What the??? Cursing in the workplace is good for you? A study published in the Leadership & Organization Development Journal says the use of expletives in the office can boost group solidarity and act as a stress reliever.
This is amazing news if you love swearing, though it doesn’t always work out so well. Just ask former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz. Even Goldman Sachs banned employees from using profanity in electronic messages in 2010.
But the study suggests managers can have an effective leadership style that incorporates cursing.
“There is a need for leaders to apply, under certain circumstances, a permissive leadership culture. This paper advises leaders on how it may lead to positive consequences,” the study says.
The study’s title suggests as much: “When anti-social becomes social and incivility is acceptable.”
"We hope that this study will serve not only to acknowledge the part that swearing plays in our work and our lives, but also to indicate that leaders sometimes need to think differently and be open to intriguing ideas," study director and professor Yehuda Baruch told Inc. Magazine.
Not everyone is enthused about the prospect of employees dropping F-bombs around the watercooler.
"That kind of behavior intimidates people and violates their space," Atlanta-based Corporate Psychology president Robert Perkins told Inc.
"Managers need to understand how their staff feel about swearing," he told the publication. “The challenge is to master the 'art' of knowing when to turn a blind eye."
What are your thoughts. Is swearing in the workplace permissible or taboo?