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The key characteristics of different types of employees: a summary of six studies.

Introduction

Human beings, by nature, are relational creatures. At any given time, all people, regardless of their individual differences (e.g. age, gender, religion, and ethnic background), assume multiple roles in society, such as spouse, parent, employee, friend, club member, and citizen of a city, town or country.

Within each role, there is always more than one individual involved, from a very small number of members in an institution like a nuclear family, to a very large number of members comprising the citizenship of a nation. However, no matter what type of role a person plays in a group at any given time, that person falls into one of the three categories: Necessity, Commoner, or Parasite (Kim and Sikula, 2005).

The most desirable type of person is the Necessity. The person of Necessity focuses his or her efforts on achieving the group's goals and thus consistently makes valuable contributions to ensure collective success. From the group's perspective, such a person is an invaluable asset (Alsop, 2002). Indeed, without members who are Necessities, a group as a whole cannot function successfully. The loss felt within a group by the departure of such an individual, therefore, is significant. Comments made in the workplace about a person of Necessity would include: "It would be hard to fill his shoes," or "She is an excellent person; it's a shame to lose her."

A person of Necessity may also be someone who works diligently without receiving much visibility or recognition within an organization (e.g. the faithful janitor who immaculately cleans the offices; the sports team member who sacrifices his or her individual statistics to do what is needed to help the team win). Either way, such a person occupies an important position. Necessities provide the social "glue" that holds an organization together and enables it to function and thrive as a cohesive whole.

The characteristics that identify a Necessity in group relations are, to some extent, role specific. In other words, the traits and behaviors that characterize a person of Necessity in one particular role may be different from the traits and behaviors that characterize a person of Necessity in a different role. For example, to be a Necessity as a spouse, one must display patience, a loving and caring attitude, and the ability to compromise. To be a Necessity as an academic administrator, however, one should demonstrate self-confidence, intelligence, responsibility, dedication to work, and an ability to supervise.

Commoners have no significant impact on the success of the group. They do not contribute much to the accomplishment of group goals, but neither do they harm overall group performance in any significant way. A Commoner is not a serf-starter and tends to focus on "just getting by." He or she does not provide significant input into group activities and shows little willingness to participate in improving the functioning of a group. Commoners do only what they are told to do, or what is absolutely required, but nothing extra like volunteering their own time or effort. Employees in this category are the "deadwood" of an organization, going through the motions and often just waiting for retirement. They are easily replaceable and not missed much when they leave.

The third and least productive type of person is the Parasite. This individual not only fails to contribute to group performance, but also harms the organization by acting as a leech and a drain on others (Silverman et al., 2005). The Parasite is a loafer who desires a free ride, complains about everything, blames mistakes on others, and exudes pessimism in the workplace. He or she is not loyal to the organization and cannot be trusted to contribute productively to attaining the group's goals. Such a worker is like the proverbial bad apple in the bunch, corrupting much of what he or she touches. Many group members wish the Parasite would leave as soon as possible, since the organization would be better off not having such a person around (Garvey, 2000).

The purpose of this paper is to identify the key traits and behaviors that characterize Necessities, Commoners and Parasites across a wide variety of workplace settings. To do this, we draw upon our previous research (Kim and Sikula, 2005, 2006; Kim et al., 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), which made use of eight sets of survey data (three from the USA, two from Chile, and one each from India, Korea and Japan). We recognize the complexity of this undertaking, for the respondents in these data sets operate in different types of workplaces and, more generally, in different socio-cultural environments.

Workplace settings can vary in many different ways. The traits and behaviors that characterize Necessities, Commoners, and Parasites, for example, may depend on the workers' occupations, assigned tasks, and positions in an organizational hierarchy. The structure of an organization itself also determines, in part, what traits and behaviors characterize each category of worker. More broadly, cultural attitudes towards age, gender, religion, or ethnic background, along with societal views on the nature of work and success, will also matter (Park and Harrison, 1993).

