Every employer hopes employees to work harder. But for this purpose it seems to be beneficial to let them work on their own control, according to new research.
Professor Alexandra Michel in University of Pennsylvania revealed that investment bankers who had control over their working style tended to overwork indiscriminately. He conducted a cohort study with repeated interviews to tens of bankers for twelve years. As a result, they were found to be involved deeply in their work. They voluntarily overworked mundanely. Even after they leave the work of investment banks, this tendency was maintained.
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Michel published his research on an academic journal. He concludes that thought of participation may disempower participants through indulgence into unintentional overwork.
PARTICIPATION AND SELF-ENTRAPMENT: A 12-Year Ethnography of Wall Street Participation Practices’ Diffusion and Evolving Consequences
One strength of this study is its long term of observation. No similar studies may be performed previously.
However, there are some limitations in this study. Sample size is not clarified to protect personal information of the participants. It is unfortunate that no controls were set. Quantative comparison is needed to verify the findings of this study. It is possible that persons engaged in such jobs exclusively have a characteristic to be enthusiastic in endless work.
I think that it is not appropriate to consider that control on the workstyle is harmful in every employee from this study. It may depends on their ability, personality, and the environment around them whether their performance will be improved, or they would be exhausted.