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Article

Humility and Competence: Which Attribute Affects Social Relationships at Work?

School of Social and Health Sciences, James Cook University, Singapore 387380, Singapore
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Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 5969; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105969
Received: 27 March 2022 / Revised: 9 May 2022 / Accepted: 12 May 2022 / Published: 14 May 2022
Between likability and competence, people value likable colleagues (regardless of their competence level) more than competent colleagues. If humility replaces competence, the preference might be different since humility is not always associated with positive outcomes. Humility and competence form four archetypes: humble star, humble fool, competent jerk, and incompetent jerk. This study examined the personal and professional preferences for these archetypes in the workplace and how the preference is moderated by colleagues’ seniority. There were 475 working adults aged between 21 and 77 (M = 40.34, SD = 11.32) recruited to complete an online survey. While humble fools were more likable than competent jerks in personal interactions, competent jerks received more cooperation than humble fools in professional interactions. Seniority did not affect these findings. Our findings shed light on whether, and when, humility should be highly valued in organizational settings. Promoting humility in the workplace setting might require more caution. View Full-Text
Keywords: humility; competence; likability; work environment; seniority humility; competence; likability; work environment; seniority
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MDPI and ACS Style

Teoh, A.N.; Kriwangko, L. Humility and Competence: Which Attribute Affects Social Relationships at Work? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 5969. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105969

AMA Style

Teoh AN, Kriwangko L. Humility and Competence: Which Attribute Affects Social Relationships at Work? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(10):5969. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105969

Chicago/Turabian Style

Teoh, Ai N., and Livia Kriwangko. 2022. "Humility and Competence: Which Attribute Affects Social Relationships at Work?" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 10: 5969. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105969

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