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Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

Don't underestimate the employee-supervisor bond

Q: One of the key findings the 2010 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey is that worker satisfaction is more profoundly affected by perceptions of top management than by their immediate supervisor. What lessons can top leaders in the public and private sector glean from this?

No one would question the importance of top management. But a recent study of the financial industry, undertaken by Harvard undergraduate Evelyn Chow, underscores the important role played by immediate supervisors. Respondents were probed about whom they would contact if they were concerned about ethical violations.

The respondents indicated that they were more likely to contact immediate supervisors than to contact human resources, an ethical office or hot-line, or others in the organization. While worker satisfaction may be closely tied to senior management, attention to ethical issues seems to require a trusting relationship between worker and immediate supervisor.

Interested readers are referred to Evelyn Chow's paper on the GoodWork website.

By Howard Gardner

 |  September 1, 2010; 1:32 PM ET
Category:  Accomplishing Goals , Ethics , Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Character really does count | Next: Direct managers are still key to productivity


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The bond within the team is so important. It really helps pull the team tight and work well together.

Posted by: Gina17 | September 10, 2010 11:33 AM
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