Ever find yourself obsessing over the “true” meaning of that email your boss just sent you? Is she mad at you? Did you do something wrong? Or are you just paranoid? It turns out, a lot of people feel paranoid at work, especially those without power. And organizations should take note because that paranoia can turn into aggressive behaviors, finds new research from Maryland Smith’s Trevor Foulk.
Dr. Trevor Foulk is an Assistant Professor of Management & Organization at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida, and his Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts.
Have you ever been cut off in traffic by another driver, leaving you still seething miles later? Or been interrupted by a colleague in a meeting, and found yourself replaying the event in your head even after you’ve left work for the day? Minor rude events like this happen all the time, and you may be surprised by the magnitude of the effects they have on our decision-making and functioning.
Do you dream of climbing the corporate ladder to the top, envisioning how being the boss will give you the freedom to call the shots? The reality is, having power makes your job feel more demanding and can cause you more stress and physical ailments, finds new research from Maryland Smith’s Trevor A. Foulk. But it’s not all bad.
Power is a double-edged sword, says Foulk: it makes your job more demanding, which has both good implications and bad implications, simultaneously.
SMITH BRAIN TRUST – After a year like 2020, with so much turmoil, is anyone even making new year’s resolutions? It feels like it’s resolve enough just to carry on from day to day.
The coronavirus pandemic brought with it unprecedented uncertainty and stress. But somehow, even amid the turmoil and the new pressures of work-from-home and home-schooling, millions of people were able to keep calm and carry on with the demands of the moment.
And maybe you did too.
New research from Maryland Smith shows that our human sense of normalcy is capable of bouncing back a lot faster than we might think.
SMITH BRAIN TRUST – If you’re starting a new job or internship this summer, you might find it’s quite different than the way you had envisioned it. Your first day may be in your home office, at your dining table or, in the case of recent college grads and interns, from your childhood bedroom.
SMITH BRAIN TRUST – Mention the concept of “hot-desking” to the modern office worker and you’re likely to be met with an eye roll and an exasperated sigh.
The concept – a kind of office design in which workers are not assigned to a regular cubicle or desk to sit at day after day, but rather are encouraged to sit in different locations each day at work – isn’t super popular.
Power corrupts, they say. Throughout history there are examples of people in positions of power who have acted in ways that have harmed others.
What’s less understood, perhaps, is that when the powerful abuse their positions, they hurt themselves as well.
Maryland Smith’s Trevor A. Foulk’s research, published in the Academy of Management Journal, confirms it.