Rude bosses negatively affect their team
A new study has found that leaders who are insulting towards their teammates, could end up creating a conflict amongst the whole team, putting their productivity in jeopardy.
The research led by a Michigan State University business scholar, Crystal Farh, was conducted in China and the United States, and suggested that the toxic effect of nonphysical abuse by a supervisor was much broader than believed.
Farh said supervisors who belittled and ridiculed workers not only negatively affect those workers' attitudes and behaviors, but also cause team members to act in a similar hostile manner toward one another.
For the study, Farh and Zhijun Chen from the University of Western Australia studied 51 teams of employees from 10 firms in China. Average team size was about six workers and the teams performed a variety of functions including customer service, technical support and research and development.
The study looked at nonphysical abuse such as verbal mistreatment and demeaning emails. Employees who directly experienced such abuse felt devalued and contributed less to the team. At the same time, the entire team "descended into conflicts," said Farh, which also reduced worker contributions.
The study was replicated in a controlled laboratory setting in the United States, with nearly 300 people participating.
The findings are published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
(Posted on 21-08-2014)