Business > Be Candid with your Boss

| April 7, 2015

Modern business buildings

Harvard Business Review

Many employees assume that being candid with the boss is a lose/lose: It may provoke retribution, and the boss probably won’t listen anyway.  But experiments by Burak Oc of Bocconi University in Italy and two colleagues show that the second part of that calculation, at least, may be false.

For example, powerholders who received candid feedback allocated to themselves a share of valuable resources (points that were worth money) that was nearly equal to what subordinates got, whereas leaders who received compliant, positive feedback took more than half of the total resources for themselves, with guilt apparently the reason for the behavioral difference. Providing unquestioning, compliant feedback increases powerholders’ self-interested tendencies over time, the researchers say.

SOURCE: Speaking Truth to Power: The Effect of Candid Feedback on How Individuals with Power Allocate Resources

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