Work groups perform best when expertise is judged from task-relevant cues

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.

Deep psychological contracts formed between employees and employers can result in acts of revenge, ‘crimes of obedience’

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.
How dishonesty drains you

How dishonesty drains you

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.

Parks honored by Madagascar government

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.
It doesn’t pay to play angry when negotiating

It doesn’t pay to play angry when negotiating

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.