Research Companion to the Dysfunctional Workplace
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Research Companion to the Dysfunctional Workplace

Management Challenges and Symptoms

Edited by Janice Langan-Fox, Cary L. Cooper and Richard J. Klimoski

A work exposing and exploring the phenomena of the dysfunctional workplace is long overdue. This fascinating book does just that, uncovering the subversiveness, counter-productive behaviour and unspoken ‘issues’ that managers struggle with on a daily basis.
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Chapter 21: Motives and Traits as a Driver of Adaptive and Maladaptive Managerial Styles

Sharon L. Grant


Sharon L. Grant Occupational stress and the inherently stressful nature of managerial work Managerial work is disorderly, fragmented and hectic (Antonioni, 1996; Fogarty et al., 1999; Hooijberg et al., 1997; Mintzberg, 1973; Yukl, 1989). According to Mintzberg (1973), the typical manager is simultaneously a (a) figurehead, leader and liaison (interpersonal role), (b) disseminator, monitor and spokesman (informational role); and entrepreneur, disturbance handler, negotiator and resource allocator (decisional role). Given the multifaceted nature of their work, managers are expected to be goal-oriented, motivated and, most importantly, ‘stress-tolerant’ (Lusch and Serpkenci, 1990). While there is some research to suggest that occupational stress is more prevalent at shopfloor level than at management level (see, e.g., Karasek and Theorell, 1990), a recent survey found that the incidence of occupational stress in managers was as high as 70 per cent (Wheatley, 2000). Managers encounter a high pressure environment on a dayto-day basis (Ducharme, 2004), with the constant need for ‘fire fighting’ contributing to a cumulative effect on stress. Other work has indicated that 80% of managers believe that their work is more stressful than it used to be (Webster, 1998). Over the past decade, managers have had to cope with significant organizational change, aimed at realigning organizational structure with advancing globalization and technology (Callan, 1993; Mishra and Spreitzer, 1998; Rosen, 1997; Terry and Callan, 1997). ‘Surviving’ managers are faced with the task of leading staff through cultural and structural change, are required to do more work with fewer staff, and are often...

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