News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


E-mail Can Suppress Workplace Conflict

E-mail is being used to deal with power relations and personal animosities in the workplace by suppressing conflict, says Derek Wallace, lecturer in academic and professional writing and communications at Victoria University of Wellington.

Dr Wallace is studying e-mail as part of the Language in the Workplace Project run by the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies.

He gives the example of an employee using e-mail to communicate with her manager so as "not to have to cope with the boss's body language".

"E-mail is allowing people to manage their hierarchical or personal relationships by giving them a way of avoiding the physical brunt of these relations, and therefore of tolerating them. From behind their screens they can communicate coolly over the top of their underlying tensions," he says.

According to Dr Wallace, this is not necessarily a bad thing. "It may enable the organisation's work to continue in the face of inevitable conflicts," he says.

But there can also be disadvantages.

"In the long term, e-mail may prevent the forging of the kind of sustainable relationships needed for dynamic interaction and innovation in the organisation. People may end up going through the motions if they become reliant on e-mail rather than always choosing appropriately from the full range of communicational resources available to them."

E-mail also achieves the suppression of conflict, Dr Wallace says, by increasing the opportunities for employees to have some communicational input, but at the same time often obscuring whether their superiors have taken any notice of this input.

"The ease of reply and the chatty tone often characteristic of e-mail can give people the sense of participating in the organisation's affairs but without necessarily giving them any more of a say in matters of importance. For example, it's relatively easy using e-mail for superiors to thank people collectively for their input without being held to account over whether or not they act on it."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news