|Ph.D Student||Golan Maya|
|Subject||The Choreography of Organizational Helping: The Dynamics|
and Consequences of Co-Worker Helping Interactions
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Mr. Peter Bamberger|
|Full Thesis text|
Previous research on organizational helping behavior disregards the interactive episodic nature of helping behavior since it focuses either on help seeking or on help giving by quantitatively examining the influence of various factors on the amount of the helping behavior observed. The present qualitative study explores organizational helping behavior as an evolving interactional process by examining the dynamics and consequences of non-professional organizational helping interactions that occur naturally between peers in the context of a Member Assistance Program (MAP). Evolving out of the more widely established Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), MAPs are designed to deal with employees’ personal problems and are prevalent in a wide range of industries.
Applying Grounded Theory methodology, we analyzed data collected from 35 helping interactions that occurred in the first MAP established in an Israeli production plant. We identified three interactive dimensions as distinguishing between helping behaviors and defined five configurations of help seeking and giving behaviors. In addition, we developed a model of helping interactions in which we defined the dynamics and consequences of such interactions. Finally, we put forward propositions linking helping interaction dynamics with their consequences.
Overall, our model and propositions suggest that the MAP helping interactions tend to change rather than remain static and that there is asymmetry between help givers and help seekers in terms of their activity and their emotions. Theoretically, our study contributes to the conceptualization of organizational helping behavior on a scale of intensity. Methodologically, we provide a detailed example of how grounded theory can be used for conducting field work on helping behaviors. Practically, we provide consultants and practitioners involved in the establishment and operation of employee assistance programs with specific recommendations focusing on how to improve employees' emotions and interaction effectiveness.