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Making the bottom line your top priority may not be the best way to improve profitability. That’s the conclusion of recent research conducted by Mary Sully de Luque and Nathan T. Washburn of Thunderbird School of Global Management; David A. Waldman, of Arizona State University West; and Robert J. House, of the University of Pennsylvania, that underscores the risk of single-mindedly pursuing profit.

This finding is based on survey data gathered from 520 business organizations in 17 countries designed to test if a CEO’s primary focus on profit maximization resulted in employees developing negative feelings toward the organization. The result? Employees in these companies tend to perceive the CEO as autocratic and focused on the short term, and they report being somewhat less willing to sacrifice for the company. Corporate performance is poorer as a result. 

But when the CEO makes it a priority to balance the concerns of customers…

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