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Title: Exploring negative relationships at work: A prototype analysis
Keywords: Interpersonal relationships, prototype methodology, workplace social relations
Issue Date: 19-Aug-2011
Source: LIM CUIFANG, ANGELINE (2011-08-19). Exploring negative relationships at work: A prototype analysis. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: People form many different types of relationships at work. These relationships are important because they provide access to resources that facilitate the work. Organizational scholars, managers and other employees have long recognized the value of such relationships and the social capital derived from them. However, recent research on workplace bullying, incivility, and other negative behaviours suggests that negative relationships are often present in the workplace. Given that relationships are important because they facilitate access to resources, negative relationships are equally, if not more, important than positive relationships because they prevent access to resources that are needed to complete work. Relative to what we know about positive relationship dynamics, there is a dearth of research on negative relationships at work. The studies that have been published have a piecemeal quality, as there has been little consistency across studies in approaches to conceptualizing and measuring such relationships. My dissertation seeks to address this issue by building a grounded understanding of negative relationships and thus providing a firmer foundation for scholarship in this area. Following in the footsteps of researchers who have done pioneering work to understand nebulous concepts in other domains of social psychology, I adopted the prototype methodology for my research. Results from the four studies I present suggest that negative relationships cannot be easily defined by a single statement. Rather, they have multiple characteristics and can be best defined by a prototypical example. To put our understanding of negative relationships in perspective, I have also applied this methodology to the study of positive relationships. Results also suggest that positive relationships exhibit a prototype structure. The templates of prototypical and non-prototypical characteristics derived from this study provide insights into the composition of negative and positive work relationships, and hopefully enable organizational researchers to develop future studies that build on each other.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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