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(LN 4006)


Unit III: Group and Social Processes

1. Power and Politics

2. Conflict in organization
3. Stress and Counseling
4. Team Building

Submitted by:

I. Power and Politics

Definition of Power

The capacity to direct or influence the behavior or the course of action of others

Power refers to a capacity that A has to influence the behavior of B, so B acts in

accordance with As wishes

Difference between Power and Influence

Power is the ability to

Get someone to do something you want done.
Make things happen in the way you want.

Influence is
What you have when you exercise power.
Expressed by others behavioral response to your exercise of power.

Power Dependence

Bases of Power

There is need to make a distinction between BASES of power and SOURCES of power. This
distinction has important implications for the authority-influence contrast. In dealing with the
bases of power, we are interested in what parties control that enables them to manipulate the
behavior of others. In referring to the sources of power we are speaking of how parties come
to control the bases of power.

French and Raven (1959) distinguish six major bases of power. They include:

(a) COERCION this implies the threat of decreasing anothers outcomes. The holder can apply
punishment or sanction;

(b) EXPERTISE this is formal or specialized knowledge about particular issues or activities
with an organization. The person with expertise has the status of an expert and thus is likely to be

(c) REWARDS this implies the promise of increasing the outcomes of the employer. The
holder of this can give or withhold something desired;

(d) LEGITIMACY The holder of this power is viewed as right in terms of the values of the one
influenced; this is tantamount to authority. Authority is power based on rights of control and
concomitant obligations to obey;

(e) REFERENT POWER this is more interpersonal in nature than legitimacy. It means power
based on identification with another. This is exemplified by the power of charismatic leaders who
elicit deference and are accorded credibility by others
(Bacharach and Lawler, 1980). The individual influenced desires to model his/her
behavior to the source of influence
Power Tactics

Rational persuasion
Inspirational appeals
Personal appeals

Consequences of Power

Sources of Power Consequences of Power

Expert power
Referent power Commitment

Legitimate power
Reward power Compliance

Coercive power Resistance

Sexual Harassment: Unequal Power in the Workplace

Harasser stereotypes the victim as subservient and powerless

Harasser threatens job security or safety through coercive or legitimate power
Hostile work environment harassment continues when the victim lacks power to stop the

Office Romance and Power

Co-workers believe that employees in relationships abuse their power to favor each other.
Higher risk of sexual harassment when relationship breaks off.

What is empowerment, and how can managers empower others?

The process by which managers help others to acquire and use the power needed to make
decisions affecting themselves and their work.

Considers power to be something that can be shared by everyone working in flatter and
more collegial organizations.
Provides the foundation for self-managing work teams and other employee involvement

Power as an expanding pie.

With empowerment, employees must be trained to expand their power and their new
influence potential.

Empowerment changes the dynamics between supervisors and subordinates.

Ways to expand power.

Clearly define roles and responsibilities.

Provide opportunities for creative problem solving coupled with the discretion to act.
Emphasize different ways of exercising influence.
Provide support to individuals so they become comfortable with developing their power.
Expand inducements for thinking and acting, not just obeying.

Contrasting Leadership and Power

Leadership Power
Focuses on goal achievement. Used as a means for achieving goals.
Requires goal compatibility with Requires follower dependency.
followers. Used to gain lateral and upward
Focuses influence downward. influence.
Research Focus
Leadership styles and relationships Research Focus
with followers Power tactics for gaining


Power is the ability to influence people and events.

Managers need to use power effectively.
Closely related to power is politics. Politics relates to the ways people gain and use power
in organizations.
Political activities in an organization are inevitable and managers should manage them
Power and politics are present in all organizations.


Definition of Politics
Organizational Politics are the activities managers engage in to increase their power and use
it to achieve their goals.
Political strategies:

Specific tactics used to increase power and use it effectively.

Political can be negative, but also is a positive force allowing needed change.
Everyone throughout the firm engagers in politics
Political activity allows a manager to gain support for an idea.

Reasons for Office Politics

Politics arises when employees aspire to achieve something beyond their authority and
control in a short span of time
Lack of supervision and control at the workplace
Too much of gossip at work lead to politics
Arrogant superiors
Jealous colleagues

Political Tactics & Strategies

To make effective use of organizational politics, leader must be aware of specific political tactics
& strategies

There are three major tactics

1. Gaining Power

All political tactics are aimed at gaining & maintaining power, even the power to avoid a
difficult assignment.