People's perceptions of the traits and behaviors that characterize each of these three categories of workers may also vary across cultures. Human beings are by nature socio-cultural creatures. Their behavior is influenced by the norms and values of the society to which they belong, and they act in a manner to suit the nature of their traditional cultures (Lunnan et al., 2005). For example, education and training received in childhood can create differences in personalities and cultural values, which in turn can make people perceive education and training differently. Hofstede (1980) focuses on the differences culture can make in a workplace setting. For example, Americans have a high degree of individualism and a short-term orientation, whereas Japanese score high on collectivism and on having a long-term perspective. Perceptions of the characteristics of Necessities, Commoners and Parasites should therefore differ across US and Japanese workplaces. More generally, we recognize that cultural differences across the USA, Japan, Chile, Korea, and India may influence the ways in which each country's respondents perceive Necessities, Commoners and Parasites (Yan et al., 2002). Nevertheless, our analysis of the data used in these previous studies does in fact reveal a general set of traits and behaviors that characterizes each of these three categories of workers--particularly for Necessities and Parasites.

Collection and organization of the data

The process of collecting and organizing the data in all six previous studies was identical to that used in Kim and Sikula (2005). After explaining the definitions of Necessity, Commoner and Parasite to the students, one of the authors in each country asked each student to voluntarily turn in a list of ten traits and behaviors describing each type of worker, for which the students received bonus points as an incentive to participate. The responses were tabulated for frequency within each category (Necessity, Commoner, and Parasite). If a response was too generally stated, or too similar to the overall descriptor of each category, it was discarded. For example, responses such as "hard to replace" and "vital person" define a Necessity and hence are not traits or behaviors that characterize the person who is a Necessity. These were discarded.

The usable responses were then grouped together according to the words' meanings through a two-step process. First, a simple table for each category was created by listing all the responses, from most frequent to least frequent. Second, a more specific frequency table was constructed by organizing all the responses in each category into a set of headings and subheadings. The following two examples illustrate the process. In developing the frequency table for the Necessity category, we were able to group many responses under subheadings such as responsible, punctual, dedicated, and organized. These subheadings were then placed under the broader heading of "Reliable." The final frequency table for the Necessity category contains 17 headings such as "Dependable" and "Hard-working," with a varying number of subheadings under each. In developing the frequency table for the Parasite category, we were able to group many responses under subheadings such as arrogant, antagonistic, and disrespectful. These subheadings were then placed under the broader heading of "Troublemaker." The final frequency table for the Parasite category contains 15 headings such as "Troublemaker" and "Lazy," with a varying number of subheadings under each.

When we collected the data in Korea, Chile, and Japan, we took pains to ensure an accurate translation into English. For example, in Chile we asked a Chilean colleague who is fluent in both Spanish and English to do the original translation. Before we proceeded further, one of our co-authors, also bilingual in Spanish and English, reviewed this translation carefully. The same procedures were used to guarantee accurate translations in our other non-English-speaking samples.

The frequency tables from the six previous studies can be found in Appendices 2-6. In Appendix 2, we report the results of the first two studies (Kim and Sikula, 2005, 2006). The results for Kim and Sikula (2005) are based on data collected in two US undergraduate organizational behavior classes during 2001 and 2002. The data used in Kim and Sikula (2006) were obtained from a sample of 38 US MBA students in 2003. Appendix 3 reports the data used in Kim et at (2006), which involved comparing the aforementioned 2003 US data set with the responses collected from 24 MBA students in India. The frequency tables used in Kim et al. (2007) are in Appendix 4. These show how the responses in the 2003 US data set compare with a data set collected in a Korean MBA class during 2005. In Appendix 5, we compare the responses in the 2003 US data set with those obtained from a sample of 35 executive MBA students in Chile, using the data' reported in Kim et al. (2008). Finally, in Appendix 6, we present the data used in Kim et al. (2009) to compare and contrast the responses obtained from three different samples in 2008: a US MBA class, a Chilean Executive MBA class, and an undergraduate management class in Japan.

For the present study, we created a new frequency table, shown in Appendix 1, by combining the results of all the studies. In Appendix 1, we thus report the overall results for the entire research effort to date, making use of all eight data sets. Appendix 1 has a sample size of 296 respondents, and contains 1,850 usable responses for Necessity, 1,714 for Commoner, and 2,086 for Parasite. In Figure 1, we summarize the findings in Appendix 1 by highlighting the six characteristics most frequently identified for each category.

