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Conflict in Organizations
Conflict and Conflict resolution in Organizations
DEFINITION OF CONFLICTTwo essential concepts in any conflictDivergent views and Incompatibility of those viewsThe discord that arises when goals, interests or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible and those people block or thwart each others efforts to achieve their objectives.
2The struggle that arises when the goal-directed behavior of one person or group blocks the goal-directed behavior of another person or group.
CONTEMPORARY VIEWS OF CONFLICTConflict is inevitable, endemic and often legitimate.Chester Barnard described negotiating, stress, and conflict as normal social patterns in organizations.Finite resources lead to competition.Leaders need to manage conflict.
FUNCTIONAL VERSUS DYSFUNCTIONAL CONFLICTFunctional ConflictConflict that supports the goals of the group and improves its performance.Dysfunctional ConflictConflict that hinders group performance.Functional or constructive conflict
A healthy constructive disagreement between two or more people.Likely effects-Surfaces important problems so they can be addressed.Causes careful consideration of decisions.Causes reconsideration of decisions.Increases information available for decision making.Provides opportunities for creativity.
Dysfunctional or destructive conflict
An unhealthy destructive disagreement between two or more people.Likely effects:Diverts energies.Harms group cohesion.Promotes interpersonal hostilities.Creates overall negative environment for workers.
LEVELS AND TYPESOF CONFLICTIndividualGroupOrganizationType of conflictLevel of conflictWithin and between organizationsWithin and between groupsWithin and between individualsSOURCES OF CONFLICT
SOURCES OF ORGANIZATIONAL CONFLICTStructural factorsIncompatible goals and time horizonsStatus inconsistenciesTask interdependenciesOverlapping authorityIncompatible evaluation systemsScarcity of resources
Task interdependenciesTaskinterdependenceABCSequentialABCReciprocalResourceABCPooledPersonal factorsSkills and abilitiesPerceptionValues and ethicsEmotionsCommunication barriersCultural differences
EFFECTS OF ORGANIZATIONAL CONFLICTHostile conflict can result in:Psychological withdrawalalienation and apathyPhysical withdrawalabsence, tardiness, and turnover
Conflict can create a downward spiral in organizational health.
Effective conflict management can lead to improved organizational health.
PONDYS STAGES OF CONFLICTSources ofConflictManifestConflictConflictOutcomesPerceived ConflictFeltConflictlatentConflictLatent conflict: There is no actual conflict;
Perceived conflict: Each party searches for the origins of the conflict, defines why the conflict is emerging, analyzes the events that led to its occurrence, and constructs a scenario
Felt conflict: The parties in conflict develop negative feelings about each other.
Manifest conflict: Both parties try to hurt each other and frustrate each others goals.
Conflict aftermath: Every conflict episode leaves a conflict aftermath that affects the way both parties perceive and respond to a future conflict episode.CONFLICT MANAGEMENTInterventions that alter the level and form of conflict in ways that maximise its benefits and minimise its dysfunctional consequences
Competing stylehigh on assertiveness and low on cooperativenessA desire to satisfy ones interests, regardless of the impact on the other party to the conflict.
Accommodating stylelow on assertiveness and high on cooperativenessThe willingness of one party in a conflict to place the opponents interests above his or her own.
Avoiding stylelow on both assertiveness and cooperativenessThe desire to withdraw from or suppress a conflict.
Collaborating stylehigh on both assertiveness and cooperativenessA situation in which the parties to a conflict each desire to satisfy fully the concerns of all parties.
Compromising stylemoderate on both assertiveness and cooperativeness A situation in which each party to a conflict is willing to give up something.
STRUCTURAL APPROACHES TO CONFLICT MANAGEMENT 1.Emphasising super-ordinate goalsSuper-ordinate goal an organisational goal common to all employeesCommon objective held by conflicting parties that are more important than the sources of conflict Re-focus from departmental or individual goals to super-ordinate goals
2. Reducing differentiationMove employees around to different jobs, departments and regionsOther ways to reduce differentiationcommon dress code and statusdevelop common work experiences
3. Improving communication and understandingCommunication is important in conflict managementIncrease interactionmeetings, social eventsminimises reliance on stereotyping Team-building activities
4. Reducing task interdependencea.Divide resourcesdivide the shared resourceb.Combine tasksjob enrichmentassign work of several people into one person
5. Increasing resourcesCostly, but sometimes has more benefit in reduced conflict
6. Clarifying rules and proceduresEstablish clear rules for allocating resourcesreduces interdependencereduces need for direct contact between parties
The Conflict Process
Transactional Analysis (TA)Eric BerneA model for explaining why and how:People think like they doPeople act like they doPeople interact/communicate with othersHas 3 distinct parts or ego statesParentAdultChild
Parent Ego StateThoughts, feelings, attitudes, behavioral patterns based on messages or lessons learned from parents and other parental or authoritarian sourcesShoulds and should nots; oughts and ought nots; always and neverPrejudicial views (not based on logic or facts) on things such as:religiondresstraditionsworkNurturing views (sympathetic, caring views)Critical views (fault finding, judgmental)Transactional Analysis (TA)Adult Ego StateThoughts, feelings, attitudes, behavioral patterns based on objective analysis of information (data, facts)Make decisions based on logic, computations, probabilities, etc. (not emotion)Transactional Analysis (TA)Thoughts, feelings, attitudes, behavioral patterns based on child-like emotions, impulses, feelings we have experiencedChild-like examplesImpulsive, Self-centered, AngryFearful, Rebellious, Happy
Child Ego StateEFFECTIVE NEGOTIATOR BEHAVIOURSPlan and set goalsGather informationCommunicate effectivelyMake appropriate concessions
ADVICE TO MANAGERSRecognize that conflict is an enduring part of organizational behavior.Develop the skills to be able to analyze and manage it.Try to identify its source and move quickly to intervene to find a solution before the problem escalates.Always consider whether the change will create conflict. Recognize that good organizational design can prevent conflict from emerging.Recognize that the appropriateness of a conflict management strategy depends on the source of the conflict.
When we get into arguments with people, the problem wont be sorted until both parties feel that they have been treated fairly.Grrrrr..Grrrrr..
In order to make things fair, all parties have to:UnderstandAvoid making things worseWork togetherFind a solution
In situations of crisis and potential conflict, always remember star S T A RWe need to: STOPTHINKANALYSERESPOND
Hows about another chat?O.K. Thats cool!CONFLICT CAN BE RESOLVED WHEN BOTH PARTIES ARE WILLING TO TALK