Six techniques to gaining power

Develop power contacts
Control vital information
Control lines of communication
Bring in outside expert
Make a quick showing

2. Building relationship

Much of organization politics involve building relationship with network member who can be
helpful now or later

Strategies for building relationship

Make & manage impression on others
Ask satisfied customers to speak about you
Be overly courteous, pleasant & positive
Flatter others
3. Avoiding political blunders

A strategy for retaining power is to refrain from making power eroding blunders which can
prevent one from attaining power
Criticizing the boss in public forums
By passing the manager
Overt display of disloyalty
Being or perceived as a poor team player
Act in haste
Declining an offer from top management


Power is the ability to influence people and events.

Managers need to use power effectively.
Closely related to power is politics. Politics relates to the ways people gain and use power
in organizations.
Political activities in an organization are inevitable and managers should manage them
Power and politics are present in all organizations and are inevitable. However it depends
on the stakeholders whether to use it for their selfish benefits or for an organizational
development that can lead to everyone's benefits.
Conflict in Organizations

Conflict is inevitable whenever two or more people interact, whether in the workplace or at
home. Conflict can occur between two or more individuals, two or more groups, or an individual
and a group. When dealing with conflict in an organization, it is important to remember to
address the issue, not the people. Types of conflict that can occur in any organization include
unclear definitions of role responsibility, conflict of interest, lack of resources and interpersonal
relationships within the workplace.

Definition of Responsibility Unclear

When it is unclear who is responsible for what area of a project or task, conflict can occur.
Territorial issues arise when decisions are made that appear to cross boundaries of responsibility.
To prevent this from happening it is imperative that the roles and responsibilities of all the
players are spelled out clearly and agreed upon by everyone involved before the project is
Conflict of Interest

Understanding how personal interests and goals fit within the structure of the organization will
alleviate conflict of interest problems. When an individual's personal goals are at odds with the
goals of the organization, the individual may be tempted to fight for his personal goals, creating a
conflict situation that will hamper success of the project.
Not Enough Resources

Competition for resources, including money, time and materials, will cause the teams to undercut
each other, leading to conflict between departments or other work groups. Valuable resources
need to be protected, as well as distributed fairly among all the groups. Starting out a project
with a clear picture of the resources available will help waylay some of this conflict.
Interpersonal Relationships

The personalities of the people involved in the organizational structure play an important part in
conflict resolution. Often the conflict is a result of interpersonal relationships where the parties to
the conflict are unable to resolve personal issues with each other. It is not always easy to set
aside personal prejudices when entering the workplace, but it is important to recognize what
those prejudices are and deal with them before conflict arises.
Causes of Organizational Conflict

In order to survive, a company must focus its efforts on generating revenue in the face of
competition. According to Ryan Bannerman Associates, sometimes the need to focus on beating
the competition can get derailed by internal organizational conflict. In order to keep your
employees focused on being productive and bettering the competition, it is necessary to
understand the causes of organizational conflict.

Managerial Expectations

It is the job of an employee to meet the expectations of his manager, but if those expectations are
misunderstood, conflict can arise. Managers need to spend time clearly communicating their
goals to employees and then confirming those goals in writing. A manager should also encourage
her employees to ask questions about their goals, and hold regular meetings to discuss the goals
and how best to reach them.
Breakdown in Communication

If a department requires information from another department in order to do its job, and the
second department does not respond to the request for information, a conflict can arise. Some
interdepartmental disagreements might trigger a nonresponsive attitude that can quickly become
an internal conflict. Another way of creating this sort of conflict is by giving a circular response
such as an issue being perpetually "under review." When people or departments are late in
responding to information requests, or they are withholding information on purpose, it is best to
address the situation immediately with a personal meeting with both sides to resolve the
Misunderstanding the Information

According to mediation expert Robert D. Benjamin, writing on, internal conflict

can sometimes arise as the result of a simple misunderstanding. One person may misunderstand
information, and that can trigger a series of conflicts. In order to deal with this kind of situation,
it is best to have the person admit her misunderstanding and work with the affected parties to
remedy the situation. For example, if the production manager misunderstands the product
manufacturing goals, then the sales manager may not have enough product to sell. Taking
responsibility for a mistake can quickly defuse a potential organizational conflict.
Lack of Accountability

Organizational conflict might arise from frustration. One source of frustration is a lack of
accountability. If something has gone wrong, and no one is willing to take responsibility for the
problem, this lack of accountability can start to permeate throughout the entire company until the
issue is resolved. One way to combat a lack of accountability is to have anyone who comes into
contact with a document sign his name to it and include the date. The paper trail may sometimes
find the source of the problem, which can then be addressed
Eight Sources of Conflict

Conflict in a workplace setting can be a normal part of doing business. In some cases, conflict
that is managed properly can be beneficial, as when it fosters an environment of healthy
competition. However, conflict may also have a detrimental effect. As a manager or business
owner, you need to be aware of potential sources of conflict within your work environment.

