Low wage work

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams came under fire in early 2022 for suggesting that low-paid workers such as restaurant and retail workers were less skilled and did not.Have the academic skills to sit in the corner office.

Shilpa Madan, assistant professor of marketing at Singapore Management University and a researcher, says the mayor’s comments “represent a broader perception that continues to come up in public discourse. People don’t think twice before saying that low-paid jobs “Workers don’t need skill or intelligence.”

It may come as a surprise — if not a shock — to many that about 53 million Americans, or 44 percent of the workforce, are in low-paying jobs, often unable to afford necessities like food and shelter. And many of those who work in restaurants must rely on tips to get by.

The SMU researcher, who joined the Lee Cong Chian School of Business in July 2023, says compensation for low-wage workers is an important topic because “extensive research shows that poverty prevents people from thriving. . It has many negative consequences—it increases stress, forces people to take more risks, and hinders cognitive functioning.”

His paper,’Support for wage increases for low-wage workers: The role of fixed growth mindsets about intelligence.Co-authored with four other researchers, was published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General In 2023

“The idea behind this research was just to understand the debate to add to it. . As in many countries around the world, despite seeing people living below the poverty line, organizational leaders continue to comply only with minimum compensation standards established nationally in the United States since 2009. have not grown.”

Why, then, study growth and fixed mindsets? Prof. Madan says she has been researching mindfulness since her graduate school days and has an active stream of research on it. The effect of mindset Socially relevant Results.

“People have this stereotype that low-paying or minimum-wage jobs don’t require any special skills, intelligence or abilities. They feel that anyone can flip burgers, be a janitor or a waiter. is, and they characterize the people who do it. Unskilled and unintelligent.”

“This language is very mindset-evocative because mindsets are your beliefs about whether a certain trait or attribute is actionable or fixed.”

“So we came up with the idea that if you believe that people’s skills cannot be developed (ie, a fixed mindset), then you can oppose raising the wages of low-wage workers. However, If you believe that intelligence can be developed, which is a growth mindset, you will only think that they are doing these low-wage jobs for reasons beyond their control and not because of this. Because they are inherently lazy, unmotivated, or unskilled.”

In this study, along with its ten different studies, more than 3,000 participants, such as HR managers in the US and Other participants in India included a nationally representative sample in the US and residents of key swing states in the US to ensure that the findings are robust and generalizable.

“The package of different studies is to ensure replicability and robustness across diverse contexts and populations to ensure that our effects are specific to the idea we’re talking about and not influenced by other things. and to identify the underlying psychological mechanisms explaining these effects.”

Researchers consistently found that participants with a Favored raising the wages of low-wage workers more than those with a fixed mindset.

Although the topic is highly politicized in America, they found that this pattern exists across political and social classes.

“Our findings suggest that anyone trying to get support for raising wages for low-wage workers might want to consider developing a growth mindset about intelligence.”

To ensure that their research reaches a wider audience, Professor Madan and his co-authors have recently published an article. Harvard Business Review on topic, and are working on an optional add to target a more mainstream audience.

“I think the biggest contribution of this paper is that a lot of research on growth and fixed mindsets has focused on managers, knowledge workers, and the upper echelons of organizations.” For example, she says, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has often talked about the growth mindset. “But mindfulness isn’t just about benefiting people in management roles.”

“Our research shows that mindfulness can also improve the living conditions of people at the bottom of the organizational hierarchy.”

However, higher wages mean increased business costs, and some would argue that productivity should increase as well.

“That’s a very good point. research shows that if the U.S. minimum wage were adjusted to productivity, it would be $23 an hour in 2021. Although the minimum wage in the U.S. has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009.”

Paying people a decent wage increases productivity and businesses actually perform better, says Professor Madan. She points out that some of the biggest employers in the U.S. that people love to work for, like Costco, pay more than minimum wage and report benefits in terms of employee retention and well-being. Nevertheless, many businesses continue to comply only with the federal minimum wage.

“That’s why it’s a question worth studying because there’s a difference between what people support and what they don’t.”

“Clearly, mindset is not the only or the biggest factor that shapes people’s positions on low-wage workers’ compensation. It is one of many factors, but it is one that can be changed. “

More information:
Shilpa Madan et al., Support for increasing compensation for low-wage workers: The role of fixed growth mindsets about intelligence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (2022). DOI: 10.1037/xge0001303

Reference: Support for Increasing Compensation for Low-Wage Workers: The Role of a Fixed Growth Mindset (2024, February 23) Accessed February 23, 2024 at https://phys.org/news/2024-02-wage-workers-compensation-role Retrieved from -growth.html

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