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How important is the office popularity

  • Author:Hannah Gao
  • Release on :2017-01-18

You might think you left the world of cliques and in-crowds behind when you left high school。You'd be wrong. The benefits of being popular extend all the way into the adult workplace, based on research in the latest issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology。
Just like children on the playground, co-workers not only agree on who's popular, but they also afford those lucky few more favorable treatment. This includes more help and courteous conduct, and less rudeness and withholding of helpful information, based on a study of 255 employees and their co-workers in hospital, restaurant, sales and administrative jobs。
The researchers, Brent Scott of Michigan State University and Timothy Judge of the University of Florida, said popular workers drew more co-worker support regardless of their status on the organization chart. They also may gain an unfair advantage over less charming colleagues, the researchers suggest, which may hinder a meritocracy. "By valuing popularity, organizations may be promoting a certain ‘clubby' atmosphere that mimics school culture" rather than rewarding merit, the researchers write。
I've been fortunate in working in meritocracies most of my life, but that's not the norm. Among fictional examples, consider the television comedy "The Office:" Who in his or her right mind would promote the cold, manipulative Angela Martin over the amiable Jim Halpert? The popular paper salesman proves the study's point, rising fast on the Dunder Mifflin organization chart with his smart "people skills," despite his indifference to his job。
In fact, what these researchers call popularity, career coaches might call savvy office politics the art of getting people in your corner. And it's clearly a big deal in many workplaces. A Salary.com survey last fall found dealing with office politics was one of the top two time-wasters at work, after "fixing someone else's work."