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Organizational Behavior

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  1. What general type of distress does Andrea have here and what type of general reaction has she chosen? Support your answer.

 Andrea a salesperson and is worried of the situations in the market. Oil crisis seems a critical issue that will have adverse effects on business. War against terrorism will affect the oil in the Middle East and this will bring about negative implication to business. Although business seems to be picking up as more goods are imported from China the oil situation would lead to negative implications, as transportation of commodities for sale will be minimal. (Drafke M, 2006). Andrea will be forced to look for a new market regardless of what they have established.

  1. What are the two causes of her distress? Support your answer.

The major causes of her distress are the president’s decision and its effect on oil and the manager’s control that leaves her with no say. (Drafke M, 2006). The oil crisis will make life hard. She hates using schedules that she is not willing to adjust to. She faces a problem as the manager makes the overall decision as to who goes where and when they go. She feels helpless that her important and sensible thoughts or ideas are not taken with much weight.

  1. What two kinds of reactions to work-related distress is Andrea exhibiting? Support your answer.

Andrea is suffering from mental distress. Factors for her distress are the work roles involved, accumulation of factors as well as qualitative demands given the location and predetermined conditions by the manager. Lack of autonomy hinders her from applying her problem solving skills or creativity. Her participation in the decision making process is minimal. She is expressing affective reactions as she exhibits anger and fear and wants to yell to express her dissatisfaction.

She is confused of whether to quit the job or threaten to quit. Quitting her job will lead to her reduced finances as without the job there will be minimal income. She is also distress that her decision or option on the change of location would yield more benefits. She hates it that her boss would not hear any of that view.

  1. Where is Andrea in the three stages of stress and what stage is coming next?

Andrea is in the elastic limit stage of stress because there are signs that she is approaching her stress threshold. She is at the verge of giving up and thinks of quitting the job regardless of the circumstances involved. The next stage would be the rupture point where she can have severe mental or physical damage if she does to handle her stress amicably. Already she’s suffering headaches and sleeping disorders and this would be aggravated if the stress continues.

  1. Andrea seems a little frustrated. What four stress responses to this frustration are seen here? Cite supporting examples from Andrea’s thoughts.

Andrea is also frustrated about the situation at hand and shows the following responses. (Drafke M, 2006).  Rationalisation is evident when she argues that she can forfeit the job as she does not need the money but in the actual sense she does. Resignation can be identified when she debates of whether to quit her job or not. Obsessive thinking can be seen as she thinks a lot at the expense of her sleep. There is also conversion as she experiences headaches due to her emotional frustrations.

  1. From an emotional labour perspective, how does dealing with an abusive customer lead to stress and burnout?

 Stress refers to the condition that one experiences when they are under pressure or increased demands or when experiencing new changes. Some stress is beneficial, necessary and has positive effects on individuals. (Drafke M, 2006). A burn out refers to the exhaustion both physically and intellectually and it is caused by excessive efforts to attain job related goals. People suffering from burnouts feel that they are getting less than they are actually giving up while working. Abusive customers can lead to stress and burn out as they affect employees emotions which affects their performance especially if they take it negatively.

  1. If you were a recruiter for a customer-service call centre, what personality types would you prefer to hire and why? In other words, what individual differences are likely to affect whether an employee can handle customer abuse on a day-to-day basis?

A call centre would require employees who are excellent in customer service. Qualities that such employees would be required to exhibit are patience and tolerance so that their emotional state is not negatively affected when there is much workload. Employee’s moods are easily transferred to customers and they should thus be positive. An abusive customer can lead to stress and burnout as they contribute to the emotions of employees. Abusive language may affect how employees will perform even when the abusers are long gone. The employees can act irrationally. Emotions vary across regions and some people tend to exhibit positive emotions more that negative emotions. People working in a call centre should be honest, enthusiastic, confident and with a sense of humour. (Stephen R and Timothy J, 2007).

  1. Emotional Intelligence is one’s ability to detect and to manage emotional cues and information. How might emotional intelligence play a role in responding to abusive customers? What facets of emotional intelligence might employees possess who are able to handle abusive customers?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to detect and manage emotional cues and information. It can help solve the problems of abusive customers. (www.gp-training.net). It enables one to have self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation empathy and social skills all of which are important in ensuring positive reaction to negative emotions of others. (Stephen R and Timothy J, 2007).

  1. What steps should companies take to ensure that their employees are not the victims of customer abuse? Should companies allow a certain degree of abuse if the abuse results in satisfied customers and perhaps greater profit? What are the ethical implications of this?

Companies should not condone any form or degree of abuse even if it results to increased profits for the organisation. Employees are part of the organization and their emotional welfare ought to be respected or valued. They should not be used as a means to an end but an end in itself.


 Micheal Drafke. 2006. The human see of Organisations.9th Edition. Prentice Hall.               Stephen R and Timothy J. 2007. Organizational Behaviour. 12th edition. Pearson Edn Inc Brad Cheek. 2006. Handling difficult customers. Retrieved on 23rd March 2006 from http://www.gp-training.net/training/consultation/diffic.htm

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