Managing Stress Brought by Self Defeating Behavior Essay

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One of the crucial elements towards the realization of organizational success and profitability is creating a suitable working environment for all employees to thrive as they carry out their respective responsibilities. In essence, employees' contributions towards the achievement of established business goals/objectives is largely influenced by the nature of the working environment and working conditions. However, employees' behaviors also play a crucial role in determining their productivity in the workplace. Self-defeating behaviors in the workplace contributes to stress, which in turn affects employees' input to work processes and the overall profitability of an organization. This paper examines the management of stress brought by self-defeating behaviors in the workplace. The evaluation includes recommendations of suitable solutions to this issue based on organizational theory concepts and the concepts of organizational behavior.

Background Information

The organization I work for has several divisions or department that are mandated with various responsibilities and tasks towards the achievement of the established business goals and objectives. Each of these departments is led by a departmental head who ensures that the division's workforce carry out their respective roles in line with department goals and objectives. The departmental heads work in collaboration with the organization's top management to create a suitable working environment where employees can thrive as they contribute towards the various work processes and activities. The organization recognizes that the nature and status of the working environment has a direct link to the profitability and success of the firm in its respective industry/market.

As part of creating a suitable working environment for the workforce, the departmental heads allocates duties to every employee based on his/her knowledge, skills and abilities as well as job position. This helps in ensuring that employees understand their roles and what is expected of them, which helps in reducing conflicts within the organization. The understanding of the roles and expectations of every employee also helps in keeping them accountable for their work. When making decisions on allocation of duties, the departmental heads ensure that the right person for job is chosen. In this regard, the management takes time to learn the strengths of every employee before deciding how to allocate job duties effectively. Additionally, the organization's management and departmental heads clearly articulate the significance of teamwork in accomplishing the mission of the organization. While each employee is held accountable for his/her respective job duties, the management encourages teamwork because of its significance in the achievement of organizational objectives. Teamwork helps create synergy through which every member of the organization's workforce plays his/her role in an effective manner that contributes to overall organizational success.

Statement of the Problem/Opportunity

While the organization works towards creating a suitable working environment for all employees, there are several issues affecting the workplace. One of these issues it time management among employees since most of them appear to have difficulties in managing their time. The departmental heads in the organization have to constantly remind and urge employees to manage their time well because of its significance in their ability to carry out their respective work duties. Employees seemingly take more time than required to accomplish their duties, which is an indicator of poor time management. Secondly, the employees seemingly exhibit self-defeating behavior that in turn affects their productivity in the workplace. The self-defeating behaviors are evident in poor time management, low levels of motivation and morale, and relative disinterest in certain job responsibilities and tasks. They struggle with decision-making and do not prefer being subjected to supervision or monitoring when performing their duties. As a result of the self-defeating behaviors, employees in the organization also face the problem of stress. The insistence on time management by departmental heads in this organization seemingly contribute to stress among employees because of the pressures and demands to perform well. The organization's employees seemingly feel that the demands for better time management creates unnecessary burdens, which in turn contribute to stress. In light of these factors, the basic problem in the organization is management of stress brought by self-defeating behavior.

Purpose of the Research

This research examines how to manage stress that is brought by self-defeating behavior as evidence in the organization's workforce. This is an important issue to analyze because of the negative impact of stress and self-defeating behavior on the workforce's productivity. Through examining this problem, the research will contribute towards enhancing workplace conditions and the nature of the working environment, which will in turn enhance the overall success and profitability of the organization. The research will contribute towards enhancing the organization's working environment through providing a recommended solution to address the issue of stress from self-defeating behavior by employees.

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This research will also provide recommendations on the implementation of the proposed solution in the short and long-term.

Literature Review

The issue of stress brought by self-defeating behavior has received considerable attention and has been the subject of numerous studies. Thau, Aquino & Poortvliet (2007) define self-defeating behaviors are behaviors that hinder an individual from achieving his/her goals or satisfying his/her interests or desires. These researchers state that employees are sometimes engaged in activities that are self-defeating when conducting their duties in the workplace. Renn, Allen & Huning (2013) concurs by stating that self-defeating behavior is a concept referring to activities that undermines an individual's achievement of self-interests and goals. On the other hand, Alshawashreh, Alrabee & Sammour (2013) define self-defeating behavior as the notion that individuals deliberately carry out activities that cause failure and eventually harm them. In this regard, these researchers argue that there is a positive link between self-defeating behavior and self-handicapping strategy (Alshawashreh, Alrabee & Sammour, 2013). Therefore, self-defeating behaviors are deliberate actions by individuals that are geared towards causing failure or misfortune.

