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This chapter builds on previous research that conceptualized organizational politics as an organizational stressor. After reviewing the studies that integrated the…
This chapter builds on previous research that conceptualized organizational politics as an organizational stressor. After reviewing the studies that integrated the occupational stress literature with the organizational politics literature, it discusses the negative implications of the use of intimidation and pressure by supervisors, implications that have generally been overlooked. Specifically, the chapter presents a conceptual model positing that the use of intimidation and pressure by supervisors creates stress in their subordinates. This stress, in turn, affects subordinates’ well-being, evident in higher levels of job dissatisfaction, job burnout, and turnover intentions. The stress also reduces the effectiveness of the organization, reflected in a high absenteeism rate, poorer task performance, and a decline in organizational citizenship behavior. The model also maintains that individual differences in emotional intelligence and political skill mitigate the stress experienced by subordinates, resulting from the use of intimidation and pressure by their supervisors. In acknowledging the destructive implications of such behavior in terms of employees’ well-being and the productivity of the organization, the chapter raises doubts about the wisdom of using it, and advises supervisors to rethink its use as a motivational tool. Implications of this chapter, as well as future research directions, are discussed.
We review past research on the relationship between attributional perceptions, emotions, and workplace aggression and develop a conceptual model that extends this research…
We review past research on the relationship between attributional perceptions, emotions, and workplace aggression and develop a conceptual model that extends this research in two ways. First, we consider the influence of controllability attributions on the type (otherdirected, self-directed, hostile, non-hostile) and likelihood of aggressive responses to negative workplace outcomes and situations. Second, we consider the extent to which discrete negative emotions might mediate these attribution-aggression relationships. Implications for anticipating and preventing workplace aggression based on this conceptual model are discussed.
Large-scale organizational change, such as seen through mergers and acquisitions, CEO succession, and corporate entrepreneurship, sometimes is necessary in order to allow…
Large-scale organizational change, such as seen through mergers and acquisitions, CEO succession, and corporate entrepreneurship, sometimes is necessary in order to allow firms to be competitive. However, such change can be unsettling to existing employees, producing considerable uncertainty, conflict, politics, and stress, and thus, must be managed very carefully. Unfortunately, to date, little research has examined the relationships among change efforts, perceptions of political environments, and employee stress reactions. We introduce a conceptual model that draws upon sensemaking theory and research to explain how employees perceive and interpret their uncertain environments, the politics in them, and the resulting work stress, after large-scale organizational change initiatives. Implications of our proposed conceptualization are discussed, as are directions for future research.
A number of theoretical frameworks exist to explain perpetrators’ motivation for workplace aggression. Most of them consider these behaviors as retaliatory actions from…
A number of theoretical frameworks exist to explain perpetrators’ motivation for workplace aggression. Most of them consider these behaviors as retaliatory actions from individuals who experience triggering events in their workplaces. The current chapter describes a model that focuses on the motivations underlying proactive workplace aggression, and identifies situations where perpetrators consider their aggressive behaviors as morally justifiable. In particular, we argue that depending on the targets’ in- versus out-group membership and higher- versus lower-status in the hierarchy, aggressive behaviors may be viewed as acceptable to achieve perpetrators’ goals of forcing compliance or managing identity. The model extends the current literature by considering non-retaliatory workplace aggression, and by identifying potential avenues for future research and intervention to reduce proactive workplace aggression.
One organizational phenomenon in which emotions undoubtedly emerge is that of abusive supervision. To date, however, very little research has examined emotional responses…
One organizational phenomenon in which emotions undoubtedly emerge is that of abusive supervision. To date, however, very little research has examined emotional responses associated with perceptions of abuse by supervisors. If subordinates believe that responsibility for abuse does not fall on the abusive supervisors but on the organization itself, they might think the abuse is uncontrollable or unintentional on the part of the supervisors. This attribution shift may result in feelings of sympathy toward the supervisor. In this chapter, we suggest that such responses are likely to occur when subordinates are under no-escape conditions. This circumstance can lead subordinates to forgive their supervisor and retaliate against their organization.
