September 14, 2010

Evaluating Organizational Context of Employment Disputes

Maria Simpson, an executive coach and mediator, says that there are three dimensions of organizational culture will give quick insight into the context and origin of an employment dispute. Ombuds may find this perspective useful in evaluating cases and identifying options for resolution.

Simpson says the first dimension is the structure of the organization and its degree of formality. The second dimension of organizational culture is the strength of the focus on people or work. The third dimension to consider is the communications style that works best in each type of organization. Individuals whose personal styles clash with their organization's may find themselves having performance issues as a result of the bad fit. Simpson says that, "helping the parties understand how the disagreement was generated and how small changes in their behavior can reduce the conflict might generate an agreement to try a new approach rather than move toward termination." (

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