Sociologists find staff respond to kindness

August 28, 1998

A team of sociologists at Ohio State University has found that basic standards of employment, such as job security and good relationships between workers and managers, were more important than workplace organisation in affecting staff behaviour. From 86 in-depth case studies, they found that in workplaces with good managers and employment conditions, playing dumb and withholding effort and other forms of staff resistance were less likely to occur. The study also found that altruistic behaviours, such as helping colleagues, giving extra effort freely and commitment to workplace goals, were more likely to happen where staff were highly skilled, autonomous and experienced the basic workplace standards.

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