Managing People

How to reap the benefits of flexible work time

Flexible working time arrangements are becoming increasingly popular around the globe – but do they really work? In Europe, up to 40 per cent of employees may schedule their working hours at their discretion. This ‘flextime’ is thought to help meet ever-increasing job demands and strike a balance between work and life. Yet, researchers know surprisingly little about the […]

Reducing the effects of insomnia on the workplace

Researchers and media outlets have expressed growing concern about the widespread harmful effects of insomnia on health. More recently, this research has examined how these effects spill over into the workplace as well. The Rand Company estimates that the economic impact of insomnia costs the United States $411 billion a year. A growing body of research indicates that poor […]

Is religious diversity good for team performance?

Team religious diversity, the degree to which working team members differ in their religious beliefs, is a relevant factor that affects healthcare teams’ outcomes. Because of globalisation and rising labour market mobility, an increasing degree of religious diversity characterises the workforce of many organisations and the composition of work groups.

There are at least three layers through which religion can […]

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    ‘Collective intelligence’ is not necessarily present in virtual groups

‘Collective intelligence’ is not necessarily present in virtual groups

Do groups of smart people perform better than groups of less intelligent people?

Research published in Science magazine in 2010 reported that groups, like individuals, have a certain level of “collective intelligence,” such that some groups perform consistently well across many different types of tasks, while other groups perform consistently poorly. Collective intelligence is similar to individual intelligence, but at […]

The West should stay away from Asia’s workaholism

A great deal of management thinking still derives from the West, and in particular the United States, but there have been a number of considerable contributions from Asia. Perhaps the earliest of these was the quality movement originating in Japan that saw companies such as Toyota come to lead the way in the automobile market as a result of […]

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    How firms decide whether to use in-house or external lobbyists

How firms decide whether to use in-house or external lobbyists

Lobbying in the EU – Greens/EFA conference 2014, by greensefa, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
A great range of firms across diverse industries use knowledge workers such as IT personnel, managers, and lawyers. Firms sometimes hire them internally and sometimes outsource their services. How do they choose one versus the other?

In my job market paper, I answer this question using US federal lobbying data. The […]

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    From gratitude to resentment: The downside of working from home

From gratitude to resentment: The downside of working from home

Office work, by Unsplash, under a CC0 licence
It’s common for employers keen to promote a healthy modern workplace culture to offer at least some degree of flexible working to employees, whether they are parents who duck out of the office early to make the school run, those faced with lengthy commutes or even employees who simply wish to stay […]

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    Whatever it takes to win: Rivalry increases unethical behaviour

Whatever it takes to win: Rivalry increases unethical behaviour

Rivalry, by DrMiaow, own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Rivalry is a competitive relationship that is built up over repeated and evenly-matched competition. There are many famous examples of rivalries gone awry. Many people still vividly remember the brutal sabotage attempt launched by Tonya Harding’s ex-husband against her rival Nancy Kerrigan in the 1994 Winter Olympics. Fewer may know […]

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    Lenient performance evaluations cause less damage than severe ones

Lenient performance evaluations cause less damage than severe ones

Photo by Tim Gouw, under a CC0 licence
As anyone who has been involved in any performance assessment knows well, judgement always depends on the supervisor’s subjective characteristics. Most of the times supervisors evaluate agents’ performances without directly observing their efforts. Therefore the supervisor’s beliefs, opinions, personal and cognitive traits, even mood, could interfere with such evaluation and make the assessment […]

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    Working while depressed costs 5-10 times more than staying home to recover

Working while depressed costs 5-10 times more than staying home to recover

Photo by Daniel Guimberteau (Flickr, CC-NC-SA-2.0)
Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Previous research has shown that by far the greatest contributor to the overall economic impact of depression is loss in productivity; including both increased absenteeism and presenteeism-related costs in the workplace. However, there is very little research on the costs of depression outside of Western and high-income countries.

