The Money Myth – Why More Money Doesn’t Create Togetherness, Teamwork or Cooperation

The Money Myth – Why more money doesn’t create togetherness, teamwork or cooperation

Does anyone still believe that paying more money is a healthy way to create mass motivation, teamwork and cooperation? Yes, I know the old school, Jurassic leaders are still clinging onto this misnomer, even after watching the Daniel Pink video and all the studies behind that.


How excess wealth harms teamwork, togetherness and cooperation

So here’s an interesting question. What happens to human beings (emotionally and psychologically) when they have excess wealth, feel privileged or are in an advantageous position?

Behaviourally; connection, cooperation and equilibrium with others, takes a back seat.

Emotionally; empathy, compassion and gratitude take a nose dive.

The upcoming video from research conducted at Berkley University, California shows us how (in just 8.56 minutes of your time).

Before you watch, consider the headlines, as they might just stir your curiosity, particularly for people at the top levels of remuneration;

• Are prone to be four times more dishonest in efforts to win/get their way (than their lower paid counterparts) • Are more likely to lie within negotiations • Endorse unethical behaviour, including stealing at work • Adopt greater distortions of entitlement

Statistically speaking there’s a significant tendency for us to look after number one when we are at the top or on our way to the top.

Are we really surprised by these findings?

This may not come as too much of a surprise when you consider some of the recent expenses and financial scandals in different UK hierarchies.

From other psychological perspectives this is also no surprise to professionals such UK Professor Paul Gilbert, who says, “There are a number of possible explanations. First, those who get into positions of becoming wealthier are by nature more narcissistic – that’s how they are successful in this individualistic competitive society.

Second, they are more focused on social comparison and competitive dynamics.

Third, they have more to lose through cooperation because when it comes to sharing they can lose more than other people who have less. So it’s not necessarily in their interests to be altruistic – so cooperation is probably more helpful in situations of mutual need. Wealth focuses on the fear of losing.

There can also be a kind of contempt for people down rank – the way in which a dominant individual sees lower rank individuals is really important and there is research showing that dominance actually increases a tendency to dismiss the needs and feelings of subordinates”. This last insight has a huge consequence for leaders and the performance of their teams.

What’s even more interesting in the video research is this can and does affect everyone – including those who might not have been used to high rewards and remuneration before.

Fascinating stuff when you consider the best ways to create high achieving results, teamwork and ethical behaviour all at the same time!

So sit back, click and enjoy this worthwhile video!

Glenn Bracey

Glenn Bracey

Glenn is the co-founder and inspirational learning and performance director of Future Vision. He is a trainer, coach, conference speaker and passionate advocate of developing learning that makes a tangible difference to your business, its people and customers.

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