Research Spotlight

In conscientiousness we trust

Two papers co-authored by Professor Amit Nandkeolyar of the ISB provide new and interesting insights on organisational and employee dynamics.

In a forthcoming paper titled, “Surviving an abusive supervisor: An examination of the roles of conscientiousness and coping strategies” (forthcoming: Journal of Applied Psychology) Professor Amit Nandkeolyar along with JA Shaffer, A Li, ES Srinivas and J Bagger indicate that the relationship between abusive supervision and job performance was weaker when employees were more conscientious.

The study reveals that the use of an avoidance coping strategy to withdraw from adversity altogether facilitated a negative relationship between abusive supervision and employee performance. To reduce the negative impact of abusive supervision, the authors prescribe hiring of conscientious individuals, creation of mechanisms that discourage employees from adopting avoidance behaviors including increased social support and institutionalising the role of an ‘ethics officer’.

The second paper written with BC Gunia and JM Brett, “Trust me, I’m a negotiator: Diagnosing trust to negotiate effectively, globally” (forthcoming: Organizational Dynamics), explores the underlying theme of why negotiators who fail to trust, fail to achieve their goals.

Drawing from 15 years of cross-cultural negotiation research, the paper highlights the centrality of trust to negotiation, noting its influence on behaviors and ultimately on outcomes. Using the backdrop of the failed negotiation of the Tata Motors “Nano” plant in West Bengal and its subsequent successful relocation to Gujarat, the authors sensitize global negotiators to the importance and implications of trust.