The Accumulation of Grievance Conflict

Bruce Fortado
  • Journal of Management Inquiry, December 1992, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/105649269214003

What is it about?

Can one categorize some of the different ways frustrations accumulate over time? A simple starting point would be a category that covers situations where the same substantive issue comes up repeatedly. A second category deals with incidents where a new substantive issue is involved each time the parties come into conflict. A third category considers spillover frustrations. This occurs when a current situation reminds an aggrieved person of something that happened earlier in the person's work life. Finally, workers can share stories about what has happened, and the conflict becomes collectivized as coworkers take offense over what has happened.

Why is it important?

In order to take effective remedial action, one must be able to identify the type of accumulated frustrations that are involved. The four categories outlined in this article can sensitize a reader to some common possibilities. These four types of accumulation can also exist in various combinations. As conflicts advance, the emotions involved tend to intensify, and the damage to the relationship often outweighs the original substantive issues.

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Fortado Bruce