Authors: Hardik Shah; Shilpa Surana Jain
Addresses: Institute of Management, Nirma University, Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway, Post: Chandlodia, Via: Gota, Ahmedabad, 382 481, India ' Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, 23 Lambton Quay, Pipitea Campus, Wellington, 6140, New Zealand
Abstract: Many large organisations are often concerned with issues of conflicts (constant tussle), building trust and engagement at workplace. Conflict between two managers, groups, or departments is commonly witnessed in organisations as a grab for power, position, or pay/budget. The conflict seeps into the groups and departments and its visible outcomes become manifested in groups and organisations - people don't see eye to eye, miscommunicate, hold resources, misinterpret communications, disobey, play politics, display low level of trust, become disengaged, etc. In view of this, department heads, project heads and team leaders have been trying to answer questions like 'can conflict be functional?', 'can conflict help to have better decisions?', 'can conflict be transformed into trust and engagement?' This is critical since employee engagement is becoming an important indicator of organisational success. This research paper describes how appreciative inquiry (AI) has been used and applied to transform the tussle into trust and engagement. The paper illustrates use of experiential workshop methodology for different groups of managers selected based on their designation (Managers to DGM levels) and years of experience. Firstly, various conflict experiences for selected midlevel managers (sample of 55) were discovered (in story form) as a starting point. Various themes were identified out of these stories. In the next step, they were divided into groups of 6-8 people and dreamed about 'the most engaging climate' using visualisation activities. Following this, the groups worked on action plans or mechanisms for managing tussle and developing 'appreciative climate' of trustworthiness and engagement.
Keywords: conflict; appreciative climate; trust; engagement; India.
International Journal of Intelligent Enterprise, 2017 Vol.4 No.4, pp.345 - 360
Received: 03 Aug 2017
Accepted: 21 Aug 2017
Published online: 09 Jan 2018 *