Affiliation at Work Overview Part One- Need for Affiliation, FIRO Theory, FIRO-B Scale, Social Comparison and Misery Loves Company. Part Two-, Downward Social Comparison, Upward Social Comparison,self- evaluation maintenance ( SEM) model and Social Comparison Orientation. Part Three- Stress and Affiliation, Sources of Social Support, Companionship and Loneliness.
Need For Affiliation According to Forsyth (2010) “The dispositional tendency to seek out others” (p. 92) Workers who have a high need for affiliation take pride in their friendships at work. They want cooperation instead of contending amongst co-workers . Workers have a low need for affiliation tend to be more recluse and socialize less often with co-workers.
William Schutz “FIRO” Theory Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation classifies three basic needs that can be fulfilled by groups. The first basic need is inclusion similar to the need for affection. The second basic need is control, similar to the need for power. The third basic need is affection, similar to the need for intimacy. (Forsyth,2010,p. 93).
FIRO- B Scale Measures the need to express and receive inclusion, control, and affection. The greater the needs in any person than it is more likely that they will attempt to form relationships at work. This scale is used in team performance and leadership.
SocialComparison InThe Workplace In the workplace individuals experience both achievements and failures. People use social comparison at work to compare their qualities with other co- workers, set their own personal goals, help out other people and realize that they are superior to people around them (Forsyth,2010, p. 96).
Misery loves…. “Misery loves Company” involves co-workers facing potential layoffs or issues with a boss may reach out to those who have dealt those issues in the past Embarrassed misery can result in a worker wanting to avoid asking questions about a work project for fear of embarrassing his/herself in front of co-workers. In a test study done by William Morris in 1976, he found that when groups are faced with a fearful situation they interact the most (Forsyth,2010).
Downward Social Comparison Downward social comparison is comparing yourself to someone who is performing less than you (Forsyth, 2010,p.99). An example: Employee A finished his project a day late. When talking to a fellow co- worker Employee B compared himself to Employee A, “ Well at least I turned it in, A still hasn’t written up his report”.
Upward Social Comparison Upward social comparison is comparing yourself to someone who is better off than you are (Forsyth, 2010, p.99). Upward social comparison can have both negative and positive effects. An example: Employee A was just named CEO of ABC Bank. Employee B saw Employee A go from a teller to a CEO and feels inspired to take the same path and achieve the same success. The negative can be Employee B working just as hard as Employee A and not getting the CEO position. This can leave employee B having both envy and jealously towards employee A.
Social Comparison Orientation According to Forsyth (2010), “Social comparison orientation is the dispositional tendency to compare oneself to others” (p.101). Employee B saw Employee A doing a good job and it makes him angry that he is better than you but happy you still have a good co-worker who gets tasks done. In another sense Employee A may feel great that he has this new title as CEO but pity for Employee B and all the others who were inline for the job as well. Individuals will understand social comparisons at work in a positive way when their work atmosphere is one that is cooperative. When high social orientation is displayed at work, individuals will view social comparisons as competitive (Buunk, Zurriaga, Péiró, Nauta,, & Gosalvez, 2005, p. 76).
Stress & Affiliation McGuire’s (2007) study found the following: When going through stress or going through a rough patch social support can range from sharing with co-workers to counseling co-workers (p. 139). Individuals experiencing work stress like layoffs, deadlines, bad bosses and coworkers, cwill ope by joining fellow stressed out co-workers(McGuire, 2007). Besides sharing with co-workers we listen to co-workers regarding not just work issues but relationships issues, illness, death, issues with children.
Workplace SocialSupportAccording toHarris, Winskowski& Engdahl(2007), “The fourtypes of workplacesocial support are asfollows: Tasksupport, careermentoring, coachingand collegial socialsupport (p.150).
Four Types of WorkplaceSocial Support Task support giving-and-taking approach of work assignments and ideas. “You help me I’ll help you”
Four Types of WorkplaceSocial Support Career Mentoring work relationships you have with a more experienced, seasoned co-worker(s).
Four Types of WorkplaceSocial Support Coaching the teaching of goals and rules of the organization you are a part of.
Four Types of WorkplaceSocial Support Collegial social support the friendships you share at work. These are your confidants who you go to for most anything.
Workplace Social SupportContinued Harris et al. (2007) found “task support and career mentoring as both being the most positive predictors for job tenure” (p.154). Today many individuals are spending more time at work than at home. Individuals are relying more on the social support from work (McGuire, 2007). Companies offer trainings in dealing with personal issues outside of work, which tends to make the company have an at home feeling.
Companionship & Loneliness In The Workplace At some point in our lives we feel a companionship towards someone whether it be a family member, friend or spouse. Some people reach times in their lives when they feel lonely. Mr. A has been was hired by a large company three months ago. Mr. A had many friends at his old job at WAWA but not feels social loneliness in his new large company. Mr. B notices Mr. A sitting alone in the cafeteria and offers an invite to his table of friends. Mr. A has spent the last two weeks eating lunch with the group and his social loneliness at work has subsided.
References Buunk, B. P., Zurriaga, R., Péiró, J. M., Nauta, A., & Gosalvez, I. (2005). Social Comparisons at Work as Related to a Cooperative Social Climate and to Individual Differences in Social Comparison Orientation. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 54(1), 61-80. doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.2005.00196.x Forsyth, Donelson (2010). Formation. In J.D. Hague (Ed.) Group Dynamics (pp. 87 114).Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning Harris, J., Winskowski, A., & Engdahl, B. E. (2007). Types of Workplace Social Support in the Prediction of Job Satisfaction. Career Development Quarterly, 56(2), 150-156.DOI: 10.1002/j.21610045.2007.tb00027.x McGuire, Gale (2007) Intimate Work: A Typology of the Social Support That Workers Provide to Their Network Members. Work and Occupations ,34 (2), 125-147, doi:10.1177/0730888406297313