We used data […]

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    What employees see as the motivations of HR management affects their wellbeing

What employees see as the motivations of HR management affects their wellbeing

Jordan Hall at the company meeting, by Infusionsoft Sales & Marketing Software for Small Businesses, under a CC-BY-SA-2.0 licence
Imagine that you’re chairing a very important meeting at work. You’ve invited your boss, two important clients, and your direct report, Sam. Sam flies into the meeting room approximately 25 minutes late. How do you react? Your initial response likely includes a […]

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    How to foster collaborative leadership in the NHS target-driven culture

How to foster collaborative leadership in the NHS target-driven culture

Nurse jokes with patient, by NHS Employers, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
NHS targets are a contentious, highly politicised, topic in the UK. Some claim they drive quality and achieve cost savings, whereas others vilify them for distorting clinical priorities and reducing the importance of compassionate care. The subject of much debate, cases where poor management of their achievement has led to […]

Does profiling employees online overstep the boundaries?

Desk-office-working-computer, Pexels, CC0 licence
A new study has revealed that 27 per cent of employees have witnessed their employer using online information to ‘profile’ job applicants. Approximately 55 per cent of organisations now have a policy about profiling. Despite its increased practice, however, most employees are not comfortable with being profiled. Over 60 per cent believe they have a right […]

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    Working from home: idea that workers who aren’t visible are slacking off is outdated

Working from home: idea that workers who aren’t visible are slacking off is outdated

Pexels, under a CC0 licence
Long commutes are a bleak fact of working life – but do they have to be? The laptop in your bag and phone in your pocket are sufficient for most kinds of office work. Even so, we insist on carting our devices with us, through rain and traffic, just to sit at a desk that’s […]

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    Traditional targets and bonuses often don’t improve performance in an organisation

Traditional targets and bonuses often don’t improve performance in an organisation

Why do leadership seminars only use the colours blue, black, and grey? Why do business people walk around in darkly coloured suits and ties? Why do all management book covers look so bland and depressing?

Where is the pink in management?

I have managed organizations for 20 years. In the beginning, I had no clue how to do this. I was […]

Why pay packages based on fair criteria matter

 

Happiness has a large relational (or relative) component. The amount of utility an individual derives from, say, an annual salary of $V depends, in part, on how $V compares to the salary $X received by a referent other (for example, a co-worker [Bruce Kaufman, 1999]

Overview

Let us start with the premise that what workers say and feel actually matters. In […]

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    When players change teams, they fight harder against their former employer

When players change teams, they fight harder against their former employer

How do individuals behave when they have to compete against their former employer and colleagues? As the rate of employee mobility is steadily increasing over the last decades an impressive body of research has studied the performance implications of employee mobility. Most studies conclude that hiring individuals from rivals is beneficial for the performance of the hiring firm. The […]

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    In cross-national teams, cultural differences can be an advantage

In cross-national teams, cultural differences can be an advantage

When we work with global executives, they sometimes share stories of failed negotiations, miscommunication, and cultural slights that led to missed global opportunities. But they’ve also shared countless stories of positive cross-cultural collaboration. Often cross-cultural teams produced more effective solutions than similar mono-cultural teams and there were situations where diverse cultural styles were synchronised into a hybrid culture that […]

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    If you’d do anything to avoid meetings, you may be missing the point

If you’d do anything to avoid meetings, you may be missing the point

Think your latest office meeting was awkward? Consider the one that Tomoko Hamada, an anthropology professor at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, had to arrange between groups of American and Japanese business school students.

“The Americans were worried about how formal the Japanese usually are in how they dress, so they all put on neckties for the […]

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    Shots fired! Why is switching between organisational practices so difficult?

Shots fired! Why is switching between organisational practices so difficult?

Imagine you work for the police and are involved in large covert surveillance of a notorious criminal. The team is experienced and includes a helicopter, cars, a high tech listening post, and over a dozen agents observing the site. Just after your team has taken positions, your subject gets shot. You can see the shooter, but are unable to […]