Overconfidence and the Collective: Expanding Our Understanding of the Social Effects of Overconfidence

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-3526-8803
Baker, Scott, Business Administration - Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
Hernandez, Morela, DA-Darden School, University of Virginia

Scholars have consistently found that organizations tend to perform poorly when they are led by overconfident leaders. Most existing accounts suggest that this happens because overconfident leaders form judgments and make decisions that often turn out to be unwise and detrimental to organizational performance. In this dissertation, I depart from this dominant perspective and suggest that overconfident leaders can also undermine performance by affecting how their followers think, act, and behave. In Chapter 1, I review the extant literature on overconfidence, outlining how it has primarily been studied and the effects of having overconfident leaders in organizations. In Chapter 2, I conduct four studies to demonstrate that overconfident leaders alter team member behaviors, processes, and performance. Finally, in Chapter 3, I look forward and build upon my results to consider additional research questions that should be considered. My dissertation findings demonstrate that overconfident leaders undermine collective performance not only by making poor or unwise decisions as past research would suggest, but also by inadvertently altering social processes that inhibit its members from functioning effectively. Given the importance of teams in contemporary organizations, understanding how overconfident leaders affect others is essential for managing this commonly occurring phenomenon.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
overconfidence, team learning, leadership
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