Human Relations

Published by SAGE

Online ISSN: 1741-282X


Print ISSN: 0018-7267


Abjection and Organization: Men, Violence, and Management
  • Article
  • Full-text available

February 1997


152 Reads

PIP This paper explores case material to show the extent to which nonorganizational experiences of violence can shape subsequent behavior within organizations. The paper emphasizes examples where the extent of pathological behavior is easily observed, but the processes which surface are common mechanisms of ¿ordinary¿ human behavior and more attenuated experiences of violence within organizations operate similarly. These processes are discussed through the work of object-relations theorists, Julia Kristeva, and theorists of masculinity, claiming that bureaucracies seek to deny the emotional dimension of their behavior and decision-making which establishes emotion as an object phenomenon. Men are entangled in this web of societal and organizational denial, partly due to their traditional dominance in formal organizations. However, traditional symbolic associations between men and physical violence present a problematic contradiction, and societal, cultural and organizational arrangements tend to back and aid the psychodynamics of denial which deals with this contradiction by showing narcissistic and addictive responses. Finally, this paper contends that men in organizations need to come to terms with whatever is unacceptable to them and their experience so as to break this cycle on reproduction of dysfunctional behavior.

Human Migration and the Acculturation of Minorities

February 1982


104 Reads

Majority-minority relations have historically taken the forms of elimination, segregation, fusion, assimilation, or pluralism. Cultural pluralism, which is the dominant ideology in the world today, is based upon the assumptions of tolerance on the part of the majority and a willingness to learn on the part of the minority. This process of learning is called acculturation. Modern theories of acculturation have tended to neglect the importance of individual differences in the process of adaptation. The socioanalytic model, based upon psychological role theory and studies of natural language, offers a model of acculturation which accounts for individual differences as well as situational factors which affect acculturation.

Sexual attitudes and contraception among females across five college samples

May 1987


36 Reads

K Kelley


G Smeaton


D Byrne




The relationships among sexual attitudes, sexual and contraceptive behavior, and responses to statements about sexual topics are explored using data obtained in the Sexual Opinion Survey concerning 772 women attending four midwestern U.S. universities in the period 1977-1979. "Associations generally occurred between the expression of more positive sexual attitudes and the reporting of behaviors and attitudes supportive of effective contraceptive activity."

Young Adults and Parental Divorce: Exploring Important Issues

February 1988


29 Reads

This article discusses the potential impact of parental divorce on the lives of young adult offspring. Parental divorce may upset both social and psychological aspects of the transition to adulthood process. The family roles young adults are expected to assume could be altered by the break-up, as could opportunities for particular young adult pursuits, such as advanced education. Heightened adjustment problems also are likely to result, as divorce produces additional life changes during the highly transitional period of early adulthood. Qualitative data from an exploratory study of 39 college students, ages 18-23, illustrate many of the relevant issues. Suggestions for future research are provided.

Labor Force Participation and Fertility: A Social Analysis of Their Antecedents and Simultaneity

February 1984


29 Reads

The nature of the relationship between labor force participation and fertility is examined for 172 families comprising a marriage cohort. The results show that labor force participation and fertility are spuriously related in that they are under the common influence of sex-role norms, attitudes toward the wife working, and the value or importance of children for the spouses. Comparisons are made among social psychological models, wherein either the husband or wife provides information as they perceive their relationship, and a sociological model wherein group constructs are formed with the husband and wife acting as informants on the pattern of norms guiding their relation. A structural equation methodology is employed to better model measurement error and errors in equations simultaneously.

A Note on Attitudes to Jointness of the Conjugal Role Relationship and Family Size: A Study of Norms among Ghanaian Students

February 1975


22 Reads

In this paper data from a sample of Ghanaian University students is used to test the cross-cultural validity of the hypothesis that jointness of the conjugal role relationship is associated with small family size norms and segregation with large family size norms (Hawthorn, 1971: 94). Approval of jointness and segregation is measured by means of an ordinal scale based upon responses to eight different statements about the division of labour, decision-making and finances. The data support the hypothesis as there is a significant correlation between attitudes to family size and jointness of the conjugal relationship.

Work-family balance: Is balance more than conflict and enrichment?

October 2009


6,620 Reads

This study deepens our theoretical and practical understanding of work-family balance, defined as the 'accomplishment of role-related expectations that are negotiated and shared between an individual and his/her role-related partners in the work and family domains' (Grzywacz & Carlson, 2007: 458). We develop a new measure of work-family balance and establish discriminant validity between it, work-family conflict, and work-family enrichment. Further, we examine the relationship of work-family balance with six key work and family outcomes. Results suggest that balance explains variance beyond that explained by traditional measures of conflict and enrichment for five of six outcomes tested: job satisfaction, organizational commitment, family satisfaction, family performance, and family functioning. We conclude with a discussion of the applications of our work.

