Erez studies the effects of how positive moods and positive personality influence individuals through processes, motivation and work behaviors. He also investigates how negative work behaviors such as rudeness and disrespect affect individuals’ performance and cognition.
Industry Expertise (2)
Professional Training and Coaching
Areas of Expertise (7)
Negative Work Behaviors
Positive Work Behaviors
Media Appearances (5)
President Trump’s worst behaviors can infect us all just like the flu, according to science
The Washington Post online
Business professors Georgetown University’s Christine Porath and University of Florida’s Amir Erez study incivility’s impact, and have concluded just a mild dose of incivility has an effect. During one experiment, Erez had an actress scold neonatal intensive care (NICU) physicians and nurses before a simulated procedure. Everyone went on the defensive. They wouldn’t offer an opinion or help each other. These teams were 40 percent less effective in diagnosis and treatment.
Fired French waiter isn't the only rude person around. Can meanness kill?
Chicago Tribune online
Firing someone for rudeness might seem a little extreme, though, unless you talk to Amir Erez. A professor of management at the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida, Erez used to think rudeness was small potatoes. In fact, when he started researching the subject, “I didn’t think it would have any effect on people,” he says.
The Costs of Workplace Rudeness
The Wall Street Journal online
Performance in the simulation was scored by judges unaware of these conditions. “The results were scary,” says Dr. Erez. “The teams exposed to rudeness gave the wrong diagnosis, didn’t resuscitate or ventilate appropriately, didn’t communicate well, gave the wrong medications and made other serious mistakes.”
The rudeness epidemic: Is society giving less f***s?
International Business Times online
"They [people subjected to rudeness] perform less well, they have difficulty thinking and making decisions, they are less helpful, and more stressed. Rudeness is disturbing and distracting to most individuals," explains Dr Amir Erez, who was a co-author of the University of Florida study, tells IBTimes UK.
Being rude to your doctors makes them mess up
The effects of rudeness, Erez says, account for more than 40 percent. “[Rudeness] is actually affecting the cognitive system, which directly affects your ability to perform,” Erez says. “That tells us something very interesting. People may think that doctors should just ‘get over’ the insult and continue doing their job. However, the study shows that even if doctors have the best intentions in mind, as they usually do, they cannot get over rudeness because it interferes with their cognitive functioning without an ability to control it.”
Discrete Incivility Events and Team Performance: A Cognitive Perspective on a Pervasive Human Resource (HR) IssueResearch in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Arieh Riskin, Peter Bamberger, Amir Erez, Aya Zeiger
2020 Incivility is widespread in the workplace and has been shown to have significant affective and behavioral consequences. However, the authors still have a limited understanding as to whether, how and when discrete incivility events impact team performance. Adopting a resource depletion perspective and focusing on the cognitive implications of such events, the authors introduce a multi-level model linking the adverse effects of such events on team members’ working memory – the “workbench” of the cognitive system where most planning, analyses, and management of goals occur – to team effectiveness. The model which the authors develop proposes that that uncivil interpersonal behavior in general, and rudeness – a central manifestation of incivility – in particular, may place a significant drain on individuals’ working memory capacity, affecting team effectiveness via its effects on individual performance and coordination-related team emergent states and action-phase processes. In the context of this model, the authors offer an overarching framework for making sense of disparate findings regarding how, why and when incivility affects performance outcomes at multiple levels. More specifically, the authors use this framework to: (a) suggest how individual-level cognitive impairment and weakened coordinative team processes may mediate these incivility-based effects, and (b) explain how event, context, and individual difference factors moderators may attenuate or exacerbate these cognition-mediated effects.
