Work control and conflict in formal organizations

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Using Edwards’ definition of labor markets, Company A is an Independent Primary Market (p.418). Employment is stable and job security high because there is never a lack of criminal offenders. There are possibilities of being promoted to a higher rank, or transferring to one of many other positions within the jail. Specific physical and educational requirements must be met and the pay is competitive. In 2004 Company A won a battle to decertify the existing Teamsters Union and form its own Guild in an attempt to secure a better bargaining position with the county.The conflicts at Company A are many and diverse. The line officers and administrative staff (the decision makers) have different views on inmate and officer safety concerns, work hours and conditions and types of initiatives the officers are permitted to take regarding inmate discipline or operating procedures. Teams of personnel who work well together are being assigned separate posts, and there is no longer the feeling of camaraderie that was the norm a few years ago. On a daily basis, the work environment at Company A exemplifies several of Dalton’s descriptions of conflict (p. 153). The new administration, in its attempt to exert control and in an honest effort to improve efficiency, holds many meetings to develop new policies, techniques, and work standards. Whether to return to prior norms or to antagonize management, line officers frequently and deliberately create situations so that these new ideas will fail.The main reason for this worker behavior is that, with few exceptions, management style at Company A tends toward the Initiating Structure Leadership style (Pool, p. 272) and technical control (Edwards, p. 415). The result is micro management. Leaders utilizing the Initiating Structure Leadership style as defined by Pool organize and define the relationships of the group and dictate how the work is to be