The case for staying away from your boss

11.25.2015 Article, Careers, Center for Leadership and Character, Faculty News, General, Leadership
Photo of people in the article

Sean Hannah, J. Tylee Wilson Chair in business ethics, professor of management and executive director of the Center for Leadership and Character, was featured in a Fast Company article about how spatial distance can play a critical role in office ethics.

To sum up their findings: physical distance directly affects how psychologically close people feel to their boss, and this helps determine whether or not they’ll imitate their boss’s unethical behavior. Sean Hannah, a professor of management at Wake Forest University’s School of Business (who wasn’t involved in the study), says this is a new way of thinking about the relationship between employees and their bosses. “A lot of that literature talks about frustration and aggression: ‘my boss treats me unfairly so therefore I’ll lash out at others to get my aggression out, and I abuse my followers because I can’t push back at my leader,’” he says. “This study charts a new way of looking at this line of research with a more identity-based approach.”

To read the full article, visit Fast Company.