Analysis

As shown in Figure 1, the key traits and behaviors that characterize a person of Necessity in the workplace are all positive and consistent and are almost identical across all eight data sets. The principal characteristics of the Parasite are negative, as expected. The responses in all eight data sets, moreover, are consistent in their description of the Parasite--and nearly identical. The perceptions of what characterizes really good workers (people of Necessity) and really bad workers (Parasites) appear to be the same in all five countries. These results imply that companies in all countries should seek to hire employees who are hard working, reliable, friendly, motivated, knowledgeable, and who have good communication skills. They should avoid those who appear to be troublemakers, unreliable, unmotivated, lazy, incompetent, and/or immoral.

The picture painted of the Commoner across all eight data sets, however, is not as clear-cut as the respondents' views of Necessities and Parasites. First, the principal traits and behaviors of the Commoner, as shown in Figure 1, are mixed: some traits of Commoners are positive, some are negative, and some are neutral. For example, our respondents view Commoners as both unmotivated yet hard working, and as reliable yet ordinary. Second, the responses for Commoner across all eight data sets, as shown in Appendix 1, are grouped under 19 different headings, more headings than were generated for the Necessity and Parasite categories. And the principal characteristics of Commoners, as shown in Figure 1, comprise only 65 percent of the total responses for Commoner, whereas the Figure 1 characteristics for Necessities and Parasites make up 73 and 85 percent of the total responses in each category, respectively. These results tell us that people's perceptions of Commoners in the workplace are complex and nuanced.

One explanation for this aggregate complexity may be cultural differences across countries (Schaubroeck and Lam, 2002). Consider the responses within each of the five countries studied to date. The respondents in the US and Japanese data sets view Commoners in a relatively positive light--as acceptable workers who have some things in common with people of Necessity. US and Japanese culture, therefore, may be more willing to consider reality in terms of a continuum, from the very good to the very bad with many "shades of gray" in between. This would mean, for example, that US and Japanese workers may be more accepting of the ordinary, or perhaps more willing to accept that in any work setting there will be people who merely fulfill their minimum job obligations and collect their paychecks without contributing in any special way to an organization's success. As long as these workers do not harm an organization, they are viewed in a positive light. Perhaps, the US and Japanese respondents simply perceive Commoners as "ordinary" or "regular" employees, and view Necessities as outstanding leaders and contributors, the stellar members of an organization.

The Japanese respondents, moreover, consider Commoners to have more positive characteristics than do the US respondents. In the Japanese data set (Appendix 6), the top five traits and behaviors of the Commoner are similar to those listed for the Necessity. Ordinary people who fulfill their duties without being exceptional performers may thus be more readily accepted in Japanese society than in Western society. This interpretation is consistent with the cultural analysis presented in Hofstede (1980). As noted earlier, Japanese culture has a strong collectivist streak, as opposed to the individualism prevalent in the USA. This may result in Japanese viewing Commoners in the workplace, those simply doing their duty by fulfilling just their contractual obligations to the company, in a more positive light.

The Chilean, Indian, and Korean students, on the other hand, take a relatively negative view of Commoners. More than half of the identified characteristics of Commoner in these countries are negative. Even more striking, the Chilean, Indian, and Korean students consider Commoners to be "Troublemakers." As shown in Appendix 1, high frequencies for "Troublemaker" in the Chilean, Indian, and Korean data sets mean that this characteristic places seventh on the list of key traits and behaviors of Commoners, when the responses from all eight data sets are aggregated.

