Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sucking up to the boss may move you up and keep you healthy

Date:
June 9, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Savvy career minded individuals have known for some time that ingratiating oneself to the boss and others – perhaps more commonly known as ‘sucking up’– can help move them up the corporate ladder more quickly. However, a recent study suggests that politically savvy professionals who use ingratiation as a career aid may also avoid the psychological distress that comes to others who are less cunning about their workplace behavior.

Savvy career minded individuals have known for some time that ingratiating oneself to the boss and others -- perhaps more commonly known as 'sucking up'- can help move them up the corporate ladder more quickly. However, a recent study published in the Journal of Management Studies suggests that politically savvy professionals who use ingratiation as a career aid may also avoid the psychological distress that comes to others who are less cunning about their workplace behavior.

Related Articles


This new research shows that when politically savvy professionals use the coping skill of ingratiation, they may neutralize ostracism and other psychological distress that other less savvy individuals have to cope with in the workplace. Ostracized employees experience more job tension, emotional exhaustion and depressed mood at work.

Workplace ostracism -- an adult form of bullying -- is often described as an individual's belief that they are ignored or excluded by superiors or colleagues in the workplace. A 2005 survey of 262 full-time employees found that over a five-year period, 66% of respondents felt they were systematically ignored by colleagues, and 29% reported that other people intentionally left the area when they entered. Previous studies have shown that ostracism is an interpersonal stressor that can lead to psychological distress, and distress in the workplace is strongly linked to life distress, employee turnover, and poor physical health.

In the present study, researchers examined the relationship between workplace ostracism and employee psychological distress, with a focus on moderating effects of ingratiation and political skill. The research team surveyed employees from two oil and gas companies in China, with 215 employees providing responses. "Our data confirmed that workplace ostracism was positively related to psychological distress," explains Ho Kwong Kwan one of the study's authors. "We found that ingratiation neutralized the relationship between workplace ostracism and psychological distress when used by employees with a high level of political skill, but exacerbated the association when ingratiation was used by employees with low political savvy."

While the path to success and health may appear to come from sucking up, the authors of the study have a better suggestion. They say that organizations should create a culture that discourages workplace ostracism by provide training to managers and employees, which enhances self-esteem, encourages effective problem solving techniques, and promotes the development of political skills.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Long-Zeng Wu, Frederick Hong-kit Yim, Ho Kwong Kwan, Xiaomeng Zhang. Coping with Workplace Ostracism: The Roles of Ingratiation and Political Skill in Employee Psychological Distress. Journal of Management Studies, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2011.01017.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Sucking up to the boss may move you up and keep you healthy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609112426.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, June 9). Sucking up to the boss may move you up and keep you healthy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609112426.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Sucking up to the boss may move you up and keep you healthy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110609112426.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) T-Mobile and the FCC have reached an agreement requiring the company to alert customers when it throttles their data speeds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A Symantec white paper reveals details about Regin, a spying malware of unusual complexity which is believed to be state-sponsored. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins