Your fighting words are doing more than boosting employees—they’re causing them to be unethical, too.
A Brigham Young University (BYU) business study found that bosses who motivate with violent words or phrases end up influencing their employees to play dirty.
“Business executives use violent language all the time,” said David Wood, BYU professor of accounting and one of two BYU authors on the paper. “They say, ‘We’re going to kill the competition,’ or ‘We’re going to war.’ This study shows they should think twice about what they’re saying.”
In a twist, though, the study also found that when an employee’s own manager used violent rhetoric, the employee was less likely to make unethical choices.
Wood and his colleague conducted two experiments with 269 participants. For the first experiment, half the participants were showed this message:
To this end, I am declaring war on the competition in an effort to increase our market share. I want you to fight for every customer and do whatever it takes to win this battle. To motivate you to fight for this cause, I will be rewarding the top ten sales associates, and a guest, an all-expense paid vacation to Hawaii.
The other half of the participants were shown the same message but with “war,” “fight,” and “battle” replaced by “all-out-effort,” “compete,” and “competition.”
The researchers then asked the participants how likely they were to engage in unethical behavior—specifically, posting fake, negative reviews online about a competitor’s product. They discovered that when the violent rhetoric was from a competing CEO, employees were more likely to post the fake, negative reviews.
“What’s disconcerting is that people don’t think they’re being unethical in these situations,” Wood said. “You can’t just say, ‘OK people, you need to be better now, don’t be bad,’ because they don’t think they’re being bad.”
A second experiment involving email and bending internal sales policies came to the same conclusion as the first experiment.
“There has been a lot of research on the effects of violence and violent media on aggressive behavior,” said Josh Gubler, a BYU political science professor. “This research shows it goes further: It affects your willingness to lie and to cheat and to bend moral rules. There are serious implications for CEOs.”
(Image: BYU/Mark A. Philbrick)
The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Commercial Facilities Sector-Specific Agency, and the U.S. Sports Leagues Subsector Council have agreed to collaborate in order to help keep venues safe and up-to-date with the latest safety and security education and best practices. This valuable collaboration will result in shared expertise, content review, and aligned standards.
“As the co-chair of the subsector council, I am appreciative of the support and input we expect to receive out of this collaboration, and I’m excited by the opportunity to work more closely with IAVM,” said Michael Rodriguez, director of security for the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. “We initially approached them because we feel they represent the entire venue management industry both here in the U.S. and worldwide, and because of their work to ensure the safety of every guest at events.”
Jeff Miller—also co-chair of the Sports Leagues Subsector Council, chief security officer, and vice president, NFL—added, “We have a long-standing partnership with DHS that will only be enhanced by aligning with the IAVM. Our collective goal is to continue to collaborate in ways that will help us to better secure our venues and protect our fans.”
Venues that play host to sporting events and professional teams are working more closely together than ever before, and this collaboration will get all stakeholders sitting at the same table and on the same page. Sharing information and best habits is crucial to the safety and security of guests visiting venues for sporting events, and this partnership will ensure IAVM members that this topic is at the forefront of IAVM’s continual support and education of venue managers worldwide.
“The Department of Homeland Security is committed to continuing to working with sports venues, teams, and leagues to help keep the millions of Americans who attend sporting events each year safe,” said Caitlin Durkovich, DHS assistant secretary for infrastructure protection. “This is a shared responsibility and requires strong partnership with government and the private sector. We look forward working with the IAVM to strengthen these partnerships in the coming year.”
One specific benefit of the closer engagement includes training venue managers at the annual IAVM Academy for Venue Safety and Security (AVSS).
“As part of an ongoing initiative to broaden IAVM’s collaboration with key industry organizations, on behalf of the Academy for Venue Safety and Security and the AVSS faculty we see the continued engagement by IAVM through the DHS Commercial Facilities Sector-Specific Agency, the Public Assembly Subsector Council, and the Sports Leagues Subsector Council as a positive step for cooperation on projects that benefit our industry,” said Frank Poe, executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center and AVSS Dean.
