Sleep deprivation can influence professional behavior

Aug 08, 2012 By Lia Samson
Research by Professor of Management and Organizations Aleksander Ellis shows that a lack of sleep can cause deviant behavior on the job.

(Phys.org) -- In a recent paper, Aleksander Ellis of the University of Arizona Eller College of Management and a colleague demonstrate that lack of sleep can cause deviant behavior at work.

Early 2011 saw a spate of reports in the media about sleeping on the job as a result of . The potential harm from this behavior is obvious, but what about the average office job? Can sleep deprivation cause counterproductive, or even unethical, behavior in organizations?

“Over the past decade, Americans have been getting less and less sleep, and estimates are that this trend will continue,” said Professor of Management and Organizations Aleksander Ellis, the Charles and Candice Nelson Fellow. “In fact, in certain industries, is worn as a badge of honor.”

In a recent paper published in the Academy of Management Journal, Ellis and co-author Michael Christian of Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill demonstrate that lack of sleep can cause .

In one part of the study, for instance, the researchers asked a group of subjects to respond to an email that contained colloquial language and misspellings. One of the sleep-deprived subjects responded with an unprofessional, personal attack. This is just one example Ellis and Christian cite to demonstrate how sleep deprivation reduces self-control and increases hostility.

Ellis and Christian are currently working on a parallel project that examines how deprivation affects the tendency of individuals to behave unethically by conforming to the behavior of unethical authority figures.

Explore further: The economics of age gaps and marriage

More information: journals.aomonline.org/amj/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Night shift nurses more likely to have poor sleep habits

Jun 11, 2007

Nurses who work the night shift are more likely to have poor sleep habits, a practice that can increase the likelihood of committing serious errors that can put the safety of themselves as well as their patients at risk, ...

Should we sleep more to lose weight?

Jul 10, 2012

Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that sleep behavior affects ...

Recommended for you

The economics of age gaps and marriage

Oct 30, 2014

Men and women who are married to spouses of similar ages are smarter, more successful and more attractive compared to couples with larger age gaps, according to a paper from CU Denver Economics Assistant Professor Hani Mansour ...

Do financial experts make better investments?

Oct 28, 2014

Financial experts do not make higher returns on their own investments than untrained investors, according to research by a Michigan State University business scholar.

Lack of A level maths leading to fewer female economists

Oct 28, 2014

A study by the University of Southampton has found there are far fewer women studying economics than men, with women accounting for just 27 per cent of economics students, despite them making up 57 per cent of the undergraduate ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.