Innovations

-- Cynics of the world, rejoice! A new study has found that inept plant managers have a more damaging impact on company morale than the downbeat behavior of workers who identify themselves as cynics. A three-year Ohio State University study of more than 1,000 workers at a Midwestern auto-parts plant found that cynical workers feel less of a sense of commitment to their organizations than other workers. But they also filed fewer grievances. Factory bosses tended to blame morale problems on small groups of disaffected employees, but in reality, the study concluded, such problems tend to start at the top. But business professor John P. Wanous says the survey did note that cynicism spilled over into perceptions of financial rewards. In the case of plant workers, the most cynical salaried employees were less likely to think they would be paid more if they performed well.

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