Mendoza School of Business

Looks And Personality Affect How Your Colleagues Treat You

Published: August 2, 2013 / Author: Brett Smith

The following is an excerpt from an article in Red Orbit that quotes Management Professor Tim Judge on his research that links attractiveness to cruelty in the workplace. To read the entire article visit: Looks And Personality Affect How Your Colleagues Treat You

Responsible parents may teach their kids “don’t judge a book by its cover” or “real beauty is on the inside,” but those same parents may not be following their own advice when it comes to relationships in the workplace.

According to a new study in the journal Human Performance, less attractive and less agreeable people tend to be the target of counterproductive work behavior (CWB), or “behavior intended to hurt the organization or other members of the organization.”

In the study, which included over 110 employees at an unnamed healthcare facility in the southeastern US, two researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Notre Dame tried to see whether an employee’s personality and appearance had an effect on co-workers sending negative emotions their way.


“We’re more influenced by attractiveness than we are willing to admit,” study co-author Timothy Judge, a management professor at Notre Dame, told the Wall Street Journal. “We act on those perceptions in ways that are hurtful.”


Topics: Mendoza