Being politically correct at work can lead to negative behavior, professors find

A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found 'workplace political correctness' can lead to negative behavior both in the workplace and at home.

'[W]hile we agree…that political correctness is potentially beneficial in the workplace, its enactment seems to be depleting for the actor,' the authors write.

Being woke does not pay off, scholars have realized. 

On May 23, business professors published a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology that found “workplace political correctness” can lead to negative behavior both in the workplace and at home.

The study was led by Joel Koopman, Associate Professor at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M, and Klodiana Lanaj, Associate Professor of Management at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business. 

“[W]hile we agree…that political correctness is potentially beneficial in the workplace, its enactment seems to be depleting for the actor,” the authors write.

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They found that political correctness “can impact employees both at home” in terms of “more angry and withdrawn marital behavior” and “reduced psychological attachment,” as well as in the workplace, incentivizing “more deviant…and unhelpful behavior” as well as “reduced helping and engagement.” 

“[A]lthough political correctness may manifest out of a concern for others at work,” Koopman et. al. emphasize, “its enactment is also resource intensive—potentially acting as a double-edged sword for employees.”

Texas A&M student Andrew Leston spoke with Campus Reform about his reaction to the study’s findings.

“As mentioned in the article, I believe political correctness is a double edged sword,” Leston told Campus Reform

As a Christian, Leston explained that “we are all called to love our neighbors.”

“On the other hand, we have to live grounded in reality. It is not possible to make everyone happy and comfortable all the time, nor should that be our end goal,” he said.

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Leston also told Campus Reform that he thinks colleges play a part in indoctrinating students with political correctness (PC). 

“I do believe students are, if not taught, then indoctrinated with PC. I have seen many [students] come into school with no PC filter, and after a short time, they have fully bought into the culture,” Leston shared. 

Campus Reform reached out to Texas A&M University and the University of Florida, as well as to authors Dr. Lanaj and Dr. Koopman themselves. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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