Stanford professor, Bob Sutton, has built a small industry around telling business people not to be assholes. You can check him out explaining the basic idea of his book, "The No Asshole Rule," in this BNET Book Briefing: working with rude, self-obsessed people isn't just aggravating, it's a drain on the company's bottom line. There's now a little more empirical support for this idea. Researchers at that University of Florida recently found (not entirely surprisingly) that being yelled at negatively affects decision making and creativity. For the study, soon to be published in the Academy of Management Journal,
Researchers used real life experimental situations to discover that verbal abuse so flusters people that they lose much of their problem-solving and creative talents. "When someone is screaming at you, you're too busy thinking about the incident and how to deal with it to think about much else," said Amir Erez, a University of Florida management professor... "The disruption of mental functioning because of someone's lousy manners is serious business in a world that has transitioned from the brawn of an industrial economy to the mindset of the information age."
Bob Sutton gave a nod to the research on his blog, Work Matters, yesterday. Today he's following it up with an examination of Fortune's 100 Best Places to Work List, and how Google has built as asshole-inhibiting culture to earn its place at the top of the pile.
(Image of very angry man by Corey, CC 2.0)