Individual Talks 2

  • 9:30 am To 11:00 am on July 20, 2019
  • Terrace Room Bramber House

Compassion: the human dimension of productivity

Compassion can often be thought of as ‘pink and fluffy’ and not of relevance to organisations. However, research on compassion suggest otherwise. In this session you will hear about Roffey Park’s latest research on compassion in the workplace, learn about the business case for compassion and how it impacts various aspects of organisations. The session concludes with some practical tips on how to build a compassionate organisation.

Exploring the Michelangelo Phenomenon in Mentoring Relationships

This research applies the Michelangelo phenomenon, an interpersonal model of personal growth, to mentoring relationships. Three experiments showed mentees expected to move closer to their career goals, experience greater positive affect and satisfaction with the relationship when mentors were affirming of goals related to their ideal self. These findings were replicated in Study 4 across actual mentoring relationships; mentees experienced greater movement towards their career goals, positive affect and satisfaction with the relationship when they perceived their mentor to be affirming. Movement towards career goals partially mediated the effect of mentor affirmation on positive affect and satisfaction with the relationship.

Relationship Distress and Work Performance

This research investigates the association between relationship distress and work performance and absenteeism. Data of two samples of Dutch employees (N = 367 and N = 189) indicate that higher levels of relationship distress are associated with lower levels of task performance. Employees with relationship problems concerning trust (infidelity, doubts about the relationship, thoughts about divorce) also reported more sickness absence. In addition, we found evidence of greater spillover of relationship distress for those low in self-control. Awareness of the impact of relationship distress could help employers to respond better to the needs of distressed employees.

Relationships at Work: The Organizational Benefits of a Secure Attachment in the Workplace

In two studies, we used attachment theory (Bowlby, 1973) to test if a secure workplace relationship conduces to organizational benefits (i.e., positive organizational attitudes, behaviors), because these relationships are associated with positive relationship emotions. Employees rated their attachment closeness to, dependence with, and anxiety toward their supervisors (Study 1) or colleagues (Study 2), and completed measures of positive relationship emotions (i.e., felt security, feelings of energy, relationship satisfaction) with their supervisors (Study 1) or colleagues (Study 2), proactive behavior, organizational allure (i.e., organizational attitudes, organizational identity, organizational commitment), and organizational deviance. The findings across both studies supported our hypotheses.

Studying Leadership in Triads

Leadership has so far been predominantly studied in dyads, as well as in groups or networks, but not in triads. This is surprising given that since the Soziologie of Simmel we know that going from dyads to triads has the greatest impact on group dynamics, than any other change in group size. A leadership triad is defined as three individuals connected by authority lines, where the main authority lines define two dyadic relationships, the one between the connecting leader and his/her leader, and the other between the connecting leader and his/her follower. This unit of observation enables us to study leadership interactions in the most parsimonious way, unveiling new phenomena.