Archive for the ‘Workplace Conflicts’ Category

Snowden and … Sophocles? Whistleblowing in Antigone

April 21, 2014

483px-Antigoneleigh

Frederic Leighton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

While figures like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have been in the public eye in recent years, whistleblowers are not a new concept. Qui tam was a common law practice that began in thirteen century England that allowed an individual to bring charges against an entity who violated the law and receive compensation from the penalties charged against the guilty party, a system Continental Congress adopted before the Revolutionary War had even ended. Author Alessia Contu looks even further back in history for a fuller portrait of whistleblowers in her article “Rationality and Relationality in the Process of Whistleblowing: Recasting Whistleblowing Through Readings of Antigone” from Journal of Management Inquiry.

The abstract:

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointReporting wrongdoing is seen as desirable to fight illegal practices, but whistleblowers often suffer retaliations and are in need of protection. Overall, whistleblowers engender strong reactions and are cast either as saints or rats. I consider why whistleblowers are seen as unsettling and ambivalent figures by exploring the analogy between Antigone, the Sophoclean heroine, and whistleblowers. These reflections reconfigure the rationality and relationality of the process of whistleblowing. The rationality of the whistleblower is singular and not easily subsumed into universalizing norms which explains some of the limits reached by the empiricist pro-social research agenda. The relationality of the process of whistleblowing indicates that the reactions of those who hear the whistle are as important. This open up to an appreciation of the ethical and political valence of the process of whistleblowing and highlights a number of counter-intuitive and interesting issues in its synchronic and diachronic dimension.

Read “Rationality and Relationality in the Process of Whistleblowing: Recasting Whistleblowing Through Readings of Antigone” from Journal of Management Inquiry for free by clicking here. Want to keep up on all the latest from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Out of Whack: On the Strength of Weak Ties

April 19, 2014

[We're pleased to reproduce Journal of Management Inquiry's "Out of Whack" by Charles M. Vance.]

OfWRead “Out of Whack” for free from Journal of Management Inquiry by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Out of Whack: AQ, PQ, Miscue?

April 12, 2014

[We're pleased to reproduce Journal of Management Inquiry's "Out of Whack" by Charles M. Vance.]

OOW 114Read “Out of Whack” for free from the January 2014 issue of Journal of Management Inquiry by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Does Marriage Structure Affect How Women are Viewed in the Workplace?

March 26, 2014

genderTwenty percent of households in the United States still adhere to the traditional structure in which the wife stays home to care for family and household and the husband is the sole breadwinner. According to authors Sreedhari D. Desai, Dolly Chugh, and Arthur P. Brief in their article “The Implications of Marriage Structure for Men’s Workplace Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors toward Women,” recently published in the OnlineFirst section of Administrative Science Quarterly, this family format can have surprising ramifications on the perception of working women by men who exclusively provide a household’s income.

The abstract:

Based on five studies with a total of 993 married, heterosexual male participants, we found that marriage structure has important implications for attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to gender among heterosexual married men in the workplace. Specifically, men in traditional marriages—married ASQ_v59n1_Mar2014_cover.inddto women who are not employed—disfavor women in the workplace and are more likely than the average of all married men to make decisions that prevent the advancement of qualified women. Results show that employed men in traditional marriages tend to (a) view the presence of women in the workplace unfavorably, (b) perceive that organizations with higher numbers of female employees are operating less smoothly, (c) perceive organizations with female leaders as relatively unattractive, and (d) deny qualified female employees opportunities for promotions more frequently than do other married male employees. Moreover, our final study suggests that men who are single and then marry women who are not employed may change their attitudes toward women in the workplace, becoming less positive. The consistent pattern of results across multiple studies employing multiple methods (lab, longitudinal, archival) and samples (U.S., U.K., undergraduates, managers) demonstrates the robustness of our findings that the structure of a man’s marriage influences his gender ideology in the workplace, presenting an important challenge to workplace egalitarianism.
Read “The Implications of Marriage Structure for Men’s Workplace Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors toward Women” from Administrative Science Quarterly for free by clicking here. Click here to sign up for e-alerts and be the first to know about all the latest from Administrative Science Quarterly!

