Conflict and citizenship behaviour in Australian performing arts organisations

Christopher Chalon

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The managers of professional performing arts organisations are faced with a unique dilemma. They must support their artistic personnel, who are typically driven by the quest for new, challenging and experimental works, while achieving the economic success necessary for the continued viability of their organisations. Failing to effectively manage this artistic-economic dichotomy can result in a conflict between artists and managers that threatens the long-term survival of these organisations. There is a clear need, therefore, for arts managers to foster an organisational climate that minimises conflict, while promoting organisational citizenship behaviours (OCBs) such as sportsmanship (a willingness to tolerate less than ideal circumstances without complaining) and courtesy (a willingness to show sensitivity towards others and actively avoid creating problems for co-workers). The main aim of the present study was to examine the extent to which factors such as organisational structure, organisational culture and employees’ motivational orientation influence people’s perceptions of their job scope (as indicated by high levels of task variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback from the job), a construct which has been found to reduce organisational conflict and increase employees’ propensity to display OCBs. While these relationships have been suggested in previous research, they have not been tested in a performing arts industry context. The data analysed in the present study suggested an enjoyment motivational orientation, a challenge motivational orientation, an organic culture and formalisation positively influenced perceptions of job scope, which, in turn, positively influenced both OCBs (sportsmanship and courtesy). A challenge orientation also had a positive impact on sportsmanship, while sportsmanship positively and directly influenced courtesy. Centralisation was negatively related to perceived job scope and sportsmanship, although it had a positive impact on courtesy. Conflict was negatively influenced by formalisation and by an organic culture, but was positively influenced by a hierarchal culture.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008


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