Western-based managers who feel out of sync with their teams might need a new word in their vocabulary. Professor Hui Liao at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business says the Chinese construct of moqi (pronounced MO-chee), provides a useful but previously overlooked framework for understanding and improving supervisor-subordinate relationships.
Dr. Hui Liao is the endowed Smith Dean's Professor in Leadership and Management at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. Before joining Maryland, she was on the faculties of the Rutgers University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. with concentrations in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, and her BA in International Economics from the Renmin University of China.
To succeed, business leaders benefit from developing some persuasive powers.
They must lead teams toward the achievement of a shared purpose and vision. Scholars point to transformational leadership (TFL) as being one of the more useful leadership skills, in its ability to create four important behaviors: idealized influence; inspirational motivation; intellectual stimulation; and individualized consideration, which relates to attention to each follower's needs.
Speak Up To Boost Productivity and Safety at Work
Want to make more good things happen at work and prevent safety problems? Just ask team members to speak up. Encouraging team members to voice their constructive opinions and concerns about work-related issues leads to performance and safety gains, according to new research from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Moral Identity Keeps Divergent Thinkers in Check
Creative people are great at generating ideas to solve problems. Unfortunately, the same people are also great at generating clever justifications to excuse their rule-breaking at work. Deviant behavior often results. New research from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business confirms the dark side of creativity but also identifies a key boundary condition that keeps some out-of-the-box thinkers in line.
Why Friendly Service by Itself Isn't Enough
Targets of Hostile Supervision Can Flip the Script
An abusive boss can make work miserable for anyone, prompting defiant employees to retaliate or flee. New research co-authored by Hui Liao at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business shows a third option.
How Group Dynamics Work Against High Performers
Modern organizations celebrate teamwork. They establish shared goals and values, invest in physical spaces that bring people together, and adopt diversity programs that give voice to everyone in the room. Then they go looking for hotshot individuals to fill key roles.
An abusive boss can make work miserable for anyone, prompting defiant employees to retaliate or flee. New research co-authored by Smith School professor Hui Liao shows a third option. "Targets of humiliation, intimidation and verbal attacks can balance the dynamics over time and influence supervisors to mend strained relationships," Liao says. "Sometimes that won’t happen, but a follower has more power than he or she might realize." Breaking the spiral of abuse starts with the understanding that bullies rely on an imbalance of power in their favor, but the needle can move in any dyad. Read more...
Weekly Washington Post columns featuring Smith School experts.
Don’t let your guard down just because a customer service agent has a disarming smile. New research from Smith School professor Hui Liao shows that companies can be friendly and unscrupulous at the same time. "Service climate is distinct from ethical climate," she says. “It’s possible to do harm, but to do it in a nice way.” Some companies even use flattery and attentiveness to compensate for their failure to protect customer interests. “Service providers may amplify superior service behavior to distract customers from unethical acts,” Liao says. Read more...