions and online comment threads

Needs to Be Validated Asks manager for constant, affirmative feedback

Argumentative When Contradicted Won't allow peers to get the final word in discussions or disagreements

Denies Unfavorable Truths Places blame for project failure on colleagues

Manipulative Turns colleagues against one another to be of central importance

Lacks Empathy Insults and attacks other employees professionally and personally

Source: Gartner (September 2016)

For managers to best manage the behavior of selfie-centered employees with narcissistic traits,
they must recognize technology opportunities for playing into strengths and avoiding toxicity. This is
where IT must be proactive in taking the lead from HR. Managers will be best set up for success
once they fully recognize that self-centeredness occupies a spectrum, where employees are most

Gartner, Inc. | G00305113 Page 9 of 15

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

likely to act out at its extremes. Table 4 indicates behaviors that managers of a selfie-centered
workforce should look to evoke from their employees for optimal performance.

Table 4. Keeping Selfie-Centered Employees Centered

Managers Because Managers Should Not Because


Should

Put them on These employees grew up Put these employees in These employees need to have the
emerging learning and adapting to the charge of social media last word, which can turn into a brand
technology use of new technologies. While crisis on social media.
project teams they shouldn't lead these These employees feel they know how
project teams, they are less to get away with certain things on
likely to be deterred by fast social media, which their managers
failures and calls to restart than don't, as they grew up with it.
employees without self-
assurance.

Give these These employees are used to Allow these introverted While the narcissistic generation is
employees a giving and receiving real-time narcissists to provide filled with tech-savvy employees,
way to provide feedback, thanks to social and constant feedback, as some narcissists have become
consistent mobile technologies. they can become a accustomed to using social media to
feedback These employees feel they are distraction to others. criticize rather than help develop
entitled to share their opinion, Do not allow them to ideas. Little to no co-creation or
but managers must ensure they exclusively collaborate collaboration takes place on social
do so without disrupting their over online channels media. Collaborators will face
peers. such as email or constant, often aggressive
internal communities. interruption from these employees as
they attempt to demonstrate their
superiority by bringing others down.

Source: Gartner (September 2016)

Recruiters may not be prepared to spot extreme narcissists, but by positioning average selfie-
centered employees in environments that will line them up for success, managers can use these
employees as assets rather than have them as detractors. Managers can identify additional areas
where these employees will serve as assets by looking at learned behaviors through ubiquitous
internet connection, the use of smartphones, social media and gaming.

Ubiquitous access to the internet has taught people in this generation that the information they seek
exists if they look hard enough and look in the right places.

Coming of age with smartphones in hand has taught this generation that there is little excuse, if any,
for being disconnected. These employees recognize that working 9 to 5 is not to be expected and
that work will need to be done during the most opportune time for them and their peers. These
employees may be predisposed to working the unconventional schedule needed to meet the
demands of globally diverse organizations.

Consistent use of social media has taught these employees multiple things, such as content matters
and feedback is to be expected. These employees will know that, if they produce and share
imperfect content, it will not be well-received and they may need to completely remove it and start
over again as they would with a poorly received Instagram post. These employees are of the mind

Page 10 of 15 Gartner, Inc. | G00305113

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

that no feedback is the same as negative feedback, and they will see anything less than praise as a
failure and will spend more time creating perfect content to avoid this scenario.

Gaming has taught this generation that failure is to be expected during initial attempts at completing
a project/mission. As Jane McGonigal points out in her book "Reality Is Broken," gamers spend
10
80% of their time failing. This penchant to persevere with a game that is not too difficult, nor to
easy the one that has the right level of challenge allows the player to establish social
connections and creates a positive emotional state. This same game techniques can be applied to
work activities.

There are two aspects to gamers that can be problematic or a strength. On the one hand, there are
no real repercussions to their failures. The gamer can just restart the game. The downside is that
this can reinforce gamers' skewed views of their own capabilities and spur them into even more
selfie-centeredness. The upside is that gamers display amazing resilience and are not afraid to "fail
fast." In complex and chaotic situations where there are not yet any best practices to be invoked,
this dimension of the gamer's skill can be quite useful for decision making.

Technology Created Selfie-Centered People and Can Help Managers Deal With and
Optimize Them
Advanced analytics applications and smart machines may easily become tools for feeding the egos
of a selfie-centered employee base this is the current HR approach of building environments that
will attract the next generation of workers. If this doesn't sit well, it's because managers must
consider what placating selfie-centered behavior will do to their ability to meet the organization's
needs before the needs of individual employees.

