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Money: The surprising way that working alongside the company superstar can hurt your career

01 Apr 2019
When people rely on the star, they have no motivation to explore new ideas.

Originally found at Money by Alina Dizik

Not only is that know-it-all on your team extra annoying, but that same coworker can also be bad for your own career.

Workplace superstars – the ones getting credit for great ideas and constantly called out for praise by managers – can negatively impact their peers’ performance, according to research published in the Academy of Management Journal earlier this year.

The professors analyzed research and development teams as well as sales teams to better understand how sought-out workplace stars impacted team performance. In instances where the star played a prominent role, others on the team were less likely to give significant input.

“When people rely on the star, they have no motivation to explore new ideas,” says Ning Li, associate professor of entrepreneurship and management at the University of Iowa and one of four researchers studying stars in the workplace. “You don’t want a star that completely dominates the conversation.”

The researchers defined workplace superstars by tracking their contributions to team creativity, which leads to innovation and turns into “a key source of organizational competitiveness,” Li adds. The researchers surveyed 676 employees from 84 R&D teams, along with 457 employees from 54 sales teams across dozens of cities in China. In each instance, they identified the workplace star and measured the team’s workflow, coordination, learning activities, creativity and the star’s role within the team.

Continue reading original article at Money.


Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal

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