Managing Teams

How employees can age successfully at work

In the media and in politics, sustainable employability is an ongoing issue. As the official retirement age is raised more and more by policymakers, people are wondering to what extent this will be feasible. Are ageing workers able to adapt to new working conditions and situations? How can we keep older employees motivated and enthusiastic about their work? How […]

Employers may discriminate against autism without realising

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people connect and relate to others and also how they experience the world around them.

Most non-autistic people are not aware of the complex ways in which autistic people* experience the world and are not adequately prepared for interacting or working with autistic people. Autism is a ‘hidden’ disability, with no […]

Meaningless work threatens job performance

Open, transparent communication across the organisation is generally associated with improved employee motivation and organisational outcomes. For supervisors, the question arises how to deal with rather inconvenient information, such as in the case of a project failure. Informing employees after significant investments of time and effort might lead to negative effects on subsequent work motivation, one could argue. To […]

Boomerang employees: should you welcome them back?

It’s 4:45 PM on a Friday, you’re about to head home, and then your phone buzzes. You look down to see a text from a previous employee that hasn’t been in contact since departing several months ago (sans a LinkedIn request). He says he just wants to “catch up”, but you suspect another angle. Ten minutes into a coffee […]

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    To improve change management, the NHS needs to discard outdated models

To improve change management, the NHS needs to discard outdated models

Reacting to political, financial and societal pressures, the NHS is an ever-evolving organisation, with its staff experiencing change at an increasing rate. So common, change is now seen to be a fact of working life within the NHS and therefore change management a key aspect of any manager’s role.

When we talk about change management in the NHS, it is […]

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    Focus on buy-in might be the reason your change efforts keep failing

Focus on buy-in might be the reason your change efforts keep failing

Since the findings of the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, there has been a wide-reaching backlash toward heroic management in health and social care. Heroic management is characterised by heavy egotism, superior knowledge or skill and isolated decision-making. Because of these characteristics, it is generally agreed within the NHS that heroic management is damaging to the efficacy and sustainability of organisations, […]

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    How multi-agency teams made decisions in a simulated terror attack

How multi-agency teams made decisions in a simulated terror attack

Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm. If I’d listed these six cities to you a little over 18 months ago, you might wonder if I was considering a weekend away to explore the rich culture, history and tourism that these great European cities have to offer. Today they are synonymously linked as the six cities that were victim to […]

How (not) to turn good soldiers into bad apples

Citizenship or prosocial behaviours at work are important. These behaviours are not formally rewarded by financial incentives and yet serve critical functions. A workplace with high levels of citizenship and prosocial behaviours leads employees to be more productive, engaged, satisfied, experience less stress, and reduce turnover. As a result, many managers and organisations tend to encourage their employees to be more prosocial and engage in more citizenship […]

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    Explaining how mindfulness consistently brings positive workplace outcomes

Explaining how mindfulness consistently brings positive workplace outcomes

Mindfulness training has become a hot management trend, as leading organisations like Aetna and British Parliament increasingly offer mindfulness programs for employees. This growth is fuelled by research supporting the benefits of mindfulness for workplace functioning, from focus and burnout to job performance and leadership. Yet this interest has glossed over the almost-comical reality of applying contemplative practices like […]

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    Like second-hand smoke, racial discrimination at work can affect bystanders

Like second-hand smoke, racial discrimination at work can affect bystanders

The toxic effects of racism can extend well beyond the target. Our research reveals that, like second-hand smoke, the negative effects of racial discrimination at work can affect third-party bystanders. This is called ambient racial discrimination, and it includes a range of workplace experiences, such as directly witnessing racial discrimination aimed at others, hearing about racist incidents, seeing graffiti or […]

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    Employees v. entrepreneurs: Have the two categories become irrelevant?

Employees v. entrepreneurs: Have the two categories become irrelevant?

Most debates about work today focus on the joint evolution of entrepreneurs versus employees. Some academics believe we are moving towards an entrepreneurial society. Others focus on the increasing precariousness of work, but clearly qualify the thesis of a move towards an entrepreneurial society. In the context of this short reflexion, we simply want to question the categories themselves.

Entrepreneurs […]

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 […]