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Title. HRM, Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) Conflict Management: The case of non-union MNC Subsidiaries in Ireland Liam Doherty and Paul Teague The Queens University Belfast. Subtitle. Title Structure of Presentation .

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HRM, Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB)Conflict Management: The case of non-union MNC Subsidiaries in Ireland

Liam Doherty and Paul Teague

The Queens University Belfast

title structure of presentation
Title Structure of Presentation
  • Why the creation of OCB is an important, yet under-explored, goal of the HR function ?
  • The relationship between OCB and conflict management.
  • The research methodology employed.
  • Main descriptive statistics that emerge from the survey
  • Findings of Interviews with senior HRM managers in some of the surveyed subsidiaries
  • The significance of the findings
hrm and organizational citizenship behaviour
HRM and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour
  • Nature of HRM in organisations has been dominated by two interrelated themes.
  • The organizational design of the HRM function
  • The employment practices required to create high performing organizations and employees.
  • Relatively little research about how the HRM function contributes to shaping the social system of an organization
  • Paper by Bowen and Ostroff (2004) is a notable exception
  • Key argument of this paper --A core function of HRM is to mould the social system of the organization in a manner that promotes organizational citizenship behaviour.
defining organizational behaviour
Defining Organizational Behaviour
  • Podsakoff et al (2000) identify seven recurring themes in the related literature
  • OCB manifests itself in employers having a positive commitment to the organization and displaying on-going discretionary effort to help the organization achieve its goals.
  • A key goal of HRM is to elicit this behaviour (Ulrich 1997).
  • On-going debates about the extent to which particular HR policies will engender positive employee behaviour (Caldwell 2003)
ocb a role for adr
OCB --A Role for ADR ?
  • Popular view in USA that firms are forging a ‘new social contract’ at work by diffusing ADR practices to solve workplace disputes (Lipsky and Seeber 2003).
  • Optimum way to gain employee commitment is to recognise that workplace conflict will be part and parcel of organizational life –need to establish formal arrangements for resolution(Bendersky 2003).
  • Contrast with the more orthodox view that workplace conflict can prevent organizations developing a unitarist culture (see Lewin 1987).
  • Do HR managers use innovative workplace conflict management policies to help forge organizational citizenship behaviour ?
adr practices surveyed
ADR practices surveyed
  • Mediation
  • Facilitation
  • Arbitration
  • Employee Hotline
  • Open Door Policy
  • Management Review Boards
  • Peer Review
  • Ombudsman
the research
The Research
  • survey of 83 subsidiaries of non-union foreign-owned multinationals located in Ireland.
  • survey administered through face-to-face interviews due to the length of the survey and the nature of the topic.
  • Initially, the survey contained questions about the incidence of conflict in multinationals and how these were resolved, but a pilot survey found that companies were not willing to answer these questions
  • a series of in-depth interviews with senior HR managers in 10 of the subsidiaries that took part in the original survey
conflict management practices in non union subsidiaires
Conflict Management Practices in non-Union Subsidiaires
  • Formal grievance procedure 100%
  • Mediation 39.5%
  • Facilitation 43.2%
  • Arbitration 18.5%
  • Employee Hotline 25.9%
  • Open Door policy 97.5%
  • Management Review 65.4%
  • Pier Review 6.0%
  • Ombudsperson 6.2%
Does your organization have “informal” problem solving mechanisms to detect employee grievances? 96.4%
  • The organization of focus groups 35%
  • HR personnel interacting with employees

on an informal basis 87.5%

  • Line managers responsible for interacting

with employees on a informal basis 86.3%

views from the inside
Views from the Inside
  • evident that HR managers had a deep antipathy to the ‘conflict management’ paradigm,
  • conflict management not required for the HR function to be strategic in character.
  • No ‘business case’ for innovative workplace conflict management practices
  • HR managers did want the language of conflict or conflict management to be used in the organisation
  • common endeavour is to expunge conflict from the vocabulary of the organisation.
view from the inside
View from the Inside
  • Do not recognise the inevitably of conflict or the need for formal, easily accessible, procedures to manage conflict management
  • Conflict management procedures are not abandoned but are kept dormant in the HR cupboard only to be used in exceptional circumstances.
  • HR managers are being highly innovative but not in the way suggested by the dominant themes in the literature
  • A form of OCB that seeks to push conflict to the margins –conflict is dissident and deviant
some views
Some views ….
  • “Dispute resolution is not part of our language”
  • “I would not invest resources in it (conflict management) compared to recruitment, development or reward”
  • “It does not merit a line in our HR strategy”.
  • “The grievance procedure is for people that do not have a future in our organization.”
  • “I would focus on creating a work environment in which people can feel free to raise any issues without fear or concern for their future”
  • Subsidiaries of non-union multinationals based in Ireland do not use innovative workplace conflict management practices.
  • No widespread diffusion of ADR-type practices to resolve problems and disputes at work.
  • In an effort to promote organizational citizenship behaviour, HR managers sought to socialize conflict out of the organization