Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Business: Researchers Document Effects of Supervisors' Misdeeds on Employee Health and Productivit

06.12.2010
In recent years, the American workplace has been infused with unprecedented levels of hostility — and that’s largely due to the deterioration of supervisor-subordinate trust, according to Florida State University researchers.

To better understand this deteriorating relationship, Wayne Hochwarter, the Jim Moran Professor of Business Administration in Florida State’s College of Business, and research associate Christian Ponder asked more than 750 mid-level employees to report how often they personally experienced their direct supervisor’s “Seven Deadly Sins” — wrath/anger, greed, laziness/sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony — at work.

The Seven Deadly Sins is a classification of objectionable behaviors that has been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning humanity’s tendency to sin.

“We choose these particular behaviors because they have an established history, are familiar to people in both religious and secular settings, and are documented to strain interpersonal relationships at work,” Hochwarter said.

Results indicate malevolent supervisor behaviors in excess of what many might expect:

* 26 percent of employees said their boss frequently has trouble managing his or her anger (wrath);

* 27 percent of employees said their boss vigorously pursues undeserved rewards (greed);

* 41 percent of employees said their boss habitually pushes work on to others rather than doing it himself or herself (laziness);

* 31 percent of employees said their boss regularly seeks undeserved admiration from others at work (pride);

* 33 percent of employees said their boss makes sure that others stroke his or her ego on a daily basis (lust);

* 19 percent of employees said their boss can be counted on to act enviously toward others who experience good things (jealous); and

* 23 percent of employees said that their boss purposefully hoards resources that could be useful to others at work (gluttony).

Without question, the most frequently reported leader behaviors across genders, industry sectors, and levels of responsibility were pride and laziness. Of little surprise: Results indicated a variety of negative employee outcomes associated with supervisors’ aberrant behavior, including impaired work productivity and poorer heath.

“Employees with leaders who committed these ‘sins’ contributed less effort (40 percent less), felt overloaded as a result of forced responsibility for their supervisor’s work (33 percent more), were less likely to make creative suggestions (66 percent less), and received fewer resources to effectively do their job (60 percent less) than those without this negative type of leadership,” Ponder said.

Also, victims of supervisors’ self-serving behavior spent considerably more time at work pursuing alternative job opportunities (75 percent more).

In terms of deteriorating health, victimized workers experienced more daily anxiety (50 percent more), less happiness in life (30 percent less), more physical and emotional exhaustion (45 percent more), and more gloominess while on the job (62 percent more).

According to the researchers, the good news is that there still are more considerate managers than selfish ones. However, it is evident that recession-based uncertainty has encouraged many business leaders to pursue self-serving behaviors at the expense of those that are considered mutually beneficial or supportive of organizational goals.

“It is always interesting to see how people react when they feel that their backs are against the wall,” Ponder said. “Some leaders try to rally the troops, while others decide to go it alone to safeguard what they feel they have.” Perhaps when the cloud of recession fully lifts and job environments become more stable, leaders will focus on employee development rather than self-preservation, he added.

However, since progress is viewed only in the distant horizon by many experts, employees at all supervisory levels must develop the skills to peacefully co-exist.

“The consequences of not doing so are increasingly fatal for organizations,” according to Hochwarter.

In the words of a 43-year-old accountant who participated in the study, “When it comes to my boss, what’s his is his, and what’s mine is his as well. Actually, what I really mean is that all that is good is his and all that is bad and stressful is mine; this drives me crazy to the point of giving up.”

Hochwarter and Ponder’s research is being prepared for journal publication.

CONTACT: Wayne Hochwarter
(850) 644-7849; whochwar@cob.fsu.edu

Wayne Hochwarter | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.fsu.edu

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht How Strong Brands Translate into Money
15.11.2016 | Kühne Logistics University - Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Logistik und Unternehmensführung

nachricht Demographic change depresses tax revenues
04.11.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>