Conflicts as Triggers of Personal Growth: Post-Traumatic Growth in the Organizational Setup
Organizational bullying and harassment constitute severe adversaries inducing trauma in their targets. As their occurrences began to proliferate alarmingly in the postmodern era, they started attracting academic and practitioner interest due to their implications for individual health and organizational productivity. More recently and coinciding with the adoption of facilitative conflict mediation methodology in organizations, incivility has increasingly been explored through the growth its consequences can potentially trigger in individuals. Thus far, conflict research has abounded in studies of e.g. mediator style, mediation process phases, disputant behavior and conflict types, while the longer-term influences of conflicts and the related mediation have attracted less research attention. This empirical investigation explores the negative undercurrents in team communication through their underlying causes and impacts on individuals. Second, it presents workplace conflict mediation as an instrument restoring team harmony and disputant egos. Finally, it analyzes the positive outcomes associated with conflict mediation and the way it changes individuals’ interaction styles. The findings are based on a qualitative investigation of conflict disputant perceptions, adopting participant observation (n=58) and a qualitative survey (n=42) of disputant perceptions to analyze expectations placed on mediator style and the socio-emotive load experienced during the mediation process. The results corroborate earlier findings indicating that the nondirective mediator style is frequently associated with discomfort in the conflict solution situation and less frequently with immediate satisfaction with the mediator style. Fortunately the nondirective style entails positive and longer-enduring organizational outcomes. Generally the findings confirm the key tenet of the restorative paradigm, describing the facilitative approach as an instrument promoting individual growth and organizational learning. Thematically, such renewal materializes as motivation for self-growth and skilling in self-reflective ability and communication.
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