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Sense of coherence improves the ability to manage conflicts in organizations

The sense of coherence sensu Aaron Antonovsky is considered as a universal construct measuring a global life orientation, a way of viewing the life as comprehensible, manageable and meaningful. The sense of coherence improves the ability to perceive and manage conflicts within an organizational context, Prof. Dr. Claude-Helene Mayer reports in her new handbook "Exploring Mental Health".

"Managers scoring high in sense of coherence

  • understand conflicts and the complexity of transcultural dissonance as a human phenomenon
  • are aware that conflicts across cultures are a normal daily phenomenon they have to manage
  • reflect the complexity of conflicts and the interlinkage with their personal attitude and identity
  • are confident and prepared to openly discuss their conflicts
  • are assured that they can narrate a conflict story and also manage the consequences (e.g. discussion or irritations) that result from such a narration
  • and have the ability to view conflicts as a part of their life and that it is worth expending energy on and coping with as part of a broader picture."

Managers with an high sense of coherence "are able to find various possible solutions to manage conflicts and are not bound to one specific way ... This leads to the conclusion that organizations should support their managers in developing and maintaining the sense of coherence within the workplace. This would implicitly contribute to managing conflicts constructively within organizations and at the same time promote health and well-being in managers", Claude-Helene Mayer emphasizes.

Exploring Mental Health: Theoretical and Empirical Discourses on Salutogenesis
Mayer, Claude-Hélène; Krause, Christina (Eds.)