Stress and Conflict

A Definition of Stress
Stress ‡An adaptive response, mediated by individual differences and /or psychological processes, that is a consequence of any external (environmental)action , situation , or event that places excessive psychological and/or physical demands on a person.-Ivancevich and Matteson ‡Stress is thought of as a negative term and is caused by something bad.

or event. Three critical components of this definition ± It refers to a reaction to a situation. not situation or event itself. ± It emphasises that stress can be impacted by individual differences ± It highlights the phrase µexcessive psychological and / or physical demands  A condition arising from the interaction of people and their jobs and characterised by change within people that force them to deviate from their normal functioning-Beehr and Newman .

. bad or to be avoided.What Stress is ??  Not anxiety:  Stress is not simply nervous tension  Stress is not necessarily something damaging. ± Eustress is not damaging and is something that people should seek out than avoid.

Causes of stress     Extra organisational stress Organisational stress Group stress Individual stress .

± Medical science has increased life span of people. the family. and residential or community conditions.Extra organisational stress  Extra organisational stress include societal / technology change. race and gender. globalization. ± Their anxiety and wellness deteriorates and potential for stress on the job increases. the pace of modern living has increased stress and decreased personal wellness. relocation. economic and financial conditions. . ± Phenomenal rate of change and economic turbulence has great effect on people¶s lifestyle which is carried over to their jobs.

 Relocating the family  Transfer or a promotion can also lead to stress  Life changes  may be slow(getting old) or sudden (death of a spouse) cause stress.Family  Family has a big impact on ones stress level. ± A family situation like either a brief crisis such as a squabble or illness can cause significant stress. .

 As workforce becomes increasingly diverse. potential stress related issues see an upward trend. . Sociological demographics variables can also become stressors.

untrusting culture  Organisational structure and design .Organisational stressors  Include Administrative policies and strategies ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± Downsizing Competitive pressures Merit pay plans Rotating work shifts Bureaucratic rules Advanced technology Centralised and formalisation Line staff conflict Role ambiguity and conflict No opportunity for advancement Restrictive.

 Organisational processes ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± ± Tight control Only downward communication Little performance feedback Centralised decision making Lack of participation in decisions Punitive appraisal systems Crowded work areas Noise. dangerous conditions Poor lighting Physical or mental strain Toxic chemical or radiation  Working conditions . heat or cold Polluted air Strong odour Unsafe .

Group stressors  The group or team can be potential sources of stress. . Group stressors can be categorized into two sets:  Lack of group cohesiveness: ± Togetherness is important to employees  Lack of social support: ± Employees greatly affected by the support of one or more members of a cohesive group.

± Another study found that job control has impact on stress and strain if employees perception of organisational justice i. ± Type A are unable and unwilling to make the shift and / or cope with their Type µA¶ characteristics.Individual stressors  Type A characteristics: ± It is not impatience that leads that is closely associated with type µA¶ that lead to heart problems but rather anger and hostility.  Personal control: ± Person feeling about their ability to control a situation are important in determining their stress levels. . ± Learned helplessness.e. employees¶ perception of fairness that has the resulting impact on stress.

welcome challenge and feeling in control(felt they could influence the events around them). . ± Those able to cope successfully with extreme stressors seem to have a hardiness disposition. Psychological Hardiness: ± Some people go to pieces at the slightest provocation. whereas others seem unflappable in the face of extreme situations.  Kobasa found that hardy executives had a lower rate of stress related illness and were characteristics as having commitment.

Intra Individual Conflict  Frustration ± occurs when a motivated drive is blocked before a person reaches a desired goal.  Research found that incidence of workplace aggression are reaction to frustration which can be attributed to individual differences and situational factors.. The barriers can be overt and covert. ± Fixation reaction explains irrational bureaucratic behaviour employee exhibits. ± Withdrawal reaction was an explanation for the motivational problems of employees. .  Frustration may result in positive impact on individual performance and organisational goals. ± Compromise helps explain midcareer changes.

Barriers Overt Covert .

Three types of goal conflict identified:  Approach approach conflict: ± individual is motivated to approach two or more positive but mutually exclusive goals. .Goal conflict  Two or more motive block one another. The single goal contains both positive and negative characteristics.  Approach avoidance conflict: ± individual is motivated to approach a goal and at the same time is motivated to avoid it.  Avoidance avoidance conflict: ± individual is motivated to avoid two or more negative but mutually exclusive goals.

