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Why niceness is no use at workplace!

india Updated: Jan 23, 2012 20:17 IST

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Switch to unpleasant behaviour and avoid saying Thank You and Sorry during workplace interactions unless justified, if you want to climb the corporate ladder and earn big bucks, a new study has suggested.

A recent study examining the relationship between agreeableness, income and gender revealed that the workplace does tend to reward disagreeable behaviour. Amy Reiter toughens up.

OfficeIt showed that disagreeable men tend to earn more than agreeable men, and disagreeable women, though they earn less than both nice and not-nice guys, earn more than agreeable women.

The study analysed data from three separate surveys conducted over the past 20 years, including responses from thousands of workers of various ages, salary levels and professions. The authors also asked 460 business students to weigh in on hypothetical personnel decisions.

“Niceness in the form of the trait of agreeableness does not appear to pay,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted researchers as saying.

The study also found that the rewards of disagreeableness for women are limited, far more so than for men.

“If a man is disagreeable, he is thought to be tough and leader-like,” one of the study’s co-authors, Timothy A. Judge said.

“If a woman is disagreeable, the ‘b-word’ is applied to her.”

The study has been published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.