But rather than reinforce bad behaviors, managers can take actions to build new ones. Nicholas
Christakis and James Fowler, authors of "Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks
and How They Shape Our Lives," point out that people will take on the behaviors of the networks in
11
which they find themselves. Managers can help build healthy networks of new employees by
identifying potential narcissists, identifying and shutting down unnecessary escalations, and
fostering listening and collaboration.

Identify and Classify Potential Narcissistic Tendencies


Use algorithms to spot the more extreme cases of self-centeredness early and help manage them.
The simple use of algorithms to scan email, texts and online forums for the frequency of use of
pronouns such as "I," "you" or "we" may help identify the potential narcissist. People with narcissist
tendencies will be highly likely to use the pronoun "I" multiple times in quick succession. They are
more likely to use the pronoun "you" in combination with negative terms when attacking the point of
view of an individual or attacking individuals themselves. They are less likely to use the term "we" at
all as there will be few individuals they will consider worthy of being in their peer group. Such
algorithms may not only identify potential problem employees, but also help IT leaders intervene
early in using other management tactics.

Gartner, Inc. | G00305113 Page 11 of 15

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

7
Utilize Table 1, along with Dr. Craig Malkin's "Rethinking Narcissism," to classify the type of
employee you're dealing with on an individual basis in order to align him or her for success.

Identify and Shut Down Escalation


Consider using analytics to help identify escalation behaviors from the selfie-centered employee
and to shut down potential problems early. As noted previously, the selfie-centered employee will
have a tendency to want to be right and to have the last word. This may easily turn into an
escalation of an argument, with the potential to lead to poor business outcomes and, in the worst-
case scenario, personnel issues. IT leaders of the future may program systems to spot escalating
exchanges via email, text or social media, and shut them down quickly, perhaps blocking the
access of these users until the issue is resolved using an alternative channel, such as face-to-face
or voice interaction.

Foster Listening, Balanced Participation and Collaboration


Use technology to promote active listening and balanced participation among the selfie-centered
and the more traditional employee. Analog active listening techniques of the past have included the
passing of a baton, baseball or ball of yarn to encourage individuals to participate in team
discussions in a balanced manner. Passing an unwinding ball of yarn as each individual in the group
speaks creates self-awareness among those with a tendency to dominate conversations, such as
extroverted narcissists, and encourages introverts to step up and participate.

IT leaders of the future may use technology to simulate the ball of yarn and help manage the selfie-
centered employee. Many leaders bemoan the inability of the selfie generation to hold a
constructive conversation outside of social media. Technology could be applied to teach them how
to have a collaborative conversation in real time and stop negative behavior patterns. A smart agent
could track the frequency with which people in a room speak, and actively signal participants as to
when they are speaking too frequently (as is likely with extroverted personalities) or not enough (as
is likely with introverted ones). Such technologies would help manage the selfie-centered employee
in person during live team meetings. These methods could also be employed in online meetings that
utilize meeting technologies that are already voice-sensitive and could be programmed to help
create similar collaboration signals among future narcissists.

Today, wearable sensing technology, such as the Humanyze badge platform, monitors and reports
on communication exchanges among people. It can help identify the behavior patterns of a high-
performing team by providing information on frequency of contact, voice characteristics (such as
inflection and volume) and location. IT leaders who are team managers can use this kind of data to
help smooth out group interactions. Individuals can use this data to benchmark their own level of
engagement.

The important thing for managers to recognize is that selfie-centeredness and in extreme cases
narcissistic tendencies are personality traits that these individuals may never grow out of. However,
these traits can be managed to productivity through the use of process and technology.

Page 12 of 15 Gartner, Inc. | G00305113

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

Acknowledgements
Throughout the course of this research, we engaged with several generational experts who helped
us fetter out exactly which group of people we were discussing when talking about "narcissistic
tendencies." We'd like to thank the Center for Generational Kinetics' Jason Dorsey, Shannon Glover,
Dr. Elli Denison and Dr. Denise Via for elevating the differences in Millennials and Generation Z as
shown through their research. We'd like to thank Robert Reichmann from VISR for his company's
insight into adolescent behavior on popular social media. And we'd like to acknowledge the works
of Dr. Craig Malkin, Dr. Jean Twenge and Dr. W. Keith Campbell, which served as foundational to the
development of this research report.

