Re-assessing moody, lazy, late and aggressive employees

Some research quoted in the following newspaper article - Arrogant, lazy and always late...the worker who's just the job (Eben Harrell, The Scotsman) - suggests:

"A cheerful, punctual and intelligent worker may be the ideal employee, but several studies suggest there should be room in the workplace for those with less obviously positive qualities, such as moodiness, laziness, lateness and aggression."

For a person who is in the process of researching workplace misbehaviour, from a realistic perspective, this is just the sort of research I like to hear about. And what I mean by misbehaviour are relatively minor acts of mischief largely ignored by the vast majority of organizational researchers.

Back to the article itself. A very quick summary of the article suggests:

1) a variety of personality traits are required in a post-Fordist working environment

2) office gossip is good because it can relieve workplace stress

3) employees with mood swings may be "using them to act as a switch between active and subconscious thought, helping to trigger new ideas"

4) lazy people are really creative and those who work non-stop are less creative

5) "highly emotional employees, while seeming too fragile to take on stressful tasks, are more likely to remember complex reports"

6) arrogance is linked to better decision-making ability

7) "personality traits associated with psychopaths can be useful at work as these include charm, impulsiveness and ruthless action"

8) deception is can be good - i.e. human society would collapse without lies: "men lie to promote themselves; women lie to make others feel better".

There's an expected conclusion - i.e. not making claims that bad behaviour is the new good behaviour - but it does suggest that achieving conformance in the workplace will only get a business so far.

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