Implementation of new technology can lead to stressful change. Workers who don't adapt well to
change can become overly stressed, which increases the likelihood of conflict in the workplace.
Interpersonal Relationships

When different personalities come together in a workplace, there is always the possibility they
won't mesh. Office gossip and rumors can also serve as a catalyst for deterioration of co-worker
Supervisor vs. Employee

Just as co-worker personalities may not mesh, a supervisor and employee can also experience
conflict. A supervisor who is seen as overbearing or unfair can rub an employee the wrong way,
which makes the working relationship more difficult.
External Changes

When the economy slides into a recession or a new competitor swoops in and steals some of a
company's market share, it can create tension within the company. This stress can lead to conflict
between employees and even between upper levels of management.
Poor Communication

Companies or supervisors that don't communicate effectively can create conflict. For example, a
supervisor who gives unclear instructions to employees can cause confusion as to who is
supposed to do what, which can lead to conflict.
Subpar Performance

When a worker in a department is not "pulling his weight," it can lead to conflict within the
department, perhaps even escalating into a confrontational situation. A supervisor who fails to
acknowledge or address the situation can add fuel to the fire.

Harassment in the workplace can take many forms, such as sexual or racial harassment or even
the hazing of a new employee. Companies that don't have strong harassment policies in place are
in effect encouraging the behavior, which can result in conflict.
Limited Resources

Companies that are looking to cut costs may scale back on resources such as office equipment,
access to a company vehicle or the spending limit on expense accounts. Employees may feel they
are competing against each other for resources, which can create friction in the workplace.
What Causes Employee Conflict in the Workplace?

Employee conflict in the workplace is a common occurrence, resulting from the differences in
employees' personalities and values. Dealing with employee conflict in a timely manner is
important to maintaining a healthy work environment. Believing that a conflict will simply
disappear is an inaccurate assumption to make because simple conflicts can grow into major
problems if not dealt with appropriately. Managers should understand the common causes of
employee conflicts, so that a solution is found before the issues become unmanageable.
Poor Communication

Poor communication is one of the main causes of conflict between employees in the workplace.
This can result in a difference in communication styles or a failure to communicate. For example,
a manager reassigned an employees task to the employees co-worker but failed to communicate
the reassignment to the employee. This may cause the employee to feel slighted, which can
transform into animosity among the two employees and the manager. Failing to communicate in
the workplace may cause employees to make incorrect assumptions and believe workplace
gossip. Poor communication in the workplace not only causes conflict but decreases productivity
and employee morale.
Difference in Personalities

A difference in personalities among employees is another cause of workplace conflict.

Employees come from different backgrounds and experiences, which play a role in shaping their
personalities. When employees fail to understand or accept the differences in each other's
personalities, problems arise in the workplace. For example, an employee may possess a
straightforward personality that results in him speaking whatever is on his mind, even if the
timing is inappropriate. The employee with the straightforward personality may offend a co-
worker that does not possess the same type of personality. The co-worker may feel as if the
employee is rude or lacks the authority to deal with her in such a straightforward manner.
Different Values

Similar to personalities, the values of employees differ within the workplace. A difference in
values is seen clearly when a generational gap is present. Young workers may possess different
workplace values than older workers. The difference in values is not necessarily the cause of
employee conflict in the workplace, but the failure to accept the differences is. When employees
fail to accept the differences, co-workers may insult each other's character and experiences.
When insults occur, the conflict intensifies until the right solution is offered and accepted.