Reality, we propose, may be perceived in Chile, India, and Korea as distinctly dichotomized: there is the good and there is the bad, without much in between (Hofstede, 1980). In these countries, simply being average may not be a desirable outcome, given that society places considerable status and esteem on those who excel (Tharenou, 2001). One has to be the best or risk being labeled a failure. If this is true, then the responses of the Chilean, Indian, and Korean students would naturally reflect this "black-and-white" sense of reality in which everything is either very good or very bad. Therefore, they perceive a Commoner negatively. If the US and Japanese respondents do in fact hold a more relativist view of how the world works, and the Chilean, Indian, and Korean respondents hold a more absolutist, dichotomized view of reality, this could explain the different perceptions of the Commoner across the data sets Furthermore, and lastly, Hofstede uses the concept of "Power Distance" to explain these differing cultural views. Both India and Chile have higher scores for power distance (PD1), while the US and Japan PDI scores are lower (Hofstede.com).

Significance of the study and application in practice

This study provides additional evidence of the importance of understanding native cultures when attempting to conduct successful business operations in a foreign land. Different countries have different cultures, values, work practices, and performance expectations. Knowing what these differences are can be the key to success or failure of an enterprise. Understanding such variations can assist in designing initial employee recruitment programs and strategies as well as helping later in structuring appropriate worker retention, training, and development activities.

The expenses related to labor hiring and turnover are well documented. Thousands of dollars per employee are normally involved. If worker moving and relocation costs are factored in, the amount or money spent for each new hire can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. For financial reasons alone, attempting to secure Necessities and to avoid Parasites makes total sense.

Other more intangible factors also enter into the significance and application considerations. Workplace harmony, morale, unity, teamwork, spirit de corps, collegiality, and fun are also at stake. Happy employees are usually more productive workers. If everyone is carrying their fair share of the work load, individual workers can be more productive, groups will accomplish more, and organizations as a whole would achieve their goals and missions with enhanced abundancy.

This study helps to explain similarities and differences in employee characteristics between and among workers in different countries. The findings help to point out the importance of culture and environment in the understanding of work settings around the world. Supervisors can gain an understanding of motivational incentives by comprehending what factors coworkers consider to be valuable (Everton, 2004). This knowledge can then be used to design and implement employment recruiting, retention, and reward systems best suited for each and every enterprise (Poh, 2003). Comprehending the values appreciated by colleagues can help to build better work teams and to avoid the dysfunctional aspects of group think. Knowledge is power which can lead to improved performance in the formal work organization and enhanced harmony in the informal social institution (Baron and Markman, 2000).

Knowledge gained from this study should be very useful for managers of organizations. Managers in any and all organizations are interested in finding and attracting people labeled Necessity. Knowing the general traits and behaviors that characterize people as Necessities, Commoners, and Parasites will help managers recruit the right people, and decide how to best utilize employees (Hill, 2004).

Furthermore, insights gained from this research and from previous studies conducted by the authors help supervisors to understand personal and cultural similarities and differences among workers from various nations. We are increasingly part of a world with a diverse workforce. Understanding personality traits and human variables among employees can lead to better management practices and more efficient and effective labor performance (Luthans, 2002).

Limitations and future research

A major limitation of this study is the use of students as employee proxies. The academic world and the real world have variances in missions and processes which are quite different in nature and scope. Obvious differences include the role and guidance of profits, learning and service objectives.

The generalization of the research findings can also be considered as a limitation of this research. Only samples from six countries have been addressed in a world of almost 200 different countries. To the extent that nations and cultures vary, applications of these research findings would need to be adjusted and interpreted accordingly. To develop our analysis of different types of employees further, and to make it more practically useful, one could collect data from employees and managers in various industries to see whether their responses differ significantly from those of the students we have already surveyed. Second, for practical purposes, one could explore the category of Necessity more carefully and completely, since one goal is to provide human resource departments with the ability to identify those individuals who are most likely to promote the success and growth of organizations and businesses (Milton and Westphal, 2005).

One way to do this would be to create a scale along which we could rank the differential importance of the key characteristics of Necessities. This scale would allow managers to focus their hiring and promotion/retention efforts on those individuals with the most desired characteristics. Such a scale, therefore, would be invaluable in human resource management. But more data must be collected, and different questions must be asked of our respondents, to create such a scale and to establish its validity.