 Interrole conflict ± results form the differing requirements of two or more roles that must be played at the same time.  Interactive conflict ± ± ± ± Personal difference Information deficiency Role incompatibility Environmental stress .Role conflict and ambiguity  Roles are positions that has expectations evolving around established norms. ± Adult of the society fulfils numerous roles at the same time ± Three major type of role conflict  Intrarole conflict ± created by contradictory expectations about how a given role should be played.

 Intergroup conflict  Antecedent conditions can be summarised as below: ± ± ± ± Competition for resource: Task interdependence Jurisdictional ambiguity Status struggle .

± Performance usually drops off sharply when stress rises to very high levels. the nature of the task being performed. .Effects of stress and conflicts  Stress and conflict are not bad for individuals. employees and their organisational performance. ± It is recognised that low levels of stress and conflict can even enhance job performance. and other psychological dispositions affect relationship between stress and performance and is concluded that: ± The performance of many tasks is in fact strongly affected by stress.  Research indicate that level of difficulty. personal dispositions.

Effects of stress  The problems due to high level of stress and conflict can be exhibited physically. tension and boredom. ± These problems from stress are in turn especially relevant to poor job performance. inability to concentrate and make decisions and job dissatisfaction. irritability. nervousness. ± High levels of stress may be accompanied by anger. psychologically. .  Physical problems: ± specific physical health concerns 1) immune system problem 2) cardiovascular system problems 3) musculoskeletal system and 4) gastrointestinal problem. anxiety. depression. or behaviourally by the individual. lowered self esteem.  Psychological problems ± Not much has been given to the impact of stress on mental health. resentment of supervision.

 Evidence indicates relationship between stress and especially absenteeism and turnover. increased smoking and drinking and drug abuse. . Behavioural problems: ± Direct behaviours that may accompany high levels of stress include under eating or overeating. Both of them are costly for organisations in terms of filling in for the absent workers and replacing those who have left. sleeplessness.

people achieve self control.Strategies for coping with stress  Individual coping strategies  Self help remedies. weight loss clinics and diets.  Networking .  Cognitive therapy ± Building self efficacy has also been used. health foods and physical exercise are being given much attention in mass media.  Exercise  Relaxation  Behavioural self control ± By deliberately managing antecedents and consequences of their own behaviour. do-it-yourself. ± People take responsibility has their own wellness.

Organisational Coping strategies  OCS are designed by management to eliminate or control organisational level stressors in order to prevent or reduce job stress for individual employees  Association for fitness in business.  Employee assistance programs  Organisations experiencing downsizing ± Even more concern are those suffering from what was described earlier as µsurvivor syndrome¶. ± Acknowledge survivors¶ emotion:  Communication after downsizing:  Clarify new roles .  Firm try to reduce stress levels through work family initiatives.

or ¶ slice of the pie¶  Positional bargaining involves successively taking and then giving up.  Traditional approaches to negotiation: ± Tends to have certain biases and make certain errors  Distributive bargaining ± Assumes a µfixed pie¶ and focus on how to get the biggest share .Negotiation skills ± A decision making process among interdependent parties who do not share identical preferences¶. ± Through negotiation that the parties decide what each will give and take in their relationship. ± Positional bargaining can serve a useful purpose : It tells the other side what you want . a sequence of positions. ± Negotiation can go beyond just resolving conflict and become a managerial skill for personal and organisational success.

Contemporary negotiation skills  Cameron suggests an integrative approach that takes an expanding the pie¶ perspective that uses problem solving technique to find win±win outcomes. not on position ± 4) inventing options for mutual gain and ± 5) using objective criteria. . ± Based on collaborative strategy the integrative approach requires the effective negotiator to use skills such as ± 1) establishing subordinate goals ± 2) separating the people from the problem ± 3) focusing on the interest.

 Practical guidelines for effective negotiation have grouped the technique into degree of risk to the user as follows:  Low risk negotiation techniques ± Flattery ± Addressing the easy points ± Silence  µOh poor me¶  High risk negotiation technique ± ± ± ± Unexpected temper losses: High balling Boulwarism (take it or leave it) Waiting until the last moment .

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