Workplace Harassment Back in the News

February 15, 2014

With the widely publicized U.S. National Football League (NFL) harassment scandal and the release of the Wells Report once again putting the spotlight on bullying and harassment in the workplace, it seems like an appropriate time to rerun this post from October. Whether it’s found in the locker room, the boardroom or the lunchroom, intolerance and bullying behavior affect individuals, teams, schools and companies, regardless of their size or status. The articles below are open until March 15.

_______________________________________

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and unfortunately the workplace is not immune to this form of abuse. We often think of bullying among children, but  studies show it is all too common in the workplace as well.  In 2010, a report commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute showed 35% of the U.S. workforce, representing an estimated 53.5 million Americans, reported experiencing workplace bullying at some point in their careers.

What does current research have to say about workplace bullying? In order to support the dissemination of this important research, SAGE is offering the following selected journal articles on workplace bullying free for a limited time:

For more articles, information and news from SAGE Management, follow us on Twitter @SAGEManagement.

War of the Texters

October 28, 2013

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 employBCQ coverees 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.

This article  is free for the next 30 days! Don’t forget to sign up for e-alerts to get the latest research first from Business Communication Quarterly.

Bullying in the Workplace

October 4, 2013

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and unfortunately the workplace is not immune to this form of abuse. We often think of bullying among children, but  studies show it is all too common in the workplace as well.  In 2010, a report commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute showed 35% of the U.S. workforce, representing an estimated 53.5 million Americans, reported experiencing workplace bullying at some point in their careers.

What does current research have to say about workplace bullying? In order to support the dissemination of this important research, SAGE is offering the following selected journal articles on workplace bullying free for a limited time:

October is Free-Trial month at SAGE. Receive free access to these journals and more here.

Stand Up Against Workplace Abuse

July 1, 2013

The impacts of workplace abuse, harassment, and bullying are well documented (see our recent post on the topic for relevant research). In addition to those who are the direct target of abuse, however, there are those who witness such injustices in the workplace. A new article in Business & Society asks if and when employees will stand up for their fellow workers, and how their actions make a difference:

BAS_v50_72ppiRGB_150pixWThis article presents the work of Dr. Manuela Priesemuth. This dissertation examines what happens when employees witness supervisory abuse in the workplace. In particular, it explores whether—and when—employees will respond to witnessing supervisory abuse by engaging in prosocial actions aimed at benefitting the target of abuse. Below, the author discusses the notion of abusive supervision, theoretical perspectives of work on third- party observers, and the conditions under which the author believes third- party observers of abuse are more inclined to engage in positive behavior toward victims; that is, it is argued that specific individual characteristics (moral courage of the observer), relational characteristics (close ties between the observer and target), and organizational characteristics trigger prosocial reactions in observers. Finally, the reflection commentary provides insights about the research journey in which the author participated.

Click here to read “Stand Up and Speak Up: Employees’ Prosocial Reactions to Observed Abusive Supervision,” published by Manuela Priesemuth of Wilfrid Laurier University in Business & Society, and keep up with the latest research from the journal by clicking here.

Bad Behavior in Groups: How Managers Can Respond

May 30, 2013

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.

UntitledMy 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.

GOM_72ppiRGB_150pixwOur 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.

Read the paper, “Bad Behavior in Groups: The Impact of Overall Justice Climate and Functional Dependence on Counterproductive Work Behavior in Work Units,”  in  Group & Organization Management.

priesemuthManuela 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.

Is Workplace Conflict Good or Bad?

March 6, 2013

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).

CQ_v50n2_72ppiRGB_150pixWAlthough 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.

Click here to read The Effects of Group Conflict and Work Stress on Employee Performance” in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

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.


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