When it comes to making big in the business world, being honest, kind and respectful gives an individual a real competitive advantage over his/her peers, according to a new study.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have shown that project managers can get much better performance from their team members by treating them with honesty, kindness, and respect.
Another study has shown that even product development teams can get significant quality and cost benefits from socializing with people who work for their suppliers.
Dr. Jon Bohlmann, who co-authored the study by North Carolina State University, looked at the cross-functional product development teams, which bring together engineers, researchers and business personnel.
The results showed that "team members showed a significant increase in commitment to the team''s success and to the project they were working on", if they perceived their leader to be "basically being a nice guy".
The Bohlmann study finds that "interactional fairness perception" affects "cross-functional communication".
"If you think you are being treated well, you are going to work well with others on your team," said Bohlmann.
The researcher said that increase in commitment was important because it could enhance performance in meeting team goals.
The second study, co-authored by NC State''s Dr. Rob Handfield, showed that playing well with others could give a company an edge when it came to product development.
It showed that significant cost and quality benefits could result from informal socializing between employees of a product-development company and those companies that supplied the product developers with material and labour.
Handfield explains that informal socializing, "like going out to dinner after a meeting", can lead to considering new ideas that take advantage of the different perspectives and experience that suppliers can provide – and ultimately provide product developers with meaningful input.
The findings appear in the Journal of Product Innovation Management.