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Boss Competence and Worker Well-being

Author

Listed:
  • Artz, Benjamin
  • Goodall, Amanda H.
  • Oswald, Andrew J.

Abstract

Nearly all workers have a supervisor or ‘boss’. Yet little is known about how bosses influence the quality of employees’ lives. This study is a cautious attempt to provide new formal evidence. First, it is shown that a boss’s technical competence is the single strongest predictor of a worker’s job satisfaction. Second, it is demonstrated in longitudinal data -- after controlling for fixed effects -- that even if a worker stays in the same job and workplace a rise in the competence of a supervisor is associated with an improvement in the worker’s well-being. Third, a variety of robustness checks, including tentative instrumental-variable results, are reported. These findings, which draw on US and British data, contribute to an emerging literature on the role of expert leaders in organizations. Finally, the paper discusses potential weaknesses of existing evidence and necessary future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Artz, Benjamin & Goodall, Amanda H. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2015. "Boss Competence and Worker Well-being," Economic Research Papers 270022, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwarer:270022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Artz, Benjamin & Goodall, Amanda H. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2018. "How Common Are Bad Bosses?," IZA Discussion Papers 11825, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Petri Böckerman & Alex Bryson & Antti Kauhanen & Mari Kangasniemi, 2016. "Does Job Support Make Workers Happy?," DoQSS Working Papers 16-16, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    3. Vera Rocha & Mirjam van Praag, 2016. "How do Entrepreneurial Bosses influence their Employees' Future Entrepreneurship Choices?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-110/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Lucifora, Claudio & Vigani, Daria, 2016. "What If Your Boss Is a Woman? Work Organization, Work-Life Balance and Gender Discrimination at the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 9737, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & George Ward, 2017. "Happiness at Work," CEP Discussion Papers dp1474, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel & Ward, George, 2017. "Happiness at work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 83604, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. KURODA Sachiko & YAMAMOTO Isamu, 2016. "Good Boss, Bad Boss, Workers' Mental Health and Productivity: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 16101, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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