Finally, the questions of the influence of culture on what characterizes Commoners in the workplace, and in what situations Commoners are considered valued employees or nothing but deadwood, remain open. In today's and tomorrow's global business environment, with corporations employing people from many different countries and backgrounds, variances in the perception of Commoners across managers and departments will complicate the task of human resource management. Future research should study the characteristics of Commoners more carefully, in a wider variety of settings, in order to develop a more complete picture of the Commoner that takes cultural differences explicitly into account. This picture, for example, could help managers learn better what motivates their Commoners, and how best to make use of them in the workplace (Kerr, 2004).

DOI 10.1108/19355181111124089

Appendix 1. The combined frequencies for Necessities, Commoners, and Parasites (using the eight data sets in Appendices 2-6)

Necessity (1,850 responses)

1. Hard working (316 entries)

2. Reliable (270)

3. Friendly (238)

4. Motivated (192)

5. Knowledgeable (175)

6. Good communication (161)

7. Leader (97)

8. Committed (69)

9. Dependable (61)

10. Collaborator (53)

11-17. Other characteristics cited by the respondents: creative, proactive, confident, visionary, caring, trustworthy, and honest.

Commoner (1,714 responses)

1. Ordinary (267 entries)

2. Conformer (264)

3. Unmotivated (190)

4. Reliable (167)

5. Hard working (117)

6. Friendly (111)

7. Troublemaker (100)

8. Unreliable (72)

9. Uncommitted (60)

10. Introverted (57)

11-19. Other characteristics cited by the respondents: occasional slacker, lazy, Laissez-faire, follower, incompetent, indifferent, responsible, inflexible, and average Parasite (2,086 responses)

1. Troublemaker (658 entries)

2. Unreliable (255)

3. Unmotivated (247)

4. Lazy (236)

5. Incompetent (198)

6. Immoral (181)

7. Conflictive (58)

8. Gossiper (47)

9. Irresponsible (38)

10. Manipulative (37)

11-15. Other characteristics cited by the respondents: disloyal, negative, conformer, selfish, and introverted

Appendix 2
Table AI.
Comparison between the first and the second US data sets

                  The first US data set      The second US data set
                  (2001 and 2002)            (2003)

                  34 undergraduate OB        38 MBA students: 25 are
Sample size and   students in two classes:   employees and 13 are
subjects          18 in 2001 and 16 in       managers
Necessity         2002

                  1. Hard working (51        1. Reliable (64 entries)
                  entries)
                                             2. Hard working (56)
                  2. Friendly (48)
                                             3. Friendly (38)
                  3. Knowledgeable (36)
                                             4. Motivated (36)
                  4. Dependable/punctual
                  (33)                       5. Knowledgeable (29)

                  5. Honest (16)

Commoner          1. Ordinary (72)           1. Friendly (48)

                  2. Occasional slacker      2. Unmotivated (37)
                  (56)

                  3. Conformer (46)          3. Conforming (35)

                  4. Laissez-faire (39)      4. Reliable (31)

                  5. Introverted (30)        5. Hard working (29)

Parasite          1. Lazy (64)               1. Troublemaker (114)

                  2. Troublemaker (60)       2. Lazy (56)

                  3. Incompetent (54)        3. Unreliable (55)

                  4. Immoral (52)            4. Incompetent (38)

                  5. Unmotivated (43)        5. Immoral (35)

Source: From Kim and Sikula (2005, 2006)


Appendix 3
Table AII.
Comparison between the second US data set and the Indian data set

                  The second US data set     The Indian data set
                  (2003) 38 MBA students:    (2004) 24 full-time MBA
Sample size and   25 are employees and 13    students without much
subjects          are managers               work experience

Necessity         1. Reliable (64)           1 and 2. Confident; hard
                                             working (40 each)
                  2. Hard working (56)
                                             3. Reliable (36)
                  3. Friendly (38)
                                             4. Friendly (34)
                  4. Motivated (36)
                                             5. Good communication
                  5. Knowledgeable (29)      (29)

Commoner          1. Friendly (48)           1. Conforming (42)

                  2. Unmotivated (37)        2. Unmotivated (36)

                  3. Conforming (35)         3 and 4. Ordinary;
                                             incompetent (32 each)
                  4. Reliable (31)
                                             5. Friendly; unreliable
                  5. Hard working (29)       troublemaker; inflexible
                                             (14 each)

