Do informal groups threaten organizations? Comparing group conflict management styles with supervisors

Main Article Content

Shaysh Nazzal Alshammri

Abstract

This research aims to identify the role played by informal groups in organizational conflict. The existing literature mainly focuses on the effects of informal groups on the behaviors of employees, such as resisting management and disobeying instructions. However, studies that specifically measure how informal groups affect the behaviors of their members in handling conflicts with supervisors are lacking. This research uses quantitative methodology. Data were collected using the Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory II survey. The participants were 316 workers in various American organizations. The results were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance, one-way analysis of variance, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, and the two-samples z-test. The results show that employees who belong to informal groups use the dominating style more frequently than do employees who do not belong to informal groups. However, they do not always use dominating styles; occasionally, they tend to use compromising and integrating styles as well. Age has a significant impact on the relationship between informal groups and integrating and dominating styles. There is also a relationship between gender and avoiding style among employees who belong to informal groups. However, there is no preference for a certain conflict style among the three types of informal groups. The results have implications for management science, including human resources and organizational behavior. However, the research applications may be limited for employees in collectivist societies that are different from American (an individualistic society). The relationship between informal groups and conflict style with supervisors has not been studied before. Thus, this research focuses on not only the five conflict styles but also the influence of demographic variables to comprehensively understand this relationship.

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Article Details

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Author Biography

Shaysh Nazzal Alshammri, University of Hail- Saudi Arabia

  • Faculty member, Business Administration College,  University of Hail, Saudi Arabia.
  • Received PhD in 2012 from Nova Southeastern University in the United States of America.
  • Assumed significant positions at Northern Border University, including Vice Dean of Faculty and Personnel Affairs, Vice Dean of Graduate Studies, Head of International Cooperation and Knowledge Exchange Unite, and Head of the Marketing Department.
  • Participated in and supervised many academic and professional committees at Northern Border University and Hail University.
Has previously published papers in the field of negotiation and organizational conflict

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