Dialectical Tensions



Question 1: Identify and Describe 4 Ways of Responding to Dialectical Tensions in Relationships. Assess the Value of Each

Dialectical tensions are inevitable in any given relationship. The three significant dialectal tensions experienced in relationships include autonomy vs connection, novelty vs predictability, and openness vs closeness.

According to Severin and Tankard (2010), the first way of responding to these tensions is to neutralize the extremes of the dialectical tension. This is the case when a person could compromise leading to a situation where neither of the ones needs such as closeness or openness are fully satisfied. The value of this option is that it encourages fairness, which is crucial in the settlement of the tensions.

The second essential way of responding to dialectical tensions is to favor one extreme of the dialectical continuum and ignore the other one. Wood (2004) points out that such behavior implies picking only one of the options at any given time. For instance, an individual could decide to pick autonomy over connection. This approach is valuable because of its strictness and directness to the separation of the extremes.

The third strategy of responding to these tensions is segmentation. This means that individuals have to divide their lives into different spheres in the course of responding to dialectical tensions. The value of this approach is that it divides different needs according to the various segments in a persons life..

The last vital approach to responding to these tensions is reframing. Severin and Tankard (2010) inform that it requires a high level of creativity to understand how dialectical tensions work in a relationship. In line with this approach, dialectical tensions are perceived to be supporting each other and the relationship in general . The value of the approach is its ability to utilize both tensions for the good of the relationship.

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Question 3: Define Social Exchange Theory and its Central Claims. Next, Discuss the Primary Criticisms made by Scholars. Finally, Offer Your Personal Evaluation

The social exchange theory is defined as a social and a psychological perspective, which explains the view that social change and stability in relationships emanates from negotiated exchanges between parties in a particular relationship. According to Wood (2004), the theory analyzes human relationships by comparing them with a market because of the demand to receive one thing in exchange for the other between individuals.

The central claim of the theory is based on the view that every individual in the relationship is always trying to maximize his/her wins. Severin and Tankard (2010) reiterate that social exchange could only bring satisfaction in a relationship as long as people receive fair returns for what they give in the relationships. Specifically, social connections involve matters such as trust and openness from the other person. Social exchanges are also flexible and do not directly involve explicit bargaining among individuals. The theory emphasizes that the simple way to maintain social relationships is to understand the connection between costs and rewards .

Wood (2004) opines that one of the primary criticisms by scholars is that the theory limits human interactions to a rational process that emanates from the economic theory. This is because it posits matters from an economic perspective.

Severin and Tankard (2010) assert that the second primary criticism is that it favors openness, a concept developed in the 1970s when ideas of freedom and openness were favored. However, openness is not always the best option in a relationship.

The third primary criticism is that the theory assumes that the ultimate goal of any given relationship is intimacy, and this might not always be the case.

In my opinion, the theory is more inclined to the economic perspective compared to the social bonds between individuals. It is not always proper to assume that a relationship would have costs and rewards because a successful relationship is not supposed to be based on conditions. It should all be about understanding and trust between individuals.

Question 5: Explain Organizational Culture Theory. Cite the Various Levels and Give Examples

The organizational culture theory is the concept that focuses on complex relationships among individuals within the organization based on their behaviors. Wood (2004) asserts that the theory evaluates the behaviors of individuals within the organization and the diverse meanings that people tend to attach to those behaviors. In line with this theory, the best way to understand the conduction of individuals is to evaluate their diverse beliefs, traditions, values, and principles in respect to life and use them as instruments for influencing the actions of the employees and the meanings attached to these.

There exist three levels of organizational culture. The first level refers to the artifacts, which are also commonly referred to as the typical organizational behavior. It entails the patterns of behavior in the organization and the outward manifestations of culture. Severin and Tankard (2010) state that the best examples of the artifacts include the dress code required in the organization. For instance, the organization might demand that every employee puts on a uniform while in the premises. The second level is called espoused values. These refer to the goals, philosophies, and strategies set up in the organization for its successful operations. They play an instrumental role in influencing the behavior of individuals, as everyone is required to operate within the set of philosophies and strategies. The most significant example of espoused values is norms, which might not be necessarily written down for employees.

The third level is fundamental assumptions. Severin and Tankard (2010) indicate that this is the deepest level of organizational culture. It brings out the view that underlying assumptions in the organization are always likely to grow into values, which later become obvious to employees hence taken for granted. The examples include perceptions, feelings, and thoughts that have become common to organizational members.

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