The reign of the biased boss

HRM 23 Jan 2013

Ditch the impartiality towards all team members and start showing preferential treatment towards your employees, a new study has found.

Authored by the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business, the study found that people are more likely to experience greater self-esteem, adherence to workplace norms, and performance of tasks which benefit the group if a leader gives preferential treatment towards them as compared to others in a team.

Adhering to the belief that everyone should be treated equally in a team could appear to be “a disincentive for workers who would otherwise go above and beyond on behalf of the team with a little bit of extra attention,” mentioned the study’s co-author Professor Karl Aquino.

“The key is to find the right balance – treat everyone reasonably well, but treat those whose work counts most or who have been most productive just a little bit better,” he advised bosses.

He suggests that managers take a middle ground approach to sustain high productivity amongst the star players, which also avoids creating envy in the other non-star workers.

The study was co-authored by Aquino and Professors Stefan Thau and Madan Pillutla of the London Business School, Christian Troster of the Kuhne Logistics University and David Cremer of Erasmus University. It conducted a series of experiments on 357 working people and an experiment done on 41 students.



Leave your comment
Start a new discussion

HRM Asia forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Post a Comment
HRM Asia welcomes your contribution. Your IP address is recorded in the event of a complaint.
Name *
Email *
(required, but will not display)
Comment *
Please enter in the numbers in the box left.
You are about to submit your comment. Is it:
  • Professional
  • In your own name or pseudonym, not impersonating someone else
  • Free from rude language
  • Free from advertising
  • If you prefer not to post but are still keen to get your viewpoint across, you can always e-mail the editor.
  • 15 Apr | Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts Pte.Ltd. | Singapore
    A Leading Hotel Chain Group
    17 Apr | Hays Specialist Recruitment Pte Ltd | Singapore
    17 Apr | Hays Specialist Recruitment Pte Ltd | Singapore
    Organisational leadership in the 21st century
    Sherman Ong, Chief Development Officer, National Cancer Centre, shares with us the core competencies required in a leader today
    Spearheading corporate democracy @ Facebook
    Tailor-make your talent strategy: Top tips from Carlsberg
    Standard Chartered : Where L&D is always evolving
    Performance Leadership Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    Increase productivity and getting funding from Health Promotion Board, through a series of General Health and Mental Wellness programmes.
    Organisational Development Concepts | enquiries@odctraining.com.sg
    The Service Excellence Competency Frame (SVCF) is a competency-based training and assessment framework that equips service professionals with the rele ...
    Performance Leadership Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    Lunch, Learn and Bond with your teams, all within 1 hour! Choose from a variety of light-hearted, interesting or thought-provoking topics that appeal ...