BundersonWhy do the challenges and tasks taken on by the teams on the popular reality shows “Survivor” and “The Apprentice” so often result in failure or disaster? Perhaps these short-term work groups are assigning responsibilities based on superficial assumptions of expertise. A recent study by J. Stuart Bunderson, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, shows that work groups perform better when they rely on valid cues, such as education and experience, rather than superficial characteristics such as race and gender.
McLean ParksNear one end of the spectrum are the Arthur Andersen employees who, out of loyalty to their employer and at great personal risk, destroyed files to cover up corporate scandal. At the other end is the disgruntled worker at another company who surreptitiously spread poison-ivy sap on executive-washroom toilet seats. “A clear signal to management,” says Judi McLean Parks, Ph.D., professor of organizational behavior at Washington University in St. Louis, “that something is wrong.” McLean Parks’ research at the Olin School of Business finds that both forms of organizational behavior grow from the same seed of organizational identity.
Our research implies that even small acts of dishonesty can go a long way, leaving ripple effects that may undermine a fundamental building block of our humanity: social connection.
In a study co-authored by a Washington University in St. Louis business researcher, a survey that began with Generation X college students in 1992 and revisited when they were around age 41 finds that overall narcissism declined over time — as did the three narcissism components: vanity, leadership and entitlement.
Judi McLean Parks, of Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, was honored with a certificate of appreciation from the government of Madagascar for her contributions to the development of the Mahabo region, where she has worked with students for more than a decade.
Dishonest deeds diminish a person’s ability to read others’ emotions, or “interpersonal cognition,” finds a new study from four researchers, including one from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Another finding: dishonesty breeds “a vicious cycle.”
A new paper, authored by Washington University in St. Louis faculty and alumni from Olin Business School, reports findings from five different studies of subjects in a negotiation agreement. The takeaway: inorganic anger generally leaves parties of both parts feeling guilty, distrusted and needing to make amends afterward.
Researchers, including a postdoctoral fellow at Olin Business School, have studied where potential relationship problems exist between managers and employees who are close, and how to avoid such pitfalls.
At the Washington University in St. Louis Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 7, a few faculty members were appointed, promoted or granted tenure, effective that day unless otherwise noted.