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Stop bossing, your employee productivity is at risk

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 27 May 2010, 02:47 Hrs   |    41 Comments
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Stop bossing, your employee productivity is at risk
Bangalore: If employees love freedom then at times when they have controlling bosses, that may affects their productivity, as they think more on how much of freedom is being curbed rather than concentrating in their work, according to researchers at the Duke University.

The study on 'significant others' has found that people deeply value their freedom so much that even an unconscious memory of significant persons, parents, bosses or any controlling persons, stimulates a behavioral reaction. The researchers found that people with an ingrained sense that others are trying to control them tend to have the most intense negative reactions to unconscious thoughts of significant others.

While conducting the study the researchers has found that even a memory of significant others, who wanted the children or employees to work hard make them doing poor work. Because they think that their freedom is being restrained, according to a blog by Andrew O'Connell.

"We love our freedom to choose," opined Gavan J Fitzsimons, Professor of Marketing and Psychology at Duke. He added that "the highly reactant individuals love their freedom and they will do anything to protect it."

The psychological mechanism that connects the love of freedom and the behavioral response is known as reactance. The concept was described by Jack Brehm back in 1966, recently it has become an active area of psychological research with many implications for business.

During the study, the team at Duke- Tanya L. Chartrand, Amy N. Dalton, and Fitzsimons- who sought to see whether reactance, usually thought of as a conscious effect, could be unconscious too. Their findings show that indeed it can. The researchers suggest that in certain circumstances, "reactance becomes automatized."

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Reader's comments(41)
1: Many bosses pick up this bossing attitude from others in the company, because they think this is how to take work in that company. They donot try any other methods.
Posted by:Prakash Kumar Rath - 01 Jun, 2010
2: it,s simply means that we all are human if you understatn well youself you can understand every employee of your com
to get the work done it,s fine balance of controlling and explaining them by love
you need to find out when you need to be boss and when you need to be good mentor
Posted by:kiran - 28 May, 2010
3: There is very thin line between bossism (leadership)and dictatorship. To an extent bossism is necessary but if the same turns to be nagging, its dangerous for every one.. Boss/employee/organisation. So every thing should be in line with the requirement to sustain the essence.
Posted by:Rajat Dhall - 27 May, 2010
i strongly agree with rajat.people should come out of their mentality and with open minds,think about the requirement of the situation,and most important thing is honesty&commitment for productivity.After all organisation is more important than individual.
abhijatya Replied to: Rajat Dhall - 28 May, 2010
5: Boss primarily duty is more work, more productivity and thus more profit. Therefore the rightfull mechanism the boss chooses to increase the profit of the organisation is the right step.
Posted by:P.S.Thakur - 27 May, 2010
6: depends on the organisational setup. If you don't do bossing in a Construction Firm or a Workshop Floor, workers will not work at all. If you do follow the principles of bossing around in a office environment where experienced people are working you will be going in for a toss. The management of skilled and unskilled worker varies.
Posted by:Saurabh - 27 May, 2010
I agree with you Saurabh. :)
Srujan Babu Replied to: Saurabh - 27 May, 2010
Saurabh ur answer is great man
hari Replied to: Saurabh - 27 May, 2010
Bossing around does not do any yeilding , while teaming make things better and also the delvierable become needy.
I mean Teaming is work with team at criss & WAR room .
DO NOT COMMIT SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU NEED YOUR APPRAISAL. Be a true Leader before you become a manager.

Leader should can live with team and BOSS can only visit on occasion
Srinivasa PC Replied to: Saurabh - 27 May, 2010
If the Boss is fully aware of his work knowledge he can show bossism. Otherwise it will not be successful for a long period. One day he will be thrown out.
sridharan Replied to: Saurabh - 27 May, 2010
BOSS can be at operational/Site, but limited to other organisation
authoritive - can be at Top most level to 3 levels lower,
Referencial BOSS -Can me at Midlevel
beucratic can be at cross sector - between Midlevel and Top level.