There were several individuals within Gartner who also helped contribute to the development of this
research who we'd like to acknowledge and thank, including Audrey Apfel, David Mitchell-Smith,
Jamie Popkin, Tom Austin, Diane Morello, Hank Barnes, Rich Doheny and Sadie Apfel.

Acronym Key and Glossary Terms


Trolling Internet trolls, or those who go "trolling," are anonymous individuals who essentially browse
social media and public forums with the purpose of providing negative or critical commentary
that may or may not be relevant to the discussion at hand.

Gartner Recommended Reading


Some documents may not be available as part of your current Gartner subscription.

"Millennials at Work: Positioning IT for Success With a Digital Workplace"

"Maverick* Research: Embracing Eccentric Leadership Strategies for CIOs"

"Toolkit: How to Implement a Reverse Mentoring Program to Accelerate Digital Skills Development"

Evidence
1 "Egos Inflating Over Time: A Cross Temporal Meta-Analysis of the Narcissistic Personality
Inventory." Journal of Personality.

2 "Why Is Everyone on the Internet So Angry?" Scientific American.

3 "Humans Might Be Hard-Wired to 'Love Thy Neighbor'." Health.com.

4 "Millennials Selfies: Young Adults Will Take More Than 25,000 Pictures of Themselves During Their
Lifetimes: Report." International Business Times.

5 "We Are Raising a Generation of Deluded Narcissists." FoxNews.com.

6 "Is the Internet Killing Empathy?" CNN.

Gartner, Inc. | G00305113 Page 13 of 15

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

7 "Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad-and Surprising Good-About Feeling Special." Harper Wave.

8 "Is Narcissism Good for Business?" Sciencemag.org.

9 "Creativity, OCD, Narcissism and the Big Five." ScienceDirect.

10"Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World." Penguin
Books.

11"Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives
How Your Friends' Friends' Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do." Back Bay Books.

Note 1 Roots of the Word "Maverick"


Derived from the name of Texas rancher Samuel Maverick and his steadfast refusal to brand his
cattle, "maverick" connotes someone who willfully takes an independent and frequently
disruptive or unorthodox stand against prevailing modes of thought and action.

Note 2 Commonly Held Belief


Narcissism among adolescents is common, and it is a commonly held belief that narcissism is a
personality trait that most people grow out of. However, our Maverick belief is that there is a
generation of young adults who have not grown out of their adolescent narcissism and will remain in
a state of self-centeredness throughout their entire adult lives. This research aims to explain how
this has happened, how it will affect the workplace, and what to do about it.

Note 3 Narcissistic Personality Inventory


The NPI was developed in 1979 by Robert N. Raskin and Calvin S. Hall as a means for measuring
narcissism as a personality trait. It consists of 40 pairs of statements that ask respondents to
choose which of each pair they most identify with.

More on This Topic


This is part of an in-depth collection of research. See the collection:

Gartner's Maverick* Insights Explore New Ways to Achieve Disruptive Innovation

Page 14 of 15 Gartner, Inc. | G00305113

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.


This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.

GARTNER HEADQUARTERS

Corporate Headquarters
56 Top Gallant Road
Stamford, CT 06902-7700
USA
+1 203 964 0096

Regional Headquarters
AUSTRALIA
BRAZIL
JAPAN
UNITED KINGDOM

For a complete list of worldwide locations,


visit http://www.gartner.com/technology/about.jsp

2016 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. or its affiliates. This
publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartners prior written permission. If you are authorized to access
this publication, your use of it is subject to the Usage Guidelines for Gartner Services posted on gartner.com. The information contained
in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy,
completeness or adequacy of such information and shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in such information. This
publication consists of the opinions of Gartners research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. The opinions
expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Although Gartner research may include a discussion of related legal issues,
Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner is a public company,
and its shareholders may include firms and funds that have financial interests in entities covered in Gartner research. Gartners Board of
Directors may include senior managers of these firms or funds. Gartner research is produced independently by its research organization
without input or influence from these firms, funds or their managers. For further information on the independence and integrity of Gartner
research, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Gartner, Inc. | G00305113 Page 15 of 15

This research note is restricted to the personal use of alexsing@gwu.edu.