Mendoza School of Business

Want to Get Paid More? Be Disagreeable.

Published: September 12, 2011 / Author: Michael O'Brien

The following is an excerpt from an article in Human Resource Executive that discusses the research by Management Professor Tim Judge on how agreeable workers earn significantly lower incomes than less agreeable ones. To read the entire article visit:  Want to Get Paid More? Be Disagreeable.

Research confirms what baseball legend Leo Durocher once said: Nice guys (and gals) finish last — at least when it comes to compensation. Can HR find a balance between being aggressive and being agreeable at work?

“Niceness — in the form of the trait of agreeableness — does not appear to pay.”

So say the researchers behind a new report, “Do Nice Guys — and Gals — Really Finish Last?” which looks at the way the trait of being agreeable affects compensation in the workplace. The results are based on 20 years of data from three different surveys, involving 10,000 workers in various industries and pay grades, as well as an experiment involving more than 400 respondents.

The report will appear in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Personality and Psychology.

The researchers found that men who gave themselves a below-average agreeableness score earned approximately 18 percent, or $9,772, more annually, than their nicer male colleagues.


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