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Women Less Trusting at Work

A new study has a surprise finding on how women and men differ on the worksite. According to researchers from the University of Bath, women are less likely to believe clients and other people they deal with in other companies are acting honestly with them.

Dr. Simon Pervan interviewed 400 senior marketing managers about their relationships with people from other companies in the advertising and marketing sector.

He found that only 48 per cent of women agreed with the statement: “We are honest with each other about the problems that arise,” whereas 67 per cent of men agreed with this.

meeting_peopleOnly 45 per cent of women agreed with the statements that, in their relationship, “parties were willing to exchange fairly, communicate problems and make up for harm done,” compared with 55 per cent of men, an indicator of how reciprocal they felt their relationships were.

“These findings show that women are less likely to feel that the relationship they have with people from other companies is honest or reciprocal,” said Dr Pervan, who is based at the University’s School of Management Marketing Group.

“It could be that women, being more empathic, are better able to see that the relationships at work are not honest or reciprocal, whereas men wrongly assume they are.

“A cynical interpretation of the results is that men are more likely to blissfully continue in what they perceive, wrongly or rightly, as a good business relationship.”

In a separate but related study, Dr Pervan found that men were twice as likely to have low levels of empathy – 88 per cent – compared to 44 per cent of women. This means that where women do encounter reciprocity from others, they are better able to use it to form a positive relationship because they are more empathic.

Dr Pervan found that those employees who scored highly for reciprocal behaviour had higher self-esteem and morale, and urged companies to find ways to develop this behaviour in staff.

“This study suggests that promoting reciprocal behaviour within an organisation may improve employees’ self-esteem, sense of life balance and expectation, while also providing long-term benefits to the firm through strengthened commercial relationships, improved morale and retention,” he said.

The study also found that 81 per cent of those who thought they had high levels of reciprocity in their business relationships also reported high levels of self-esteem.

Source: University of Bath

Women Less Trusting at Work

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Women Less Trusting at Work. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/10/25/women-less-trusting-at-work/356.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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