Unhealthy workplace competition is a cause of employee conflict. Some industries foster

competitive environments more than others. When salary is linked to employee production, a
workplace may experience strong competition between employees. Competition that is not
properly managed can result in employees sabotaging or insulting one another, which creates a
hostile work environment. Unhealthy workplace competition discourages teamwork and
promotes individualism.
Examples of Conflicts & Resolutions in the Workplace

Conflict is inevitable in workplace settings, and conflicts can arise between co-workers,
supervisors and subordinates or between employees and external stakeholders, such as
customers, suppliers and regulatory agencies. Managing conflict is a key management
competency and all small business owners should study and practice effective conflict
management skills to maintain a positive workplace environment. Reviewing examples of
conflicts and resolutions in the workplace can give you an idea of what to expect when conflicts

Discrimination Issues

Discrimination can be a source of heated conflict, potentially ending in legal trouble for a
company or its owners. Discriminatory conflicts can arise from personal prejudices on the part of
employees or perceptions of mistreatment of employees. As an example of a discrimination-
related conflict, imagine a minority employee in a team setting who feels that he is consistently
assigned the most menial work tasks in the group. This employee may begin to harbor
resentment against team members and managers, eventually lashing out through decreased
productivity or outright verbal conflict. To resolve this issue, a manager could sit down with the
whole team and discuss the way in which job tasks are assigned, making changes as necessary to
ensure that tasks are divided equitably.

Performance-Review Conflicts

No employee likes to receive a negative performance review, but giving negative feedback in a
review can be unavoidable based on the employee's own actions during the review period.
Employees may become angry over not receiving expected pay raises, promotions or other
performance-related incentives, and may lash out by spreading discontent through gossip and a
negative attitude at work. Employees may argue directly with supervisors during performance
reviews, creating sensitive situations that require tactful communication. To resolve a conflict
arising from a negative performance review, work directly with the employee to create a solid,
time-bound plan of action to improve her performance, and tie the completion of these goals to
guaranteed incentives. Allow employees a voice when setting goals to increase their dedication
to achieving the goals.

Conflicts with Customers

Sales and customer service employees can experience conflict with customers on a fairly regular
basis, depending on the industry. A common conflict experienced by salespeople is a dissatisfied
customer who feels personally defrauded by an individual salesperson. For example, if a car
salesman sells a used car without a performance guarantee or warranty and the car breaks down
on the buyer, the buyer may return to angrily confront the salesperson and demand a refund. The
best first step to solve these conflicts is to involve a manager who has the right to offer refunds,
discounts or other conciliatory gestures to the customer unless you are in a situation where
employees are empowered to make these kinds of decisions.

Leadership Conflicts

Personality clashes between managers and subordinates can cause a range of interpersonal
conflicts to arise. Employees may feel bullied or pushed by more authoritarian managers, or may
perceive a lack of guidance from more hands-off managers. Managers with type-A personalities
may set goals that are too ambitious for their subordinates, setting them up for failure and
inevitable conflict. To handle these personality mismatches, first try to garner an understanding
between the manager and the subordinate so that each understands the others' perspective in the
situation. Never treat conflict management situations as disciplinary hearings, as if managers are
inherently right and employees are inherently wrong; this is a reliable way to lose good
employees. If the two cannot come to an understanding, place the employee under the
supervision of another manager if possible.
5 Conflict Management Strategies

In any situation involving more than one person, conflict can arise. The causes of conflict range
from philosophical differences and divergent goals to power imbalances. Unmanaged or poorly
managed conflicts generate a breakdown in trust and lost productivity. For small businesses,
where success often hinges on the cohesion of a few people, loss of trust and productivity can
signal the death of the business. With a basic understanding of the five conflict management
strategies, small business owners can better deal with conflicts before they escalate beyond


The accommodating strategy essentially entails giving the opposing side what it wants. The use
of accommodation often occurs when one of the parties wishes to keep the peace or perceives the
issue as minor. For example, a business that requires formal dress may institute a "casual Friday"
policy as a low-stakes means of keeping the peace with the rank and file. Employees who use
accommodation as a primary conflict management strategy, however, may keep track and
develop resentment.


The avoidance strategy seeks to put off conflict indefinitely. By delaying or ignoring the conflict,
the avoider hopes the problem resolves itself without a confrontation. Those who actively avoid
conflict frequently have low esteem or hold a position of low power. In some circumstances,
avoiding can serve as a profitable conflict management strategy, such as after the dismissal of a
popular but unproductive employee. The hiring of a more productive replacement for the
position soothes much of the conflict.


Collaboration works by integrating ideas set out by multiple people. The object is to find a
creative solution acceptable to everyone. Collaboration, though useful, calls for a significant time
commitment not appropriate to all conflicts. For example, a business owner should work
collaboratively with the manager to establish policies, but collaborative decision-making
regarding office supplies wastes time better spent on other activities.


