Randomly promoting people pays off, researchers say

12/20/2009 | Inc. magazine

Promoting people entirely at random is more effective than trying to reward actual competence or productivity, according to a series of simulations conducted by Italian researchers. Still, U.S. business leaders aren't convinced that turning their employees' careers into crapshoots would work in practice. "My first thought would be how the employees would react," says Adam Michaels, CEO of Cloud 9 Living. "Why go the extra mile if it's not going to be recognized and if my less competent co-worker could get randomly promoted ahead of me?"

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