What makes a person famous at work? Fame or popularity at work is much desired. To understand the phenomena, it is important to understand about fame. A research concluded that a person who is well known and liked is considered as popular (Scott, 2007). In other words a popular person is one who is likeable and socially visible. Babel (2001) further established the factors like social visibility and likable are most important for popularity. An individual who is sought after and liked is considered popular. What constitutes as popularity? According to Kerlinger & Lee (2000) three forces which make up popularity. Attraction, that includes the force which brings together the individuals. Repulsion diverts and drives apart individuals. Indifference, that causes uncertainty in the mind on an individual. So these three factors can make or break an employee’s image at work. Popularity is often considered an individual matter; however this is not entirely true. Popularity is also a group oriented phenomena (Rubin, Bukowski, and Parker, 2006). This means that it is an individual’s quality to be popular, but he or she has to be in some sort of group to be popular or to gain fame. So understanding popularity can be measured individually and also in group. According to one research, popularity has two dimensions i.e. acceptance or rejection (Bukowski, Hoza, and Michel Boivin 1993). Another research concludes that Popularity’s label is given to a specific employee by his co workers based on their perception which they develop after working with that particular worker for some time period. Popularity and fame are difficult phenomenon to understand and comprehend. It is difficult to judge about an individual’s fame and popularity. There are no set rules present to measure these two states.
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Productivity and Popularity
A research concludes that some employees are more popular than others, so often they are treated in a different way than others (Scott, 2007). This research has examined popularity in context of organizational behavior. The next question is what makes a person popular or famous at work. The popularity of person is depends on their ability to perform on the job (Zelst, 2001). This research requested the co workers to nominate a person to work with. This researcher found that people who have better working skills are popular among the workforce. The results of the research showed that people who are satisfied with their job are found to be more popular and co workers are willing to work with them. This research was conducted on construction workers. The key conclusion of this research is that popularity at work can be achieved if an employee has good working skills and is satisfied at the job. Popularity can lead to celebrity status. Research shows that popularity and fame is something most people enjoy and crave for (Hogan, 2003). This research states about the lure of fame develops from childhood and sustains through Adulthood.
Another research found similar results. It concluded that employees with greater productivity are generally more popular among co workers (Porter, and Ghiselli 2000). This research asked the respondents to choose five co worker, with whom they would have had liked to work in a group. All the groups were given some task. The result of this research showed that the groups having popular members showed more productivity. Hence, it can be concluded that popular members are those who are good and quick at what they do. Working speed is also an important aspect as far as co workers are concerned. Nobody wants to work for long hours. Long working hours cause fatigue and stress to all the people involved (Park, Kim, Chung, and Hisanaga, 2001). To avoid working long hour, employee’s swiftness of work is imperative. Hence, working speed of a person is important for their fellow workers.
Popularity also depends on factor which can be personal or situational (Fleeson, 2004). Flesson’s research states that people tend to judge others based on behavior of a person during specific events. They create a perception according to the behavior of a person. It shows that behavioral aspects play a key role in making a person popular and gaining celebrity status.
Lodahl and Porter (2001) conducted a research on airline workers. The research was based on the popularity of the team leaders. 55 groups were included in this research. The results showed that the groups which had popular leaders produced better results. These findings can be looked at in two ways. It can be said that the leaders are popular as they are good at what they do. Besides on the flip side it can be stated that popular leaders are able to motivate and make their sub ordinates perform better. According to one research, popularity is dependent on various factors. The research aimed to find out what makes a child popular at school. Early Family environment plays a role in developing a child’s behavior. That behavior plays a role in the popularity of the child at school (Conti, Galeotti, Mueller, and Pudney, 2009). Another research intended to find out the reasons of people communicating with each other in office. It said that people who communicate in turn influence the behavior of each other (Anderson and Martin 1995).
Popularity at work and Job satisfaction
Office popularity plays a role in job satisfaction. Zelst (2001) found that employees, who feel that they are high on interpersonal popularity, are able to perform better on job. This research also gave reasons of the claim. A person who is popular is likely to feel greater job satisfaction. Besides he or she considers the working environment to be worker friendly. Another positive and important factor for a popular employee is that the relationship with co workers is extremely pleasant. This includes the relationship with upper management. In essence it means that the communication channels with top management are open for that employee. The last finding of this research was that a popular employee feels that the company thinks for welfare of employees. So, clearly a popular employee benefits the company as he or she is more likely to stay loyal. A research states that an employee with a positive outlook is more likely to be popular among his co worker than an employee who has a negative outlook towards life. A positive employee is more likely to mingle around with his fellow staff and gain fame.
