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Conflict and stress in organisations

Crossman, AV (2011) Conflict and stress in organisations In: Organisation Behaviour. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London, pp. 157-179. ISBN 1843982471

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This chapter deals with conflict in organisations at the macro (organisational) level and at the micro (individual) level. At the macro-level conflict is frequently the perceived unequal distribution of power in organisations; at the micro, conflict within and between individuals is closely related to personality. One of the main problems we face with conflict that it is often misconstrued; many perceive conflict to be inherently bad, whereas the reality may be somewhat different. The chapter identifies the nature of conflict and differentiates between functional conflict, that which is healthy, and dysfunctional conflict which can be destructive. The chapter also addresses the way in which conflict manifests itself and potential sources of resolution. The chapter is underpinned by other theoretical areas such as Equity Theory and Organisational Justice Perceptions. The chapter goes on to address stress in the workplace. Managers are often quoted as saying that ‘a bit of stress is good for people’; a highly controversial position and agreement or disagreement with it will depend on our understanding of stress and the ability to distinguish between ‘stress’ and ‘pressure’. Theoretically some stress can be productive, ‘eustress’, and some harmful, ‘distress’. If individuals have different levels of mental and physical tolerance there is a distinct possibility that in some situations one person might feel pressurised but another might feel stressed; a manager may not be sufficiently skilled to differentiate between the two. Finally the chapter draws together the key aspects of conflict and stress theories and raises the potential for a causal link. Personal conflict over some moral or ethical issue, or interpersonal conflict between superior and subordinate or between peers, might lead to internal or interactional stress. The explores these incidences of stress, how they might manifest themselves, and how they might be managed.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors : Crossman, AV
Editors :
Butler, M
Rose, E
Date : 2011
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 12:59

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