This week, you will analyze a three- to five-minute segment of a movie or a television episode depicting aggression, conflict, and peacemaking.
After watching the movie segment, create a report on your analysis. In your report:
"Is conflict good or bad for an organization or group?" can be an interesting research question for this lecture. However, you need to define conflict before analyzing this question.
The conflict we are talking about here is not inner conflict—the dilemma of a person trying to make a decision. We are talking about the difference between the actions or goals of two or more individuals—this difference, too, is defined as conflict. The question that arises then is, "Should conflict between two or more individuals be considered an argument, and should conflict between two or more neighboring countries be considered a war?" The answer to this question is "not necessarily."
Myers (2008) defines conflict as a "perceived incompatibility of actions or goals." Conflict occurs as a consequence of a disagreement when there is a threat (perceived or real) to the interests, needs, or wants of the individuals involved (Office of Quality Improvement & Office of Human Resource Development, n.d.).
If you composed a working hypothesis stating that “Conflict is necessary to the success of an organization,” would this statement sufficiently explain if conflict is good or bad for an organization?
Andrade, Plowman, and Duchon (2008), in an extensive literature review of past studies on conflict, concluded that conflict should not be thought of as bad or a failure of the organization’s management. They stated that “Rather than needing reduction or elimination, conflict is the fuel that drives system growth, enables learning and adaptive behaviors, and makes innovation possible” (p. 23).
If managed correctly, conflict in groups and organizations seems to enhance and transform organizations into learning environments where new ideas are developed and implemented. However, if conflict is not managed correctly, it can result in increased hostility and poor organizational performance.
Andrade, L., Plowman, A., & Duchon, D. (2008). Getting past conflict resolution: A complexity view of conflict. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 10(1), 23–38.
Myers, D. (2008). Social psychology (9th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Office of Quality Improvement & Office of Human Resource Development.(n.d). About Conflict. Retrieved from http://www.ohrd.wisc.edu/onlinetraining/resolution/aboutwhatisit.htm#index
Aggression in the workplace is an important issue. Some of the most common acts of aggression include:
The two studies below will help you understand the basis of workplace violence.
Inness, M., Barling, J., & Turner, N. (2005). Understanding supervisor-targeted aggression: A within-person, between-jobs design. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(4), 731–739.
Rugala, E., & Isaacs, A. (Eds.). (2004). Workplace violence: Issues in response. Quantico, VA: Critical Incident Response Group, National Center for Analysis of Violent Crime, FBI Academy.
View the PDF transcript for Basis of Workplace Violence
Page 1 of 1 PSY3011_Social Psychology Lab
© 2009 South University
Basis of Workplace Violence Inness, Barling, and Turner (2005) examined situational factors that precipitate workplace violence between supervisors and employees. Data Collection: Based on an estimate that approximately five to six percent of the working individuals in the United States and Canada hold more than two jobs at any given time, Inness, Barling, and Turner mailed 3,000 questionnaires. Observation: Of the 180 individuals (3.5 percent) who responded, 105 individuals held two jobs. Although a 3.5 percent response rate seemed to make the study inefficient in terms of the costs versus the benefits, Inness, Barling, and Turner analyzed the responses. They concluded that work situation is a major stimulus to workplace violence but does not necessarily arouse violence outside the workplace. Findings: Rugala and Isaacs (2004) edited a report created by the Critical Incident Response Group (National Center for Analysis of Violent Crime) on workplace violence. The report established four categories of aggressive acts that result in workplace violence (p. 14):
• Type I: Violent acts by criminals who are not connected with the workplace but enter the premises to commit robbery or other crimes
• Type II: Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, or inmates
• Type III: Violence against coworkers, supervisors, or managers by a present or former employee
• Type IV: Violent acts by a past or present employee who has a personal relationship with another employee, violent acts by domestic abusers, or violent acts arising from other personal relationships, which follow an employee into the workplace
Conclusion: Out of the four categories, the Critical Incident Response Group considered Type IV to be the most interesting. Type IV is considered one of the common forms of workplace violence, which seems to challenge the findings of the study conducted by Inness, Barling, and Turner (2005).
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