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Archive for the ‘Workplace Conflicts’ Category
When researchers Melvin C. Washington, Ephraim A. Okoro and Peter W. Cardon examined the backlash, if any, from texting during meetings, the results came back with much more than they expected. Recently featured in the Wall Street Journal, here’s the abstract from Perceptions of Civility for Mobile Phone Use in Formal and Informal Meetings:
We report our survey research about what American business professionals consider appropriate or civil mobile phone behavior during formal and informal meetings. The findings come from two of our recent research studies: an open-ended survey of 204 employees at a beverage distributor on the East Coast and a nationwide, random-sample survey of 350 business professionals in the United States. There were significant differences by age, group, gender, region, and income level. The differences between women and men were quite striking, with men nearly twice as likely to consider various mobile phone behaviors as acceptable in informal meetings.
Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Manuela Priesemuth of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Her paper “Bad Behavior in Groups: The Impact of Overall Justice Climate and Functional Dependence on Counterproductive Work Behavior in Work Units,” co-authored by Anke Arnaud of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Marshall Schminke of the University of Central Florida, appeared in the April 2013 issue of Group & Organization Management.
My coauthors and I have always been interested in studying environmental and contextual factors in organizations that may influence employee behavior. In this current paper, we examine two environmental factors that influence bad behavior in organizations. Specifically, overall justice climate predicts negative behavior in work groups and this relationship is stronger when the task interdependence between workers is low.
Our findings were consistent with our predictions. However, our findings are somewhat counterintuitive for other literatures. For example, we found that reduced interdependence between workers, and therefore greater work autonomy for employees, may have negative implications for work units such that negative behavior occurs more frequently. Most research to date has emphasized the positive implications of greater work autonomy for employees. Our research shows that this is not always the case.
My last point above is probably one of the main contributions for practice. That is, greater independence and autonomy for employees in work units can turn ugly if fair conditions are not present in the organizations. Managers and organizations need to focus on fairness in the workplace, as unfairness has been shown to create deviant and political behavior in work groups. Fair climates in turn foster positive behavior. Furthermore, the structure of the work itself needs to be considered for work units as certain work structures can exacerbate bad behavior in an unfair climate.
Manuela Priesemuth is an assistant professor of Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management in the School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida. Her research interests concern social issues in management including workplace aggression, behavioral ethics, and organizational justice.
Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Alice H. Y. Hon of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, whose article “The Effects of Group Conflict and Work Stress on Employee Performance,” co-authored by Wilco W. Chan of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is forthcoming in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.
In the contemporary business world, teamwork is increasingly important because many organizations feel the need to coordinate their activities more effectively; however, there are considerable challenges to working effectively in teams. One major challenge is conflict, which is the process resulting from stress and tension between team members that arise from the complexity of task relationships, excessive work demands, interpersonal disputes, and the interdependence of organizational life (De Dreu & Weingart, 2003). Early organizational conflict theorists suggested that conflict is detrimental to team effectiveness and organizational functioning (Glazer & Beehr, 2005; Hamilton, Hoffman, Broman, & Rauma, 1993). More recently, researchers have theorized that conflict is beneficial under certain circumstances, and if people perceive the nature of conflict and manage it appropriately (De Dreu & Van de Vliert, 1997; Simons & Peterson, 2000).
Although the concepts of team conflict and work stress remain popular today, theories that account for the distinction have not been clearly developed. The present study aims to contribute to the existing literature, and argues that understanding whether the conflict is task-related or relationship-related and whether the work stress is challenge-related or hindrance-related is necessary to evaluate the influence of team conflict and work stress on employee performance. Only by clearly distinguishing these relationships can we provide comprehensive theoretical and practical human resource suggestions to both scholars and managers. We can then confidently assert that conflict associated with certain stressors may result in negative outcomes, whereas conflict associated with other stressors may result in positive outcomes.
Alice H. Y. Hon is an assistant professor at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research focuses on employee creativity and innovation, intrinsic motivations, leadership, justice and trust, management team, and multilevel issues in service organizations.
Research has shown that employees dissatisfied with working conditions inevitably will communicate their dissent–whether to a superior or only to a coworker–despite the risks of such behavior. A new study in the Journal of Business Communication (JBC) finds that this dissent expression can benefit the employees themselves, as well as the health of the organizations they work for.
Jeffrey W. Kassing and Curtis A. Mitchell, both of Arizona State University; Nicole M. Piemonte of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas; and Carmen C. Goman of the University of Georgia, Athens published “Dissent Expression as an Indicator of Work Engagement and Intention to Leave” in the July 2012 issue of JBC. To see other articles in this issue, please click here.
This study examined how dissent expression related to employees’ self reports of work engagement and intention to leave. A sample of full-time employees completed a multi-instrument questionnaire. Findings indicated that dissent expression related to both employees’ work engagement and their intention to leave. In particular, dissent expressed to management and coworkers associated with work engagement, whereas dissent expressed to nonmanagement audiences associated with intention to leave. Additional analysis revealed that for managers, work engagement was primarily a function of refraining from expressing dissent.
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