Adverse effect of Popularity
However, being popular has some drawbacks as well. One research finds show that people who are popular are more likely to face bullying at work. The reason stated is that as everybody likes them, so some people find a reason to hate or be jealous of them. This makes popular people vulnerable to bullying (Tariq, and Ali, 2011). This research shows that Fame and popularity can be a double edged sword sometimes.
Appearance and Popularity
A research concluded that good looks are a major advantage for people. People tend to make a positive impression and perception for co workers who are well maintained (Langlois, Kalakanis, Rubenstein, Larson, Hallam, and Smoot, 2000). The research concluded that such people are more likely to get positive response from their co workers. Being physically attractive would include dressing well. This was a general research. Other researches have questioned the relationship between popularity at work place and being attractive. Some early researches had shown that once a person is well aware of the mental abilities of somebody, physical attractiveness become secondary (Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani, and Longo, 2001). However, later researches such as Hosoda, Romero, and Coats, (2003) have proved that the phenomena of physical attraction hold its affect irrespective of the abilities of a person. Celebrities have to do a lot of stuff to be able to maintain their image, especially in their dressing. So to become an office celebrity, an employee should focus on dressing as well.
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Another research proved that perception is influenced by wearing good cloths. A research was conducted which measured the 10 qualities. This research was conducted on teachers. The test scaled the teachers on awareness, professionalism, integrity, dependability, intellect, trustworthiness, efficiency and hard work. These teachers were graded then by their principal on the above mentioned attributes. The results showed that those teachers who did professional dressing at work got the most positive results. The principal considered them as dependable, reliable and with high self esteem (Kenner, Underwood, McClune, and Stephen, 2001). This shows that dressing plays a significant role in developing a positive perception among co workers and top level management. So to become a celebrity at work, dressing sense is imperative. This point is important as the new generation doesn’t consider professional clothing as important. The new generation has been brought up wearing t-shirts, and jeans (Dickerson, 2003). So, their reluctance is understandable. However many professionals still consider it unacceptable. A research concludes that many companies are worried about this trend in their employees. Often managers feel upset about their employee’s dressing and take it as a lack of respect towards the job (Oleck 2001). So, to gain popularity and acceptance of the top level management it is important to dress carefully. Some researchers have pointed to that fact causal dressing in offices has been slowly promoted by some market players (Lilly, 2003). However, on the flip side the perception among the decision makers hasn’t changed much, as many researches show that top level management still believes in the value of formal dressing.
Humor is another important aspect. People who use humor are more likeable and hence they gain popularity among the staff. Such people are able to get positive attention towards them (Scott, 2007). Another research found similar results. It found that supervisors who have a good sense of humor are preferred. The supervisors who use humor to deflate awkward situation are thought of as more worker friendly (Cooper, 2002). In another research, the same researcher explained more deeply about humor at work. Cooper explains that the humor should be non hurtful and the receiver should not feel hurt by the remark. Humor can have an adverse effect on staff, if it is not well placed (Cooper, 2002). So, the celebrity status can take a dent if an employee is making jokes at the expense of others. Everything has to be used in proper manner. Humor can only be done when the person is feeling happy about his job. In this positive attitude plays a role
Some researchers believe that popularity is linked to their personal nature of a human being. An extravert is more likely to gain popularity. This is because they enjoy the attention. Rewards of being popular are not in their minds. They are just being themselves (Ashton, Lee, and Paunonen, 2002). People who tend to be helpful and not argue much have a greater chance to be popular at work. Such people are considered as understanding, warm and kind. Obviously with such perception they are highly likely to be more popular than others (Scott, 2007). As stated in the research co worker support is considered a factor which helps an employee in gaining popularity. Co worker support is considered as a critical and urgent help one can give to his fellow worker at the hour of need. Often that can make a big difference in image building, hence increasing the popularity. This is a factor which cannot be neglected. Another research state, that people who are high on self esteem are generally more popular at work place. Self esteem typically includes how one judges himself (Daniels & Leaper, 2006). So one has to work on his or her, own self esteem to become a celebrity at work. Popularity and fame has a lot to do with confidence in other words.
Ethical behaviour and popularity
Ethics also play a role in popularity of a person. A person’s reputation as being a fair individual can be considered as a big positive point (Jones & Skarlicki, 2005). Providing equal and justified treatment to all subordinates is also considered ethical. Scholars consider that there are 4 dimensions to justice. All of these factors are related to employee popularity (Colquitt, 2001). So, if an employee is favorable to few or unethical, it is highly unlikely that employee would get fame in the office. Another interesting aspect is learning about measuring popularity. Some scholars explain that that popularity can be measured by a rating system (Bukowski, Hoza, Boivin, 1993). This research also puts friendship and popularity in different spectrums. Hence, friendship and popularity cannot be measured by the same template.
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