The compromising strategy typically calls for both sides of a conflict to give up elements of their
position in order to establish an acceptable, if not agreeable, solution. This strategy prevails most
often in conflicts where the parties hold approximately equivalent power. Business owners
frequently employ compromise during contract negotiations with other businesses when each
party stands to lose something valuable, such as a customer or necessary service.


Competition operates as a zero-sum game, in which one side wins and other loses. Highly
assertive personalities often fall back on competition as a conflict management strategy. The
competitive strategy works best in a limited number of conflicts, such as emergency situations.
In general, business owners benefit from holding the competitive strategy in reserve for crisis
situations and decisions that generate ill-will, such as pay cuts or layoffs.
Ways of Managing Conflict in Organizations

Conflict is inevitable in small businesses. Conflict can arise from a variety of sources, and
between supervisors and subordinates, between co-workers, and between employees and
customers. Managers and organizations can choose to see conflict as inherently negative, acting
to suppress it at every opportunity, or as inherently positive, leveraging conflict to affect positive

Positive Perspective

Accept conflict as a natural growth process and influence your company culture to view
constructive conflict positively. Conflict can be an asset to your small business if it is handled
properly. It can help your organization to learn from its mistakes and identify areas of needed
improvement. Innovation can be inspired from creative solutions to internal or external conflicts,
and new ways of thinking can emerge.

Grievance Procedure

Create a formal grievance procedure for all employees. Let employees at all levels of your
organization know that their voices will always be heard, and respond promptly and reasonably
to employees issues. This can prevent bad feelings from festering and growing into resentment
and bitterness. Conflict is best handled quickly and openly. If your company culture is
sufficiently friendly toward constructive conflict, your staff should see the value of letting their
complaints, ideas and issues be heard.

Get to the Cause

Focus on deep-rooted causes rather than superficial effects when assessing conflicts. Parties to a
conflict often claim to have issues with the behavior of co-workers or the outcome of company
policies and work procedures, but these issues are likely being caused by something deeper.
Attempting to resolve the conflict by addressing surface issues will rarely create meaningful
change or lasting solutions. Look deeper to address the reasons that incidents occur. As an
example, if a supervisor finds himself constantly in conflict with a loyal employee due to falling
productivity levels, the supervisor may naturally want to address the employees behavior head-
on. Upon closer analysis, however, the supervisor may realize that the employee has been
increasingly dissatisfied with his job ever since last year disappointing performance review.
Revisiting the review with the employee may be much more effective than creating incremental
performance goals for him.
Equal Voices

Give all parties to a conflict an equal voice, regardless of their position, length of service or
political influence. Conflict participants can become defensive if they feel they are being
marginalized or are going through a process leading to a predetermined outcome. It can be
tempting to take the word of managers over front-line employees, or to take the word of a loyal
employee over a new employee, but remember that your most trusted associates are not
necessarily infallible. Go beyond simply giving everyone an equal chance to speak; give their
arguments an equal weight in your mind when mediating a conflict.

Resolution Participation

Involve all parties, if possible, when drafting conflict resolutions. The theory of Management By
Objectives (MBO) states that employees are generally more committed to goals that they have
helped to create. The same holds true for conflict resolutions. There is more than one side to
every conflict, and all sides should benefit from conflict resolution. Seek resolutions that will
prevent the conflict from occurring again, rather than simply delaying a repeat occurrence.


Stress may be defined as "a state of psychological and / or physiological imbalance resulting
from the disparity between situational demand and the individual's ability and / or motivation to
meet those demands."
Stress is the body's reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment
or response. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by
something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood. These
chemicals give people more energy and strength, which can be a good thing if their stress is
caused by physical danger. But this can also be a bad thing, if their stress is in response to
something emotional and there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength.

Stress can be positive or negative. Stress can be positive when the situation offers an opportunity
for a person to gain something. It acts as a motivator for peak performance. Stress can be
negative when a person faces social, physical, organisational and emotional problems

Stress consists of physiological reactions that occur in three stages:

Alarm Phase Upon encountering a stressor, body reacts with fight-or-flight response and
sympathetic nervous system is activated.
Hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin released into the bloodstream to
meet the threat or danger.
The bodys resources now mobilized.

Resistance Parasympathetic nervous system returns many physiological functions to

Phase normal levels while body focuses resources against the stressor.
Blood glucose levels remain high, cortisol and adrenalin continue to circulate
at elevated levels, but outward appearance of organism seems normal.
Increase HR, BP, breathing
Body remains on red alert.
Exhaustion If stressor continues beyond bodys capacity, organism exhausts resources and
Phase becomes susceptible to disease and death.

