Nice Guys Finish Last? Yep. And Rude People Earn More

Linda Dulye's picture

We've highlighted how toxic coworkers can drag team members down, but did you know that the more disagreeable ones likely make more money – especially if they're men?

Research presented last month at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management in San Antonio put the spotlight on how agreeable people are at the office. The study's authors, Beth A. Livingston of Cornell University, Timothy A. Judge of the University of Notre Dame, and Charlice Hurst of the University of Western Ontario found:

"[M]en who are one standard deviation [roughly 20 percentage points] below the mean on agreeableness earn an average of 18.31% ($9,772) more than men one standard deviation above the mean on agreeableness. Meanwhile, the 'disagreeableness premium' for women was only 5.47% ($1,828). Thus, the income premium for disagreeableness is more than three times stronger for men than for women."

Hard to believe? The professors thought so too.

"Given the increasing reliance of organizations on teams, " they write, "it would seem that people high in agreeableness would have at least a slight economic advantage over those low in agreeableness."

Based on your experience, do the findings surprise you? Check out the report for yourself and let us know what you think.


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