Less-than-friendly bosses are in for a rude awakening, thanks to a UF study showing that encountering rudeness can cause job performance to suffer.
The study, conducted over the span of a year, was broken into three scenarios. Participants were subjected to different degrees of rudeness before being asked to solve anagram puzzles and write down uses for a brick, said UF management professor Amir Erez.
In all of the scenarios, participants exposed to rudeness performed substantially worse on each task compared to participants not exposed to rudeness.
"It's not anger or revenge," said Erez. "It's just very destructive. Thinking too much on the subject, wondering, 'what did I do to deserve to be treated like that?' causes less cognitive processes for the task," he said.
The study, conducted by Erez and University of Southern California management professor Christine Porath, tested 275 students whose ages ranged 18 to 36.
Erez also noted that participants exposed to rudeness supplied more dysfunctional answers when responding to the brick assignment.
"It wasn't in the study, but those that were subjected to rudeness came up with more violent answers like breaking windows or hitting someone," he said.
Porath said rudeness in the workplace is becoming a hot topic.
"The issue was swept under the desk, but people are a lot more ready to admit it's a problem," she said.