But Still its how truthfull you are at your job and duty.No average JOB everyday you do so Line of fire(WAR).Choose the job do not choose salary.its what you have demand for your work.
Srinivasa Pc Replied to: sridharan - 27 May, 2010
Super dooper knowledge is no excuse to be bossy. Just a thought.
Vengu Replied to: sridharan - 27 May, 2010
13: Follow the Performance Improvement Planning through KRA & KPI. Boss may not need bossing system. Several companies in GCC country follow the TEAM concept like KOC, Saudi Aramco, Qatar Petroleum, Petronas in malaysia.
Posted by:Bhavadip N. Vaidya - 27 May, 2010
14: If we start "stop bossing around", the subordinates becomes reluctant and more carelessness about work. The output will be comparatively less if there is no timely followup
Posted by:Naveen Kumar. N - 27 May, 2010
pradip Replied to: Naveen Kumar. N - 27 May, 2010
ha ha... good one Pradip.
Sivabhaskar Replied to: pradip - 27 May, 2010
Everyone now-a-days knows what their responsibilities are and their deliverables. I dont think so that if Bossing around is stopped, there will be any negligence from the employees.
Vijay Raghav Replied to: Naveen Kumar. N - 27 May, 2010
Ek aur "HARI SADU"
pooremp Replied to: Vijay Raghav - 27 May, 2010
They were talking about being a leader and lead by examples and stop being a nag "HARI SADU"
joking Replied to: Naveen Kumar. N - 27 May, 2010
I too agree with this .. Their is a significant difference between enjoying the work and force to do the work ..
Joby Replied to: Naveen Kumar. N - 27 May, 2010
completely agree with yo
Yashoda Replied to: Joby - 27 May, 2010
22: As boss's deliverables are based on his subordinates' work, "stop bossing around" can not happen in 95% of the cases. Instead of working for boss, become your own boss. Ask me how, you can write to me at
Posted by:Rangaswamy - 27 May, 2010
Take the life easy. We should Just do the work or else quit the job and do a work which we are feeling comfortable even if the income is low.
Senthil Replied to: Rangaswamy - 27 May, 2010
He he he, there is a difference between "Bossing Around" and being a leader (or a boss)... inspiring subs, helping & guiding them, making them feel good about themselves and motivating them is not referred as "Bossing Around"
boss Replied to: Rangaswamy - 27 May, 2010
25: Output is better when employee feel like home. Everyone has a selfrespect & personal life and it should be given due respect & space. At the same time employee cannot be neglegent to his deliverables. The moment he feels he cannot justify his job he should quit.
Posted by:Amardeep - 26 May, 2010
Amardeep mere bhai... well said...
bigboss Replied to: Amardeep - 27 May, 2010
27: Dont suffocate the employees, instead give them enough authority to perform their responsibilities well. as they say "authority & responsibility go hand in hand"
Posted by:sapna - 26 May, 2010
28: seem to be a good boss or the boss in the making... keep it up dream
urboss Replied to: sapna - 27 May, 2010
Very true that authority & responsibility go hand in hand
vishal Replied to: sapna - 27 May, 2010
absolutely true.
diwakar Replied to: sapna - 26 May, 2010
well said Sapna..there should be a breathing space to the people working with you, empower them to take right decision and make them responsible for those decisions. Freedom to work always enhance producivity of yr team members..
NKS Replied to: diwakar - 26 May, 2010
32: To come up with key productivity, every employee needs to have enough freedom. No doubts, bosses have to control their employees, but they should maintain a good relationship with them.
Posted by:Akash - 26 May, 2010
Yes, you are right but wat about negative people who spread negativitity around neither they perform their duties properly and allow others do their work properly.
Shreyas Replied to: Akash - 26 May, 2010
I have come across 99% insecure, bossy managers and only 1% such people that you mentioned (who are not performing but are spreading negativity).
Kaushik Replied to: Shreyas - 27 May, 2010
I think right people should not follow the negative peoples.
They are already aware about what to follow.
vishal Replied to: Shreyas - 27 May, 2010
Well, if that's the case, The company should simply fire them.

Often, companies go for cheap labor which is not in their best long term interest. While hiring, make sure you get quality people, which ,of course, come at a better price :)
Abdul Aziz Replied to: Shreyas - 26 May, 2010
Abdul mere bhai...well said... ye companies pehle to ghanchakkar logo ko recruit karti he... fir unke control karne k liye "hari sadu" manager/boss rakhti he... ese me sala hum jese "top performers" do taraf se jate he.. ek to us thakele resource ko sikhao, dusra sadele boss ko jhelo... uspe se apni performance ko b maintain rakho... bada kaam he... chalo need to get back to work
Abdul Kareem Replied to: Abdul Aziz - 27 May, 2010
BOSS do BOSSING when they are at high risky nature , and it happens only when they don't know whats really happening or progressing.

A BOSS should know what happens , if he good estimator of work item and Analysis of Risks and issues assocoiated, clean hands on project funding & Goals, He will not me HARI SADU.He would be abdul Kalam.

BOSS should be good to say NO , than YES BOSS.
srinivasa PC Replied to: Abdul Kareem - 27 May, 2010
Do not consider meaning of freedom in office means can do anything.
Bossing with freedom to the staff is really a friendly stuff,
BOSS & Employee should understood the meaning of freedom,
Freedom is a word which means that
"to work joyfully/happily", "to be flexible to deliver the stuff right time with the right approach", "Apart from JOB keeping friendly atmoshpere with other colleagues to get the work done properly with the help of other colleagues",
"Freedom should be equal to Team work","Taking care of health issues","Involvement in Sports activity","Additional Skills realted Activities","Motivating Seminars","Educational Program",Knowledge Xfer","R and D stuff environment to face new challanges" etc.
It does mean Official Freedom improve personal & official growth both.
As I am doing it & successfully bossing my staff.
Moving with them for parties, Entertainment Program, merging with them in Common Celebrations, and in official enjoying office freedom with work.
Hemraj Thakre Replied to: srinivasa PC - 27 May, 2010
Very true sir,working under such an environment leads to a good understanding between the team and the leader which further leads to good productivity.
Even if partying and other stuffs are kept apart, you still need to keep motivating your team to do well.
Your comments appreciated
Daansh Replied to: Hemraj Thakre - 27 May, 2010
This is a good theory for practical use.
Pallav Kamal Sarma Replied to: Daansh - 29 May, 2010