Some Principles of Mass Persuasion: Selected Findings of Research on the Sale of United States War Bonds

August 1949


65 Reads

PIP Guidelines for developing effective programs of mass persuasion were provided. These guidelines were derived from the findings of studies, undertaken by the Division of Program Surveys of the Department of Agriculture for the War Finance Division of the U.S. Treasury Department, for the purpose of evaluating the U.S. Government's efforts to promote the sale of war bonds during the 2nd World War. The evaluation studies demonstrated how difficult it was to induce mass behavioral changes. Effective programs of mass persuasion must 1) change the cognitive structures of individuals; 2) change the motivational structures of individuals; and 3) activate new forms of behavior. In order to promote cognitive change it is necessary to insure that the sense organs receive the media messages and that the messages are relatively compatible with the existing cognitive structures of the individuals receiving the messages. If the messages are too deviant, they will be rejected or distorted by the receiver. To promote individuals toward a specific action, the individuals must be convinced that the action, being induced, will lead to the fulfillment of personal goals; however, even motivated persons frequently fail to perform the actual behavioral patterns which is being promoted. Individuals must also be provided with a specific path of action and a specific time for action. Only if all 3 of these processual changes are induced will a program of mass persuasion effectively accomplish its goal.

Marital Relationships as a Cause of Death: An Analysis of Occupational Mortality and the Hidden Consequences of Marriage—Some U.K. Data

March 1983


25 Reads

PIP The relationship between a married woman's life expectancy and the occupation of her husband is explored using official data for the United Kingdom for 1959-1963 and 1970-1972. The author notes that not only are there large and specific effects of employees' occupations on life expectancy and mortality rates, but that these mortality differentials also affect the spouses of those in high-risk occupations. It is suggested that such occupational risks are transmitted via the domestic psychological environment to the married women concerned, and thus the males' job risks affect the life expectancy of both partners.

A Lognormal Model for Divorce by Marriage Cohort

November 1981


6 Reads

"In this paper a model to predict the cumulative divorce trajectory of marriage cohorts has been developed on the assumption that the distribution of the lengths of exposure to marriage of a marriage cohort is lognormal. It is found that on the basis of recently published data [for the United States for the period 1949-1958] the model provides a good fit to cohort divorce trajectories and compares favorably with previously published models on the same subject."

Marital Violence: Comparing Women in Violent and Nonviolent Unions

February 1995


31 Reads

PIP This study examined marital violence among Israeli Jews. Data were obtained from a sample of 161 women who gave birth at Soroka Medical Center in the Negev region of Israel in 1992. The literature reveals that Jewish families tolerate domestic violence if an "evil" woman refuses housework or shows no respect for her husband. It is believed that Jews do not beat their wives. This study explored the degree to which women accept as legitimate the gender division of authority and use of power. It is posited that women in violent marriages (VMs) tend to accept the traditional division of labor and authority and hold more tolerant attitudes toward VMs. It is posited that VMs may be less egalitarian and democratic. VMs may be maintained if women are emotionally dependent on husbands, have a lower self-image, and perceive their husbands more positively. The questionnaire asked about social background and resources, attitudes toward marital power and violence, power relations, self-image, conflict solving, and women's emotional dependency. 18% had 1 domestic violent episode. 8 factors explained 56% of the difference between VMs and non-VMs and 90% of the cases. Husbands tried to avoid conflict. Wives fought for their interests and used external resources when conflict occurred. Husbands were reluctant to share power. There were 2 distinct patterns: the battered women syndrome and the struggle for power. Marital conflict was associated, as in the American literature, with economic hardship, lack of collectiveness in the dyad, and the form of conflict solving tactics used by both spouses. Women in VMs had different attitudes toward husband control and were emotionally dependent on their husbands.

Group Size and Societal Conflict

February 1977


20 Reads

A number of studies dealing with subunits and total organizations have confirmed the relationship between large group size and increase in conflict and disputes together with decrease in morale, cohesiveness, and consensus. The question arises: Are the theoretical implications, empirical findings, and hypotheses for subgroups and total organizations generalizable to larger social systems? The size-conflict hypothesis is examined in relationship to the population size of nations and the magnitude of intranation and internation conflict. The results of the study show that the propositions formed at one level of analysis can be employed successfully at another level.

Work-life Initiatives and Organizational Change: Overcoming Mixed Messages to Move from the Margin to the Mainstream

January 2010


1,817 Reads

This article examines perspectives on employer work-life initiatives as potential organizational change phenomena. Work-life initiatives address two main organizational challenges: structural (flexible job design, human resource policies) and cultural (supportive supervisors, climate) factors. While work-life initiatives serve a purpose in highlighting the need for organizational adaptation to changing relationships between work, family, and personal life, we argue they usually are marginalized rather than mainstreamed into organizational systems. We note mixed consequences of work-life initiatives for individuals and organizations.While they may enable employees to manage work and caregiving, they can increase work intensification and perpetuate stereotypes of ideal workers. In order to advance the field, organizations and scholars need to frame both structural and cultural work-life changes as part of the core employment systems to enhance organizational effectiveness and not just as strategies to support disadvantaged, non-ideal workers. We conclude with an overview of the articles in this special issue.

