New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

This just in: Political correctness pumps up productivity on the job

Date:
November 4, 2014
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Political correctness, loathed by some as censorship awash in leftist philosophy, actually boosts the creativity of mixed-sex work teams. These results highlight a paradoxical consequence: A term that has been used to undermine expectations to censor offensive language as a threat to free speech actually provides a foundation upon which diverse work groups can freely exchange creative ideas.
Share:
FULL STORY

Political correctness, loathed by some as censorship awash in leftist philosophy, actually boosts the creativity of mixed-sex work teams, according to new research published in Administrative Science Quarterly.

"Our work challenges the widespread assumption that true creativity requires a kind of anarchy in which people are permitted to speak their minds, whatever the consequence," said Jack Goncalo associate professor of Organizational Behavior at the Cornell ILR School and lead author of the study.

The research is detailed in the forthcoming article, "Stifling or Liberating? How Political Correctness Influences Creativity in Mixed-Sex Work Groups." Goncalo's co-authors are Jennifer Chatman, University of California, Berkeley; Michelle Duguid, Washington University; and Jessica Kennedy, Vanderbilt University.

Contrary to the widely held notion that being politically correct has a generally stifling effect, the results showed that a politically correct norm actually boosts the creative output of mixed-sex groups.

These results highlight a paradoxical consequence: A term that has been used to undermine expectations to censor offensive language as a threat to free speech actually provides a foundation upon which diverse work groups can freely exchange creative ideas.

"Political correctness facilitates idea expression by reducing the uncertainty that people tend to experience while interacting with the opposite sex," Goncalo said. "The PC norm, by establishing a clear guideline for how to behave appropriately in mixed-sex groups, made both men and women more comfortable sharing their creative ideas."


Story Source:

Materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jack Goncalo et al. Stifling or Liberating? How Political Correctness Influences Creativity in Mixed-Sex Work Groups. Administrative Science Quarterly, November 2014

Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "This just in: Political correctness pumps up productivity on the job." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141104183610.htm>.
Cornell University. (2014, November 4). This just in: Political correctness pumps up productivity on the job. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141104183610.htm
Cornell University. "This just in: Political correctness pumps up productivity on the job." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141104183610.htm (accessed April 16, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily

RELATED STORIES