In the working environment, employees sometimes engage in costly work behaviors that not only undermine their productivity in the workplace but also interferes with their ability to achieve personal goals or meet their interests (Thau, Aquino & Poortvliet, 2007; Renn, Allen & Huning, 2013). These studies suggest that self-defeating behaviors in the workplace are detrimental to the overall organizational productivity because of their negative effects on employees' contribution to work processes. According to Alshawashreh, Alrabee & Sammour (2013), employees' engagement in self-defeating behaviors causes misfortune and harm through affecting their ability to make significant/meaningful contributions to an organization.

Thau, Aquino & Poortvliet (2007) state that self-defeating behaviors can result in low self-esteem, depression, and sadness. Additionally, these behaviors are positively linked to thwarted belonging because they affect an employee's ability to develop a closer relationship with his/her co-workers. Renn, Allen & Huning (2013) seemingly concur that self-defeating behaviors cause thwarted belonging among employee through promoting social exclusion, which is the perception or occurrence of exclusion from desired relationship partners.

Self-defeating behaviors contribute to stress because of their impact on self-esteem and the relationship between employees in the workplace (Thau, Aquino & Poortvliet, 2007; Renn, Allen & Huning, 2013; Alshawashreh, Alrabee & Sammour, 2013). Poor self-esteem and poor social interactions resulting from self-defeating behaviors generate stress. These behaviors also contribute to stress through increasing vulnerability to emotional distress, anxiety, and depression. Individuals or employees exhibiting self-defeating behaviors are seemingly unable to develop self-regulation because of stress (Alshawashreh, Alrabee & Sammour, 2013).

Managing Misbehavior, Individual Stress and Conflicts

In light of the negative impacts of self-defeating behaviors and its subsequent stress on workforce productivity, existing literature recognizes the need to identify and utilize suitable strategies to manage misbehavior, individual stress, and conflicts. Managing misbehavior, individual stress, and conflicts is considered as a crucial approach towards enhancing workplace and organizational productivity. Mortezai, Farughi & Ahmadi (2015) contend that organizational misbehavior is strongly linked to job burnout, which in turn acts as a source of stress. Based on organizational behavior theory, studying organizational misbehavior or self-defeating behaviors in the workplace is crucial towards understanding improving organizational performance (Mortezai, Ferughi & Ahmadi, 2015). Organizational behavior theory suggests that misbehavior, stress, and conflicts are by-products of several factors including poor decision making, job dissatisfaction, poor working conditions, and lack of creativity and innovation in the working environment (Ivancevich, Konopaske & Matteson, 2011). The other factors contributing to misbehavior, stress, and conflicts are job burnout, poor compensation and benefits strategies, unsuitable organizational culture, ineffective leadership style, and poor decision-making.

According to Sims (2002), managing misbehavior, individual stress, and conflicts in the workplace is a multidimensional process that requires the use of different strategies. Managers and leaders in an organization can manage these factors through several measures including the use of proper leadership styles/management techniques, teem meetings, and establishing effective communication channels (Sims, 2002). Additionally, organizations can effective manage misbehavior, stress, and conflicts through lessening uncertainties in the workplace and establishing appropriate assistance and wellness programs for employees.

Thau, Aquino, Poortvliet (2007) argue that misbehavior, stress, and conflicts can be effectively managed through creating a working environment that fosters inclusion and enhanced social interactions within the workplace. In concurrence, Renn, Allen & Huning (2013)….....

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Alshawashreh, O.M., Alrabee, F.K. & Sammour, Q.M. (2013, March). The Relationships between Self-defeating Behavior and Self-esteem Among Jordanian College Students. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(6), 255-269.

Edralin, D.M. (2015, January). Why Do Workers Misbehave in the Workplace? DLSL Journal of Management, 2(1), 88-108.

Ejimabo, N.O. (2015, April). An Approach to Understanding Leadership Decision Making in Organization. European Scientific Journal, 11(11), 1-24.

Ivancevich, J.M., Konopaske, R. & Matteson, M.T. (2014). Organizational behavior and management (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Michie, S. (2002). Causes and Management of Stress at Work. Occupational and Environmental Medicine Journal, 59, 67-72.

Mortezai, N., Farughi, H. & Ahmadi, K. (2015, January). Factors Affecting Organizational Misbehavior and its Relationship with Job Burnout: Case Study on Kurdistan Agriculture Organization in Iran. International Journal of Management, Accounting and Economics, 2(1), 1-9.

Renn, R., Allen, D. & Huning, T. (2013). The Relationship of Social Exclusion at Work With Self-Defeating Behavior and Turnover. The Journal of Social Psychology, 153(2), 229-249.

Sims, R.R. (2002). Managing organizational behavior. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Thau, S., Aquino, K. & Poortvliet, M. (2007, June). Self-defeating Behaviors in Organizations: The Relationship Between Thwarted Belonging and Interpersonal Work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(3), 840-847.

Weitz, E. & Vardi, Y. (2007, January). Understanding and Managing Misbehavior in Organizations. In 21st Century management: a reference handbook (chap. 17, pp.72-230). Retrieved from

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