Advantages of Groups in Market Transactions

January 1999


15 Reads

This paper takes individuals as rationaleconomic decision makers but ones operating withinwell-defined groups not just today but into the futurewhen a reputation for fair dealing will be ofsignificance. The paper explores the functional advantageswhich might accrue from group membership in suchcircumstances. As social science makes clear, mostgroups come into being for social and cultural reasonsindependent of any obvious immediate economic advantage.For this reason, this paper is exploratory of theboundary between economic reasoning and that of othersocial sciences. It explores the bridge toofar, cited by Loveridge in the 1993 special editionof this journal. This is a metaphor for the possibilityof a meaningful connector between social psychologicaland economic reasoning. This paper tentatively looks into the relationships that might beestablished between the specific economic analysiscovered by this paper and that deployed in other socialsciences. In essence, the paper suggests that bothreputational and informational benefits arise from groupbehavior. These benefits accrue to both its members andothers. By extension it is argued that similaradvantages can accrue to families ofproducts in marketing. In both cases, reputationallinkage serves as a commitment device(Schelling, 1960) with ensuing benefits to all membersof the group or product family. These relationships areseen to mediate the reputational guarantees given to consumers.

Midlife Crisis in Men: Affective Organization of Personal Meanings

November 1999


392 Reads

The purpose of this article is to explore thespecific affective organization of personal meanings inmidlife crisis in men. Midlife crisis is described as aprocess of intensive transition of the self including the reinterpretation of timeperspective, reevaluation of life values and goals,confrontation with death as a personal event in thefuture, and planning of the second half of life.Personal meanings referring to past, present, and future wereinvestigated using a self-confrontation method that issensitive to the affective properties of individualexperiences. The intensity of midlife crisis wasinvestigated by means of a Midlife Crisis Scale in a sampleof 104 men in Poland. Three groups, one high in midlifecrisis (N = 27), one medium (N = 37), and one low inmidlife crisis (N = 40) were compared. It was found that the high crisis group had a lower level ofaffect referring to self-enhancement, a lower level ofpositive affect, and a higher level of negative affectthan both other groups. Moreover, time perspective played a differential role in the organizationof the self: in an intragroup comparison of the mostinfluential personal meanings, the high crisis groupshowed a higher level of negative affect than positive affect for personal meanings referring to thefuture, but not for personal meanings referring to thepast and the present. The relevance of affectiveorganization for midlife crisis is discussed.

Testing the Longitudinal Impact of Work Variables and Performance Appraisal Satisfaction on Subsequent Overall Job Satisfaction

August 1999


2,183 Reads

Using a longitudinal sample of medicaltechnologists (MTs) this study found, after controllingfor prior overall job satisfaction, individualdifference, and organization-level variables, that taskresponsibilities and employee performance appraisal satisfactionsignificantly affected subsequent overall MT jobsatisfaction. Overall job satisfaction significantlydeclined for repeat-respondents over the 4-year period. Data also suggested that the impact of taskresponsibilities on overall job satisfaction candissipate over time, and that the supervisor's role inaffecting employee job satisfaction is important.Results and limitations are discussed.

The Tyranny of the Customer and the Cost of Consumerism: An Analysis Using Systems and Psychoanalytic Approaches to Groups and Society

June 1999


28 Reads

This paper argues that an organizationaldiscourse on consumerism is replacing a prior discourseof dependency. This discourse encourages, and isencouraged by, economic rationales for behavior and ismarked by the collapse of many complex societal rolesinto the simpler category of customer.Moreover, practices emergent from consumerism andeconomic rationalism often act as organizational andsocial defences against anxieties about theuncertainties and changes occurring in a worldincreasingly dominated by global markets where thecustomer is sovereign. Six workinghypotheses are proposed to explain the operation of these new socialdefences. Evidence in support of these hypotheses comesfrom collaborative action research projects in which theauthor is involved. The argument moves toward a consideration of the new consumerprovider pair which, it is proposed, has becomea major signifier within the consumer discourse andwhich might be considered as a transitional pair indealing with widespread organizationalchange.

Toward Less Division of Labor? New Production Concepts in the Automotive, Chemical, Clothing, and Machine Tool Industries

January 1999


15 Reads

In this contribution, we focus on the results of the Belgian Trend Study. The intention of this study was to examine the prevalence of new production concepts within the widest possible range of companies in the automative, the machine tool, the chemical, and the clothing industries. The Trend Study aimed to answer the following questions: is the Taylorist division of labor a thing of the past? What are the alternatives? Are shifts in the division of labor accompanied by another type of personnel policy, and do traditional industrial relations have to make way for this new approach? The methodological concept used had to guarantee that the findings at the level of each industry could be generalized. Though the picture emerging from the empirical data collected in the four industrial sectors is inevitably diverse, the data make it possible merely to suggest a neo- rather than a post-Taylorist or -Fordist concept.

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