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Fear of social rejection leads to improved work performance

Office_140pPeople who fear being disliked are more inclined to improve their work performance because they seek feedback from their colleagues, according to a recent study by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

The study of 179 employees working in teams found those vulnerable to social rejection tend to try harder to gain acceptance from their peers.

LSE researcher Dr Chia-Huei Wu said this behaviour was more common with people who work in multiple temporary teams because they frequently change colleagues.

“Higher attachment anxiety in social relationships actually contributes to higher work performance because seeking feedback from colleagues can help alleviate the fear of not being liked,” Dr Wu said.

The study was conducted in a Dutch research and consultancy organisation, involving researchers from LSE, the University of Western Australia and RSM Erasmus University.

It was published in the journal Human Resources.

For further information please contact Dr Chia-Huei Wu at C.Wu14@lse.ac.uk or Candy Gibson, LSE Press Office, 0207 955 7440 or c.gibson@lse.ac.uk

Notes to editors

1. Wu, Chia-Huei, Parker, Sharon K. and De Jong, Jeroen P. J. (2014) Feedback seeking from peers: a positive strategy for insecurely attached team workers. Human Relations, 67 (4). pp. 441-464. ISSN 0018-7267

2. Dr Chia-Huei Wu is an Assistant Professor of Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research in organisational behaviour focuses on proactive behaviour, self-concept development at work and work design.