Parasite          1. Troublemaker (114)      1. Troublemaker (82)

                  2. Lazy (56)               2. Unmotivated (39)

                  3. Unreliable (55)         3. Conforming (26)

                  4. Incompetent (38)        4. Immoral (22)

                  5. Immoral (35)            5. Unreliable (20)

Source: Kim et al. (2006)


Appendix 4
Table AIII.
Comparison between the second US data set and the Korean data set

                                             The Korean data set
                  The second US data set     (2005) 40 part-time MBA
                  (2003) 38 MBA students:    students with most
Sample size and   25 are employees and 13    having full-time
subjects          are managers               managerial experience

Necessity         1. Reliable (64)           1. Friendly (78)

                  2. Hard working (56)       2. Knowledgeable (51)

                  3. Friendly (38)           3. Motivated (39)

                  4. Motivated (36)          4. Visionary (38)

                  5. Knowledgeable (29)      5. Reliable (31)

Commoner          1. Friendly (48)           1. Unmotivated (66)

                  2. Unmotivated (37)        2. Troublemaker (55)

                  3. Conforming (35)         3. Conforming (53)

                  4. Reliable (31)           4. Ordinary (37)

                  5. Hard working (29)       5. Unreliable (33)

Parasite          1. Troublemaker (114)      1. Troublemaker (151)

                  2. Lazy (56)               2. Immoral (50)

                  3. Unreliable (55)         3. Unreliable (35)

                  4. Incompetent (38)        4. Unmotivated (33)

                  5. Immoral (35)            5. Incompetent (23)

Source: Kim et al (2007)


Appendix 5
Table AIV.
Comparison between the second US data set and the fast Chilean data
set

                                             The first Chilean data
                                             set (2007) 35 part-time
                  The second US data set     executive MBA students
                  (2003) 38 MBA students:    with most having full-
Sample size and   25 are employees and 13    time managerial
subjects          are managers               experience

Necessity         1. Reliable (64)           1. Reliable (61)

                  2. Hard working (56)       2. Hard working (56)

                  3. Friendly (38)           3. Motivated (54)
                  4. Motivated (36)          4. Good Communication (47)

                  5. Knowledgeable (29)      5. Friendly (40)

Commoner          1. Friendly (48)           1. Unmotivated (51)

                  2. Unmotivated (37)        2. Ordinary (37)

                  3. Conforming (35)         3. Reliable (34)

                  4. Reliable (31)           4. Troublemaker (31)

                  5. Hard working (29)       5. Unreliable (25)

Parasite          1. Troublemaker (114)      1. Troublemaker (102)

                  2. Lazy (56)               2. Unreliable (54)

                  3. Unreliable (55)         3. Unmotivated (44)

                  4. Incompetent (38)        4. Incompetent (29)

                  5. Immoral (35)            5. Immoral (22)

Source: From Kim et al (2008)


Appendix 6
Table AV.
Comparison between the third US data set, the second
Chilean data set, and the Japanese data set

               The third US data      The second Chilean data
               set (2008)             set (2008)

                                      47 part-time executive MBA
                                      students with most having
Sample size    32 MBA students        full-time managerial
and subjects   who work               experience

Necessity      1. Leader (41)         1. Committed (69)

               2. Hard working (40)   2. Leader (56)

               3. Caring (31)         3. Collaborator (53)

               4. Trustworthy (29)    4. Creative (43)

               5. Dependable (28)     5. Proactive (41)

Commoner       1. Average (49)        1. Uncommitted (60)

               2. Lazy (41)           2. Conformist (44)

               3. Follower (34)       3. Hard working (29)

               4. Indifferent (30)    4. Responsible (28)

               5. Reliable (27)       5. Introverted (27)

Parasite       1. Lazy (55)           1. Lazy (61)

               2. Manipulative (37)   2. Conflictive (58)

               3. Negative (29)       3. Gossiper (47)

               4. Troublemaker (24)   4. Irresponsible (38)

               5. Selfish (23)        5. Disloyal (33)

               The Japanese data set (2008)

