Economists: Getting Back at Your Boss Sometimes Pays Off

More

"Retaliation may expose managerial misbehavior and could improve organizational effectiveness in the long term."

That's the bottom line according to Berkley economists who studied the implications of worker retribution against bosses who are seen as manipulative or oblivious. The authors found that "passive" retaliation, such as leaving a task uncompleted, was actually more effective than active retaliation, such as lashing out against your superior in public. Passive aggressives of the world: The research agrees with you!

Here's Berkley labor relations expert David I. Levine:

"Don't surprise people," says Levine, "When something is about to go wrong or goes wrong, tell your employees why. Managers face high risks of both active retaliation and passive withdrawal of effort if employees are harmed by what they view as a conscious management choice. To the extent that employees are harmed, managers should be sure employees see them sharing the pain, not profiting from employees' losses."

Read the full story at the Haas School Newsroom at UC-Berkley.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In