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Study: Humility goes further than hardnosing in the professional world

PHOENIX — Forget about being a hardnose at work — it’s better for business if you show a little humility, according to a new study from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

“Humble CEOs are more open to making joint decisions and empowering others,” says Prof. Angelo Kinicki of the Carey School, one of the study’s authors. “Their behavior positively affects both top and middle managers, who then exhibit higher commitment, work engagement, job satisfaction and job performance. We see a trickle-down effect that seems to influence the company overall.”

CEOs of private companies in China were interviewed for the study and researchers also created and administered surveys measuring humility and its effects to about 1,000 top- and middle-level managers who work with those CEOs.

The new research was published in the Administrative Science Quarterly.