Tuesday, February 16, 2016

When the boss breaks bad

When your boss makes an ethical decision, as opposed to a profit-driven one,--says an associate professor of management at Michigan State in East Lansing--he or she may lash out at employees the next day.

The study--online in J of Applied Psychology--deals with the subject of "moral licensing." This is an phenomenon where when people do something "good," they feel they now have the right to act in a negative manner.

The researchers looked at 172 supervisors in several sectors, such as retail, education, manufacturing, and health care, over a several-day period.

Ethical behavior led to mental fatigure and moral licensing, they found. And this led to being more abusive to workers.

These supervisors, suggested the researchers, should get more breaks and sleep more to prevent mental fatigue.

The moral licensing aspect? Companies should specifically require everyone to behave ethically--then it would not take so much out of supervisors to do it on their own hook.

When people thought they were being "big" about exercising ethical behavior, they were more likely to rebound and lash out at underlings as their "reward."

Dunno--what do you think?

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