ERIC Number: ED170861
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Conflict and Stress in Interorganizational Structures.
Adkison, Judith A.
Interorganizational structures may have elements that promote or reduce stress and conflict among participants. This study identified such elements in an interorganizational structure that was classified as a loosely coupled system. The interorganizational structure examined was the Internships, Certification, Equity-Leadership, and Support (ICES) Project, a project designed to test a model for increasing the number of women holding administrative positions in the Kansas Public School System. Data were collected through participant observations of the project coordinator. Project elements that promoted conflict included diversity of goals of participants, the liabilities of newness, the organization's brief lifespan, marginality of its goals to the concerns of cooperating agencies, responsibility overload by participating administrators, and asymmetrical interdependence of units. A reduction of conflict was brought about by the project being a loosely coupled system, that is, a system of units retaining their individual identity and logically and physically separate from other elements. Although the loose coupling produced initial frustration for participants who expected clear authority relationships and quick decisions, ultimately loose coupling allowed participants to define their roles, responsibilities, and relationships clearly and to maintain enthusiasm for their immediate tasks. Loose coupling enabled the conflict-prone organization to persist and meet its objectives. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Interorganizational Structures; Kansas; Loosely Coupled Systems; Project ICES
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)