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Is Your Manager Trained to Distrust You? Blame Economics!

Monday, July 15, 2013 8:08 am EDT

Good managers base their strategic decisions and their treatment of staff on anticipated reactions. But what happens if your manager’s understanding of human nature means they are inherently distrustful of you?

Behavioral analysts writing in Management and Organization Review argue that the teaching of economics in management training has given managers a false set of assumptions about people meaning they are less able to accurately predict how their staff will react.

The authors show that management training which focuses on rationality and self-interest, both key concepts in economics, lead future managers to assume that their workers are untrustworthy, which makes them rely on excessive safeguards, monitoring, and piece-rate pay.

While this may be bad news for staff, such a management style seems to pay dividends for bosses. The research shows that when such behavioral assumptions are key components of MBA business school courses, the graduates can see their average salaries rise by between $920.74 and $1,113.04.

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