“We are excited to be working more closely with the DHS and the Sports League Subsector Council,” said IAVM President and CEO Vicki Hawarden, CMP. “This collaboration can only strengthen the quality and relevance of our safety and security education, and I believe our members will be a useful resource for the council as it goes about its mission of keeping sporting events safe for all guests.”
Those seeking to feel more powerful should turn up the bass.
“When watching major sports events, my coauthors and I frequently noticed athletes with their earphones on while entering the stadium and in the locker room,” said Dennis Hsu of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. “The ways these athletes immerse themselves in the music—some with their eyes steely shut and some gently nodded along the beats—seem as if the music is mentally preparing and toughening them up for the competition about to occur.”
Hsu and his colleagues conducted several experiences to determine how music—and what kind of music—influences cognition and behavior.
“Experiment 1 found that music pretested to be powerful implicitly activated the construct of power in listeners,” the authors wrote in the study‘s abstract. “Experiments 2–4 demonstrated that power-inducing music produced three known important downstream consequences of power: abstract thinking, illusory control, and moving first. Experiments 5a and 5b held all features of music constant except for the level of bass and found that music with more bass increased participants’ sense of power.”
The songs found to be powerful in the pre-test were Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready for This,” and 50 Cent’s “In Da Club.” Low-power songs were Fatboy Slim’s “Because We Can,” Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out,” and “Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa.”
“Not only did we confirm that certain music makes people feel more powerful than other music, we established the capability of music to activate the concept of power implicitly and promote power-related cognition and behavior,” the authors wrote. “Although the current research established a causal link between music- and power-related cognition and behavior, several questions still remain and require further research in the future.
“The English novelist George Eliot claimed that music infused strength into her limbs and ideas into her brain,” the authors concluded. “The effect of music appears to manifest itself not only in its ability to entertain but also in the ability to imbue humans with a real sense of power, both in their limbs and in their minds.”
And to get you pumped up, here’s Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
There was a lot of news this past week. Here are some stories that caught our eyes.
Why the Summer Music Festival Bubble is About to Burst
“Let me see here. For just North America, we have a list of 847 different festivals.”
5 Simple Office Policies That Make Danish Workers Way More Happy Than Americans
“Americans think it’s normal to hate their jobs. Let us introduce you to the Danish concept of arbejdsglæde. It means happiness at work. Here’s how Danish offices make sure it’s happening.”
The Story of Live Nation Labs: How the Event Giant Got Its Very Own Startup to Prep for Music’s Future
“Live Nation bought BigChampange for its media consumption data smarts, which allowed the company to get new insights into where people like what kind of music, and which concerts they’d be wanting to go to.”
A Case Against Name Tags
“Name tags are the perfect symbol of what’s wrong with ‘networking’ events—those people who work the room, scanning people’s badges for a company they want to work for, or sell to, or both.”
Could Red Bull Become the New ESPN?
“Red Bull owns the conversation about action sports, and that conversation is now happening on both mobile and on TV screens, with Red Bull TV’s Chromecast integration, the RedBull.com app’s Apple AirPlay integration, and a Red Bull channel available on Apple TV.”
The recent Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress featured a session about contract issues, and Sue Pelletier at MeetingsNet offers a great recap. In the article are some related story links, and one of them is “11 Lessons on Negotiating with Convention Centers” that MeetingsNet published last year. It’s a good inside take on how planners view working with convention centers, and No. 8 (Exclusivity: Never Assume) on the list mentions IAVM.
“Two years ago, the International Association of Venue Mangers Inc. released its ‘Exclusive Services Convention Centers/Exhibit Halls White Paper,'” Dave Kovaleski wrote. “While the organization that represents the country’s major centers underscored that ‘exclusive service and third-party vendor contracts are the decision of each facility manager based on the operating needs and political mandates,’ it also called for those facilities that do have exclusives to freely disclose them early in discussions with clients.”
Because of the first, recap article, people are seeing the second article and wanting to read the white paper. Now you can do that. Just click here to read or download it.
(Image: Orange Photography)