Stress can be both positive and negative. It is our response to stresshow we manage stress
that makes a difference in terms of how it affects us.

Two types of Levels:


Stress resulting from pleasant events or conditions is called eustress.Eustress can be defined as a
pleasant or curative stress. We can't always avoid stress, in fact, sometimes we don't want to.
Often, it is controlled stress that gives us our competitive edge in performance related activities
like athletics, giving a speech, or acting.


Stress resulting from unpleasant events or conditions is called distress.

Bad stress
If a stimulus we react to is negative, we are actually feeling distress though we label it
as stress. e. g. death of a close friend.
Acute stress
Acute stress is usually for short time and may be due to work pressure, meeting
deadlines pressure or minor accident, over exertion, increased physical activity, searching
something but you misplaced it, or similar things.
Chronic stress

Chronic stress is a prolonged stress that exists for weeks, months, or even years. This
stress is due to poverty, broken or stressed families and marriages, chronic illness and successive
failures in life. People suffering from this type of stress get used to it and may even not realize
that they are under chronic stress. It is very harmful to their health.
Both distress and eustress elicit the same physiological responses in the body. While stress may
not always be negative, our responses to it can be problematic or unhealthy. Both positive and
negative stressful situations place extra demands on the bodyyour body reacts to an
unexpected change or a highly emotional experience, regardless of whether this change is good
or bad. If the duration of stress is relatively short, the overall effect is minimal and your body
will rest, renew itself, and return to normal.


Factors that cause stress are called "Stressors." The following are the sources or causes of an
organisational and non-organisational stress.


1) Career Changes: When a person suddenly switches over a new job, he is under stress to
shoulder new responsibilities properly. Under promotion, over promotion, demotion and
transfers can also cause stress.
2) Career Concern : If an employee feels that he is very much behind in corporate ladder, then
he may experience stress and if he feels that there are no opportunities for self-growth he
may experience stress. Hence unfulfilled career expectations are a major source of stress.
3) Role Ambiguity: It occurs when the person does not known what he is supposed to do on the
job. His tasks and responsibilities are not clear. The employee is not sure what he is expected
to do. This creates confusion in the minds of the worker and results in stress.
4) Role Conflict: It takes place when different people have different expectations from a person
performing a particular role. It can also occur if the job is not as per the expectation or when
a job demands a certain type of behaviour that is against the person's moral values.
5) Role Overload: Stress may occur to those individuals who work in different shifts.
Employees may be expected to work in day shift for some days and then in the night shift.
This may create problems in adjusting to the shift timings, and it can affect not only personal
life but also family life of the employee.
6) Frustration: Frustration is another cause of stress. Frustration arises when goal directed
behaviour is blocked. Management should attempt to remove barriers and help the employees
to reach their goals.
7) Life Changes: Life changes can bring stress to a person. Life changes can be slow or sudden.
Slow life changes include getting older and sudden life changes include death or accident of
a loved one. Sudden life changes are highly stressful and very difficult to cope.
8) Personality: People are broadly classified as 'Type A' and 'Type B'.
Feels guilty while relaxing.
Gets irritated by minor mistakes of self and others.
Feels impatient and dislikes waiting.
Does several things at one time.

While the 'Type B' people are exactly opposite and hence are less affected by stress due to above
mentioned factors.


