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Honest And Kind People Make Better Business Careers


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By Margarita Nahapetyan

When it comes to making a good career in the business world, being honest and getting along with colleagues gives a person a solid competitive advantage, claims a new research.

Scientists from the North Carolina State University (NCSU), led by Dr. Jon Bohlmann, have found that project managers can expect significantly better performance from the members of their team if treating them with honesty, kindness, and respect. According to another study that has been conducted previously by NCSU's Rob Handfield, the cross-functional product development teams, can achieve a great quality and better cost benefits from socializing and interacting with individuals who work for their suppliers.

The first, Dr. Bohlmann's study, analyzed cross-functional product development teams, which combine together engineers, researchers and business personnel. The point to involve people with various backgrounds was to show that there was a focus on finance, marketing, and also on a design and functionality, right from the start of the product-development process. In addition to all this, this diversity also helped to make communication more effective in order to ensure that all members of the team were socializing and collaborating, and not just working at cross-purposes.

As a result, it was revealed that "interactional fairness perception" indeed had an effect on a "cross-functional communication." In other words, all the team members who thought that they had been treated well and respected, showed a significant increase in their commitment to the success of the project they had been working on in collaboration with other team members, and, in particular, when they perceived their project manager or supervisor to be a kind, nice and honest guy.

According to Dr. Bohlmann, an associate professor of marketing at North Carolina State University, the increase in such commitment is very essential and important because it could enhance performance that would result in the achievement of team goals. And if Bohlmann's study comes to the conclusion that nice and honest guys are the first to finish, the second research by Dr. Rob Handfield shows us that collaborating and socializing well with others can give a team, and even a company an edge, when it comes to product development, according to a NCSU release.

To be more specific, the Handfield study points to the fact that significant cost and quality benefits are results of informal communication among the members of a product-development company, as well as other companies that supply the product developers with material and labor. Dr. Handfield said that informal socializing, such as going out to lunch or dinner after a meeting, can result in considering and developing of new ideas that take advantage of the different perspectives, as well as the experience that suppliers can provide - and ultimately provide product developers with meaningful input.

The results of both studies have been published in the March issue of the Journal of Product Innovation Management.

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