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.

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 September 20, 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 September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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