1) Managerial Behaviour : Some managers creates stress for employees by

Exhibiting inconsistent behaviour
Failing to provide necessary support
Providing inadequate direction
Showing lack of concern and
Creating high productivity environment.
2) Lack of Group Cohesiveness: Every group is characterised by its cohesiveness although
they differ widely in degree of cohesiveness. Individuals experience stress when there is no
unity among the members of work group. There is mistrust, jealously, frequent quarrels, etc.,
in groups and this lead to stress to employees.
3) Lack of Participation in Decision Making: Many experienced employees feel that
management should consult them on matters affecting their jobs. In reality, the superiors
hardly consult the concerned employees before taking a decision. This develops a feeling of
being neglected, which may lead to stress.
4) Interpersonal and Intergroup Conflict : Interpersonal and intergroup conflict takes place
due to differences in perceptions, attitudes, values and beliefs between two or more
individuals and groups. Such conflicts can be a source of stress to group members.
5) Lack of Social Support: When individuals believe that they have the friendship and support
of others at work, their ability to cope with the effects of stress increases. If this kind of
social support is not available then an employee experiences more stress.
6) Workplace violence: Workplace violence is a very serious interpersonal stressor.
Individuals who experience violence have symptoms of severe distress after the violent
event. Workplace violence is also stressor for those who observe the violence.
7) Sexual Harassment: This refers to un-welcome conduct of a sexual nature that affects the
job related performance of an employee adversely.
1) Organisational Climate: A high pressure environment that places chronic work demands on
employees fuels the stress response.
2) Organisational Structure: It defines the level of differentiation, the degree of rules and
regulations and where decisions are made. Excessive rules and lack of participation in
decisions that affect an employee are examples of structural variables that might be potential
3) Organisational Leadership: Represents the managerial style of the organisations senior
executives. Some chief executive officers create a culture characterised by tension, fear and
4) Organisational Changes: When changes occur, people have to adapt to those changes and
this may cause stress. Stress is higher when changes are major or unusual like transfer or
adaption of new technology.
5) Occupational Demands: Some jobs are more stressful than others. Jobs that involve risk and
danger are more stressful. Research findings indicate that jobs that are more stressful usually
requires constant monitoring of equipments and devices, unpleasant physical conditions,
making decisions, etc.
6) Work Overload: Excessive work load leads to stress as it puts a person under tremendous
pressure. Work overload may take two different forms :-
Qualitative work overload implies performing a job that is complicated or beyond the
employee's capacity.
Quantitative work overload arises when number of activities to be performed in the
prescribed time is many.
7) Work Under load: In this case, very little work or too simple work is expected on the part of
the employee. Doing less work or jobs of routine and simple nature would lead to monotony
and boredom, which can lead to stress.
8) Working Conditions: Employees may be subject to poor working conditions. It would
include poor lighting and ventilations, unhygienic sanitation facilities, excessive noise and
dust, presence of toxic gases and fumes, inadequate safety measures, etc. All these unpleasant
conditions create physiological and psychological imbalance in humans thereby causing
1) Technological Changes: When there are any changes in technological field, employees
are under the constant stress of fear of losing jobs, or need to adjust to new technologies.
This can be a source of stress.
2) Civic Amenities: Poor civic amenities in the area in which one lives can be a cause of
stress. Inadequate or lack of civic facilities like improper water supply, excessive noise or
air pollution, lack of proper transport facility can be quite stressful.
3) Caste and Religion Conflicts: Employees living in areas which are subject to caste and
religious conflicts do suffer from stress. In case of religion, the minorities and lower-caste
people (seen especially in India) are subject to more stress.
4) Economic Factors: Changes in business cycle create economic uncertainties. When the
economy contracts, people get worried about their own security. Minor stress also cause
stress in work force.

Physiological consequences
o 50%-75% of all illnesses
o Lower for women
o cardiovascular diseases
o ulcers, sexual dysfunction, headaches
o Burnout
Behavioral consequences
o work performance, accidents, decisions
o absenteeism -- due to sickness and flight
o workplace aggression
Cognitive Consequences
o Poor concentration
o inability to make sound decisions or any decisions at all
o mental blocks
Psychological Consequences
o Anxiety
o Frustration
o Apathy
o Lowered self-esteem
o Aggression
o Depression
o Moodiness
o emotional fatigue

A psychological process resulting from work stress that results in:
o Emotional exhaustion
o Depersonalization
o Feelings of decreased accomplishment


Emotional Depersonalization Low Personal Accomplishment


Feel drained by work Have become calloused by job Cannot deal with problems effectively

Feel fatigued in the Treat others like objects Do not have a positive influence on
morning others

Frustrated Do not care what happens to Cannot understand others problems

other people or identify with them

Do not want to work Feel other people blame you No longer feel exhilarated by your job
with other people


is the discussion with an employees problem that usually has emotional content in order
to help the employee cope with it better and seeks to improve employee mental health
and well-being
An exchange of ideas and feelings between two people, nominally a counselor and a
counselee. So, it is an act of communication

Employee Counseling

Counseling may be performed by both professionals and non-professionals.

Counseling usually is confidential so that employees will feel free to talk openly about
their problems.

What Counseling can do?