Sample size    46 full-time undergraduate
and subjects   management students

Necessity      1. Good communication (85)

               2. Hard working (73)

               3. Motivated (63)

               4. Knowledgeable (59)

               5. Reliable (58)

Commoner       l. Ordinary (89)

               2. Reliable (75)

               3. Hard working (59)

               4. Friendly (49)

               5. Conforming (44)

Parasite       1. Troublemaker (125)

               2. Unreliable (91)

               3. Unmotivated (88)

               4. Incompetent (54)

               5. Introverted (20)

Source: From Kim et al. (2009)


Further reading

Hofstede, G. (2009), "Geert Hofstede cultural dimensions", available at: www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_dimensions.php

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Chong W. Kim

Lewis College of Business, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia, USA

Harlan M. Smith II

Division of Finance and Economics, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia, USA

Andrew Sikula Sr

Lewis College of Business, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia, USA, and

Lorraine P. Anderson

Division of Management, Marketing and MIS, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia, USA

Chong W. Kim is Elizabeth McDowell Distinguished Professor in Management and Dean of the Lewis College of Business (LCOB) at Marshall University. He holds his BA in English from Yonsei University in Korea, MBA from Miami University in Ohio, and his Phi) in Organizational Behavior from the Ohio State University. During his 34 years service at Marshall, he worked as the Division Head for 24 years for the Division of Management and Marketing and Interim Dean of the college for three years. He has published over 60 articles in many journals and conference proceedings including referred journal articles in the Journal of Management Education, and International Journal of Value-Based Management. He is one of fellows of the Pan-Pacific Conference, and an editorial member for two journals. Chong W. Kim is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: kim@marshall.edu

Harlan M. Smith II is on the Faculty of the LCOB at Marshall University. He is one of two holders of the Kermit E. McGinnis Distinguished Professorship of Business, and Head of the Division of Finance & Economics. He is also the college's Assurance of Learning Director. Harlan M. Smith II holds a BA in Economics from Kalamazoo College, an MA in International Relations from Yale University, and a PhD in Economics from Yale University.

Andrew Sikula, Sr is an internationally known business educator who has been part of higher education for nearly 50 years. His BA degree is from Hiram College in Ohio and his MBA and PhD degrees are from Michigan State University. Dr Andrew Sikula has been a Full Professor at five different universities where he has served as Dean and/or Associate Dean including Marshall University, California State University-Northridge, California, California State University-Chico, Chicago State University, and Murray State University. Dr Andrew Sikula currently serves as the Richard G. Miller Distinguished Professor of Management and Business Ethics, Director of the Graduate School of Management, and Associate Dean of the Elizabeth McDowell LCOB at Marshall University. He first introduced the concepts of moral management and moral maximization into the academic business and management literature over 40 years ago. He is the author of over 200 books, journal articles, proceedings reports and papers. He also serves as an expert witness in business ethics court cases.

Lorraine P. Anderson is an Associate Professor of Management in the Division of Management, Marketing and MIS within the Elizabeth McDowell LCOB at Marshall University with an Ed.D. Degree from West Virginia University. She is the former Associate Dean for undergraduate programs within the LCOB.
Figure 1.
The principal
characteristics
of Necessities,
Commoners, and Parasites

                         Necessity
                     (1,850 responses)

Hard-working                316
Reliable                    270
Friendly                    238
Motivated                   192
Knowledgeable               175
Good communication          161

                           Commoner
                     (1,714 responses)

Ordinary                    267
Conformer                   264
Unmotivated                 190
Reliable                    167
Hard-working                117
Friendly                    111

                           Parasite
                     (2,086 responses)

Troublemaker                658
Unreliable                  255
Unmotivated                 247
Lazy                        236
Incompetent                 198
Immoral                     181

Note: Overlaps are addressed in detail in the following analysis
section

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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Author:Kim, Chong W.; Smith, Harlan M., II; Sikula, Andrew, Sr.; Anderson, Lorraine P.
Publication:American Journal of Business
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:3CHIL
Date:Mar 22, 2011
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