MANAGERS with mood swings result in more tension in the office than those who are nasty all the time, a new study has found.
The study by the University of Exeter in the UK found not being able to predict how a boss would act had a detrimental effect on the productivity of workers.
Researchers carried out four surveys in three companies, two in the UK and one in India, involving 320 members of staff.
They found a poor but consistent relationship with managers was better for workers than one influenced by mood swings.
The impact was worse when colleagues did not have a supportive relationship with co-workers.
In the study, researchers measured how ambivalent staff felt about their manager – the extent to which they had both positive and negative views about them.
Allan Lee, of the university’s Business School, said: “Bosses reward and punish their workers, and this has an impact on self-esteem.”
“If their staff have to adopt different roles at different times because they have a manager who can be both nasty and nice they view him or her in an ambivalent way.
“This makes it hard to trust them. This creates negative emotions and makes staff feel anxious, causing poor performance at work.”
The study, published in the Journal of Management, also found that employees could compensate for an ambivalent relationship with their boss if they had a good relationship with other colleagues.