To help employee grow in self confidence

Understanding self-control

Ability to work effectively

Encourage employee growth and self-direction

Need for Counseling

Most problems that require counseling have some emotional content. Emotions are a
normal part of life. Nature gave people their emotions and these feelings make people
On the other hand, emotions can get out of control and cause workers to do things that are
harmful to their own best interests and those of the firm

Managers Counseling Role

Counseling functions usually can be performed successfully by skilled managers

Managers are important counselors because they are the ones in day to day interaction
with employees
Performing all six counseling functions

Managers should not close their eyes to the emotional problems of employees and refuse
to discuss

Functions of Counseling
1. Advise
2. Reassurance
3. Communication
4. Release of emotional tension
5. Clarified thinking
6. Reorientation

Types of Counseling

Directive Counseling Nondirective Counseling

- Is the process of listening to an - it is the process of skillfully encouraging a

employees problem, deciding with the counselee to explain troublesome problems,
employee what should be done and then understand them and determine appropriate
telling and motivating the employee to solutions. It focuses on the counselee rather than
do it on the counselor as judge and the adviser, thus it
is client-centered

Participative Counseling A Contingency View

- Also called cooperative counseling is A managers decision to use either directive,

a mutual counselor-counselee participative or nondirective counseling with an
relationship that establishes a employee should be based on an analysis of
cooperative exchange of ideas to help several contingency factors. It should not be
solve a counselees problems made solely on the managers personal
preference or past experience

Team building is an ongoing process that helps a work group evolve into a cohesive unit.
The team members not only share expectations for accomplishing group tasks, but trust
and support one another and respect one another's individual differences.
Your role as a team builder is to lead your team toward cohesiveness and productivity. A
team takes on a life of its own and you have to regularly nurture and maintain it, just as
you do for individual employees.

Guiding principles

Team building can lead to:

Good communications with participants as team members and individuals

Increased department productivity and creativity

Team members motivated to achieve goals

A climate of cooperation and collaborative problem-solving

Higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment

Higher levels of trust and support

Diverse co-workers working well together

Clear work objectives

Better operating policies and procedures

Steps to Building an Effective Team

The first rule of team building is an obvious one: to lead a team effectively, you must first
establish your leadership with each team member. Remember that the most effective team
leaders build their relationships of trust and loyalty, rather than fear or the power of their
Consider each employee's ideas as valuable. Remember that there is no such thing as a
stupid idea.
Be aware of employees' unspoken feelings. Set an example to team members by being
open with employees and sensitive to their moods and feelings.
Act as a harmonizing influence. Look for chances to mediate and resolve minor disputes;
point continually toward the team's higher goals.
Be clear when communicating. Be careful to clarify directives.

Encourage trust and cooperation among employees on your team. Remember that the
relationships team members establish among themselves are every bit as important as
those you establish with them. As the team begins to take shape, pay close attention to the
ways in which team members work together and take steps to improve communication,
cooperation, trust, and respect in those relationships.
Encourage team members to share information. Emphasize the importance of each team
member's contribution and demonstrate how all of their jobs operate together to move the
entire team closer to its goal.
Delegate problem-solving tasks to the team. Let the team work on creative solutions
Facilitate communication.

- Remember that communication is the single most important factor in

successful teamwork. Facilitating communication does not mean holding
meetings all the time. Instead it means setting an example by remaining
open to suggestions and concerns, by asking questions and offering help,
and by doing everything you can to avoid confusion in your own
X Establish team values and goals; evaluate team performance.
- Be sure to talk with members about the progress they are making toward
established goals so that employees get a sense both of their success and
of the challenges that lie ahead. Address teamwork in performance
X Set ground rules for the team.
- These are the norms that you and the team establish to ensure efficiency
and success. They can be simple directives (Team members are to be
punctual for meetings) or general guidelines (Every team member has the
right to offer ideas and suggestions), but you should make sure that the
team creates these ground rules by consensus and commits to them, both
as a group and as individuals.
X Establish a method for arriving at a consensus. You may want to conduct open debate
about the pros and cons of proposals, or establish research committees to investigate
issues and deliver reports.

Encourage listening and brainstorming. As supervisor, your first priority in creating

consensus is to stimulate debate. Remember that employees are often afraid to disagree
with one another and that this fear can lead your team to make mediocre decisions. When
you encourage debate you inspire creativity and that's how you'll spur your team on to
better results.

Symptoms that Signal a Need for Team Building

Decreased productivity

Conflicts or hostility among staff members

Confusion about assignments, missed signals, and unclear relationships

Decisions misunderstood or not carried through properly

Apathy and lack of involvement

Lack of initiation, imagination, innovation; routine actions taken for solving complex
Complaints of discrimination or favoritism

Ineffective staff meetings, low participation, minimally effective decisions

Negative reactions to the manager

Complaints about quality of service