It's lonely at the bottom (too): The effects of experienced powerlessness on social closeness and disengagementPersonnel Psychology
Trevor A Foulk, Irene E De Pater, Michael Schaerer, Christilene du Plessis, Randy Lee, Amir Erez
2020 Although “powerlessness” is a pervasive experience for employees, prior social power research has predominantly focused on consequences of “powerfulness.” This has led to contradictory predictions for how experienced powerlessness influences employees’ social perceptions and behaviors. To resolve this theoretical tension, we build on Social Distance Theory (Magee & Smith) to develop a theoretical model suggesting that experienced powerlessness reduces social closeness and subsequently causes social disengagement behaviors both at work (reduced helping and increased interaction avoidance) and at home (increased withdrawal). Our model also elucidates the processes that cause powerlessness to reduce social closeness, demonstrating that employees’ affiliation motive and their expectation of others’ interest in affiliating explain this relationship. We further propose that the effect of powerlessness on social closeness will be stronger for employees high (vs. low) in political skill because these employees are more attuned to workplace power dynamics. We find support for our model in an experience-sampling field experiment and two experimental scenario studies. Our research clarifies the effects of powerlessness on social closeness and organizationally relevant downstream consequences, qualifies dominant assumptions that the powerless always behave in ways opposite those of the powerful, and demonstrates the importance of political skill as a moderator of power's effects.
Exploring the puzzle of civility: Whether and when team civil communication influences team members’ role performanceHuman Relations
Yihao Liu, Dana R Vashdi, Thomas Cross, Peter Bamberger, Amir Erez
2020 Does ‘being nice’ to each other always improve employee performance? Although research on workplace incivility has been growing, little is known about the flip side of it – workplace civility. In fact, different theoretical perspectives have suggested that civility could have positive (i.e. the flexibility perspective) or negative (i.e. the heuristics perspective) cognitive implications. In the current research, we examined whether and when workplace civility (operationalized as team civil communication) influences team members’ role performance in two studies. In Study 1, we recorded team civil communication among 108 teams of students who participated in a team-based simulation, and found that team civil communication enhanced team members’ role performance. In Study 2, we observed and coded 186 real-time surgeries conducted by surgical teams from a health-care center. Results showed a more nuanced and complex pattern regarding the influence of team civil communication, insofar as it enhanced team members’ role performance in teams with less complex tasks, but the effect decreased or even flipped to negative when team task complexity increased. These findings suggest that civility can have both positive and negative influences on performance, with the net effect being contingent upon the broader environmental demands faced by the team.
Incivility and Patient Safety: A Longitudinal Study of Rudeness, Protocol Compliance, and Adverse EventsThe Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
Arieh Riskin, Peter Bamberger, Amir Erez, Trevor Foulk, Binyamin Cooper, Ilana Peterfreund, Janna Sheps, Mira Wilhelm-Kafil, Yarden Riskin, Kinneret Riskin-Guez, Ellen Bamberger
2019 Background Little is known about the impact of social interactions on iatrogenesis and lapses in patient safety. Methods This field-based experience-sampling study of primarily nurses in a general hospital explored the impact of rudeness on patient safety performance, state depletion (that is, exhaustion of mental energy for reflective behavior), and team processes (for example, information sharing). Objective measures of performance were compliance with hand hygiene and medication preparation protocols, as well as archival reports of adverse events. Data were analyzed by department shift (480 shifts [15 days] in 16 departments). [...]
Expressions of Gratitude and Medical Team PerformancePediatrics
Arieh Riskin, Peter Bamberger, Amir Erez, Kinneret Riskin-Guez, Yarden Riskin, Rina Sela, Trevor Foulk, Binyamin Cooper, Amitai Ziv, Liat Pessach-Gelblum, Ellen Bamberger
2019 BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Exposure to negative social interactions (such as rudeness) has robust adverse implications on medical team performance. However, little is known regarding the effects of positive social interactions. We hypothesized that expressions of gratitude, a prototype of positive social interaction, would enhance medical teams’ effectiveness. Our objective was to study the performance of NICU teams after exposure to expressions of gratitude from alternative sources. METHODS: Forty-three NICU teams (comprising 2 physicians and 2 nurses) participated in training workshops of acute care simulations. Teams were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 conditions: (1) maternal gratitude (in which the mother of a preterm infant expressed gratitude to NICU teams, such as the one that treated her child), (2) expert gratitude (in which a physician expert expressed gratitude to teams for participating in the training), (3) combined maternal and expert gratitude, or (4) control (same agents communicated neutral statements). The simulations were evaluated (5-point Likert scale: 1 = failed and 5 = excellent) by independent judges (blind to team exposure) using structured questionnaires. [...]