The indispensable research blog on the science of the modern workplace, covering everything from leadership and management to the behavioral, social, and cognitive dynamics behind performance and achievement.
The world is having a love affair with Costco. Fortune Magazine ranks the warehouse retailer as one of the world’s most admired companies, and only partly because of its commitment to social responsibility. Operating under the philosophy that happy employees deliver effective customer service, the company pays its employees extremely well — a sterling contrast to the way competitors like Wal-Mart and Kmart compensate workers. Costco’s practices even drew a shout out from President Obama during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
Whether they realize it or not, consumers tend to regard companies the same way they do each other. We see some companies, like Costco, as warm and competent, while others (think about cable providers and airlines) engender about as much of our affection as Lord Voldemort.
Business consultant Chris Malone and social…
Stephen King’s novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times before it finally got published — and launched a legendary literary career. Thomas Edison failed thousands of time before he finally perfected the light bulb.
Most of us aren’t aiming to create a revolutionary invention or get a novel published. But we all have professional goals, and will face at least some degree of failure or hardship in achieving them. In some cases, we have no choice but to keep trying. Giving up on a complex project you’ve been assigned at work could cost you your job. But in other cases, we have the freedom of inertia — we can shun a diet, or put off a search for a more fulfilling job — even if that inaction isn’t in our best interest.
Consumer behavior researchers Rom Y. Schrift…
Mentoring a less experienced colleague — and doing it effectively — can be a demanding task, especially when deadlines are looming. The relationship is a delicate one, and trying to foster a working dynamic that is productive but also engaging is a skill that requires practice.
New findings suggest that how your company operates as a whole can have significant bearing on whether the mentor/protégé bond flourishes or flounders. That is, the overall tenor of the workplace environment influences the give and take of the relationship.
In investigating this topic, Changya Hu of the National Chengchi University in Taiwan realized that perceived organizational support (POS) — the belief that an organization is looking out for employees’ well-being — is intimately involved in the mentor/protégé relationship. They hypothesized that mentors who felt more connected…
Whether they’re willing to admit it or not, hiring managers tend to doubt working mothers’ dedication to the job. Previous studies have revealed that the so-called “motherhood penalty” is rather rampant in the job market. People generally assume that working mothers are less committed, and therefore less capable, on their jobs.
One of the most telling studies on this mindset was published in 2007, when a team of researchers had a group of women, some of them wearing a prosthesis to make them appear pregnant, pose as either job applications or customers at retail stores. Store employees were generally more rude toward pregnant applicants vs. non-pregnant job seekers, but were kinder to pregnant customers than toward non-pregnant customers.
But working mothers may be able to offset this type of discrimination, according to a newly published study. Psychological researchers Beatriz Aranda…
No matter where you’ve sat in the organizational hierarchy over your career, you’re likely to have had at least one boss who took credit for others’ work, made decisions without considering their impact, and focused mainly on his or her own image rather than the good of the team.
But is there any time where narcissists might actually make ideal leaders?
A newly published study provides some answers to that question. Researchers aggregated a variety of studies on the subject, and found that while narcissists are more likely to garner leadership positions, there was no evidence of a link between narcissism and a leader’s success.
More specifically, the study found that the poorest leaders are those with either extremely high or extremely low levels of narcissism.
“Our findings are pretty clear that the answer to the question as to whether narcissism is…