In a world that glorifies power, the lives of the powerless serve as context for testimonies of salvation that in their pretentiousness more often reinforce the reputation…
In a world that glorifies power, the lives of the powerless serve as context for testimonies of salvation that in their pretentiousness more often reinforce the reputation and self-esteem of the powerful hero than transform the lives of the oppressed. Whereas these types of popular human-interest stories may raise awareness of the conditions surrounding the powerless, they do little more than advance the notion that these individuals are without hope and must rely solely on the generosity, resources, and leadership of the powerful populations by which they are exploited. We seek to offer a contrasting perspective in this chapter. That is, we present a framework that challenges messianic notions of leaders of ineffectual populations and presses forth with the idea that powerlessness is a more common condition than feeling powerful and that only the powerless can alter their destiny.
Research on perceptions of organizational politics has mostly explored the negative aspects and detrimental outcomes for organizations and employees. Responding to recent…
Research on perceptions of organizational politics has mostly explored the negative aspects and detrimental outcomes for organizations and employees. Responding to recent calls in the literature for a more balanced treatment, we expand on how positive and negative organizational politics perceptions are perceived as stressors and affect employee outcomes through their influence on the social environment. We propose that employees appraise positive and negative organization politics perceptions as either challenge or hindrance stressors, to which they respond with engagement and disengagement as problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies. Specifically, employees who appraise the negative politics perceptions as a hindrance, use both problem- and emotion-focused coping, which entails one of three strategies: (1) decreasing their engagement, (2) narrowing the focus of their engagement, or (3) disengaging. Although these strategies result in negative outcomes for the organization, employees’ coping leads to their positive well-being. In contrast, employees appraising positive politics perceptions as a challenge stressor use problem-focused coping, which involves increasing their engagement to reap the perceived benefits of a positive political environment. Yet, positive politics perceptions may also be appraised as a hindrance stressor in certain situations, and, therefore lead employees to apply emotion-focused coping wherein they use a disengagement strategy. By disengaging, they deal with the negative effects of politics perceptions, resulting in positive well-being. Thus, our framework suggests an unexpected twist to the stress process of politics perceptions as a strain-provoking component of employee work environments.
The malicious impulse is a phenomenon that lies in the theoretical and ontological space between emotion and action. In this chapter, we probe this space. In the empirical…
The malicious impulse is a phenomenon that lies in the theoretical and ontological space between emotion and action. In this chapter, we probe this space. In the empirical part of this work, we evaluate the hypothesis that middle-level supervisors will be more likely than non-supervisory workers and top-level supervisors to report an impulse to “hurt someone you work with” (i.e., maliciousness).
Data are from a cross-sectional survey of a representative sample of employed Toronto residents in 2004–2005.
Results from logistic regression analyses show that when job characteristics are controlled, the estimated difference between middle-level supervisors and workers in other hierarchical positions reporting the impulse to harm a coworker is statistically significant. Moreover, the difference between middle-level supervisors and other workers persist after controls for anger about work and job-related stress.
In discussing our results, we focus on factors that might generate the observed associations, and on how Bourdieusian theory may be used to interpret the social patterning of impulses in general, and malicious impulses in particular. We also discuss the implications of our findings for emotional intelligence in the workplace.
We develop and validate measurement instruments for the business partner, watchdog, and scorekeeper roles of controllers. This study addresses calls to enhance the quality…
We develop and validate measurement instruments for the business partner, watchdog, and scorekeeper roles of controllers. This study addresses calls to enhance the quality of survey research in management accounting by devoting more attention to scale development and especially to construct validity. By focusing on the activity sets of the controllers’ roles, we provide a theoretically and empirically grounded picture of their current roles. The measurement instruments presented in this study enable systematic research progress on controller roles, their relationships, antecedents, and performance outcomes.