Andy’s Quick Hits (11): Leaders Who Focus on Others’ Needs, Build More Trust

Andy Hab
2 min readMay 28, 2021

Cindy Muir in a new study connects perceptions of fairness to supervisors prosociality: “It’s not only what you do, but why you do it: How managerial motives influence employees’ fairness judgments,”

This intriguing research focused on supervisors who were prosocially motivated or motivated by their own self interest. And, probably no surprise, those that were prosocially motivated were more likely to stick to justice rules and standards. Simply put they tried harder to be objectively fairer.

So far so good, but then comes the question: do employees only care about prosocial supervisors because they are fairer? Well the research also found that prosocial supervisors were considered fairer even if they didn’t apply objective justice rules and standards!

Simply put, they are considered fairer, more just, and hence more trustworthy, and are given the benefit of the doubt if they have an off day or fail to be completely fair.

This is important because research also shows that unfairness is a powerful demotivator and influences engagement at work (Equity Theory).

Andy publishes a quick hit every weekday on all things the brain, behaviour, and business. Please follow to receive your daily dose.

Andy is author of leading brains Review a monthly e-magazine on all things the brain, behaviour, and business



Andy Hab

Sharing fascinating, fun, and important knowledge on the brain and human behaviour - most days. And masters track athlete - still going strong!