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Peer & co worker communication (chapter 10)

  1. 1. Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason, COMS 404
  2. 2.  Before you read…  Consider how many times and to what extent you have bonded with co-workers in an organization  Examine your initial thoughts about interpersonal relationships in organizations  Explore conflict and how it has occurred in organizations in which you belong
  3. 3.   Interpersonal relationships – two people who interact for any length of time who assume the roles of sender and receiver of messages simultaneously  These relationships take two forms: Interpersonal Relationships at Work Organizational Interpersonal Relationship Personal Relationship Based on organization structure. Two women work on a project together, they create a dyadic relationship centered on completing tasks, but which may broaden to a personal relationship Friendship-like. Develops because people spend time with one another. Developed by choice. (Voluntary)
  4. 4.   Consider  Proxemics  Relational Balance  Interpersonal Needs  Relational Control  Proxemics  Distance between us and others  Research shows the closer (physically) we are, the more likely we are to form relationships  Relational Balance  Consider the BALANCE of the relationship and who is in the relationship  Complimentary, Control, Power, Dominant, Submissive Developing interpersonal relationships (1) Why do we care about Proxemics in this course? Knowing how physical space positively and negatively affects office relationships can help managers figure out ways to improve relationships by changing that space.
  5. 5.  Developing interpersonal relationships (2)  Interpersonal Needs  Same psychological needs, different strength levels  Needs include:  Need to feel included  Need to give/receive affection  Need to feel power to affect outcomes in relationships  Relational Control  Co-worker relationships can be a powerful control over an employee’s behavior  Co-workers can control one another’s behavior
  6. 6.  Three types of co-worker relationships 1. Information Peer Relationship ---- • Low-levels of disclosure and trust • Focus on work-related issues • Little intimacy beyond polite conversation 2. Collegial Peer Relationship --- • Moderate-levels of trust, self- disclosure, emotional support, and friendship • More than an acquaintance, not a close friend • Work-related issues and some issues about personal lives 3. Special Peer Relationship --- • High-levels of emotional support, trust, self-disclosure, and intimacy • Share feedback about work personal information • Will go into depth and detail
  7. 7.  Transitions & Communication Acquaintance Friend Close Friend Best friend Transition 2: friend to close friend. Spend time outside of work, get to know their family, communication is more open, discuss more work-related problems NOTE: How a supervisor treats an employee may influence how co-workers interact with that person.
  8. 8.   Telecommuting can save financial costs, but may have interpersonal ramifications  Stohl (1995) concluded that “when workers are no longer simultaneously at the work site, there is less overlap and interaction among specializations, people are less identified with the organization, and co-workers are not available for task and social support” (p. 9). Technology & Peers Think about it… What does this mean for organizational commitment and loyalty?
  9. 9.   Benefits exist for both the individuals involved in workplace friendships as well as the organization.  Support system, voluntary, know others beyond organizational role, learn organizational information, the more connected to the individuals a person is, the more loyalty she may have to the organization…  Co-workers can exert influence over how their peers view organizational attitudes, behaviors, & policies Positive Consequences Think about it… What other benefits can you think of?
  10. 10.   Co-worker supportive relationships can be misused  Commodity (owed support), social chips to “cash in”  Information retrieval  Co-dependency  Support may work against the person providing it Negative Consequences Think about it… Does any of this sound familiar?
  11. 11.   Can be beneficial and detrimental at work  “Workplace romance” – consensual relationship between two members of the organization that entails mutual sexual attraction  Can increase teamwork, communication, and job satisfaction  Can distract from work responsibilities, may lead to favoritism of partner’s ideas, may be against policy, may receive scrutiny from co-workers, may be uncomfortable for the couple and their co-workers Romantic Relationships
  12. 12.  Workplace Romance  From an organizational perspective, romantic relationships at work should involve an understanding of policies  Can vary from strict to casual  There may be legal implications  Should set clear guidelines • 12% of companies have a written policy on employee dating • 92% of those having policies prohibit employees from dating a subordinate • 69% disallowed dating a superior • 11% banned all workplace romance ~American Management Association
  13. 13.   Relationships are important!  It is also important to review the loss or deterioration of these relationships as they may impede work processes  Reasons friendships deteriorate in the workplace: 1. Personality issues 2. Loss of similarities 3. Conflicting expectations 4. Promotions 5. Betrayal Relationship Deterioration
  14. 14.  Peer & Co-Worker Communication How will you use this information? What can companies do to foster effective peer/co-worker communication? Examine your company for this semester – how could you get insights into the issue of peer and co- worker communication?