Ch 9 Conflict Management Processes

Conflict in organizations
a prevalent part of organizational life. can be destructive and productive. through communication, members create and work through conflicts in ways that can be either functional or dysfunctional
Conflict definition
the interaction of interdependent people who perceive opposition of goals, aims, and values, and who see the other part as potentially interfacing with the realization of these goals
The 3 I’s of conflict
1. incompatible goals
2. interdependence
3. interaction
Incompatible goals
perception of incompatibility regarding a variety of organizational issues. but incompatibility is not a sufficient condition for organizational conflict to result
when the behaviors of the organizational members are interdependent
conflict involves the expression of incompatibility. conflict is both created and dealt with through communication. can be productive and constructive OR unproductive and destructive.
Intergroup conflict
collection of people within an organization as parties in the conflict
Interorganizational conflict
disputes between two or more organizations.
What are the 5 phases of organizational conflict?
1. latent conflict
2. perceived conflict
3. felt conflict
4. manifest conflict
5. conflict aftermath
Latent conflict
grounds for conflict exist because parties are interacting in interdependent relationships in which incompatible goals are possible. can exist without perceived conflict
Perceived conflict
one or more parties perceive that their situation is characterized by incompatibility and interdependence. can exist without latent conflict
Felt conflict
parties begin to personalize perceived conflict by focusing on the conflict issue and planning conflict management strategies
Manifest conflict
conflict is enacted through communication. interaction might involve cycles of escalation and de-escalation as various strategies are used
Conflict aftermath
conflict episode can have both short-term and long-term effects on the individuals, their relationship, and the organization.
Why do we use conflict management instead of conflict resolution?
due to the ongoing nature of conflict and because of the complexity of most conflict situations
What are the 5 conflict management styles?
1. Competition
2. Collaboration
3. Avoidance
4. Accommodation
5. Compromise
Conflict management style: competition
LOW concern for OTHERS, but HIGH concern for SELF
Conflict management style: collaboration
HIGH concern for OTHERS, and HIGH concern for SELF
Conflict management style: avoidance
LOW concern for OTHERS, and LOW concern for SELF
Conflict management style: accommodation
HIGH concern for OTHERS, but LOW concern for SELF
Conflict management style: compromise
equal concern for others and self
conflict where an employee has a disagreement with the organization or a supervisor and chooses to voice that disagreement publicly
participants negotiate mutually shared rules then cooperate within those rules to gain a competitive advantage over their opponents. differs from other conflict due to emphasis on proposal exchanges to reach a settlement.
Characteristics of bargaining
-often a formal activity: rules of the negotiation situation
-mutual concessions: when one party gives up something, the other party should surrender an issue of like value
-involves individuals who serve as representatives for the parties
-it’s an often used strategy to settle intergroup and interorganizational conflicts
Distributive bargaining
-goals: maximizes individual gains and minimizes individual loss
-issues: fixed-sum issues with limited resources
-outcomes: comprises, trade-offs, and win-lose results
– communication: information-seeking withholding data, and deception in disclosures
Integrative bargaining
– goals: maximize joint gains
– issues: variable-sum issues shaped by overlapping positions
-outcomes: creative solutions not attributable to specific deals
-communication: open sharing of information; accurate disclosure of needs and objectives
Third-party conflict resolution
individuals or groups involved in a conflict and are unable to resolve the disagreement on their own either through informal discussion or formal negotiation. a third party is relied on to resolve.
What is a mediator for third-party conflict?
a mediator attempts to help the parties facilitate the dispute but holds no decision power.
What is an arbitrator for third-party conflict?
an arbitrator makes decisions (often binding) based on the proposals and arguments of the parties involved in the conflict
What 3 factors influence the conflict management process?
1. personal
2. relational
3. cultural
Personal factors influencing conflict management
personality plays a small role in conflict resolution strategies. findings on gender differences are mixed. however, how an individual frames the conflict will influence how its managed
Conflict framing
individuals in conflict can frame the situation in terms of what they have to lose or in terms of what they have to gain. individuals who frame conflict in terms of losses will be much more likely to take risks than those who frame conflicts in terms of gains
Relational factors influencing conflict management
relationship between the conflicting parties appears to have a strong impact on conflict resolution. power (the hierarchical position) of the individuals within the conflict parties is important.
an aspect of the relationship between conflict parties regarding the degree to which they view the conflict in the same way. perceptual congruency
3 aspects of co-orientation
1. agreement: the degree to which two individuals hold the same view of a given topic
2. accuracy: the degree to which one individual can predict another individual’s position on a topic
3. perceived agreement: the congruence between one individual’s perception of another’s attitude and the other’s attitude
Likelihood of conflict management styles regarding relational factors
-members generally competitive styles when dealing with subordinates
-members are likely to use accommodation or collaboration styles when dealing with superiors
-members are likely to use accommodating or avoiding styles when dealing with peers
Cultural factors influencing conflict management
organizational, national, generational, and ethnic culture can influence the ways in which conflict is enacted and managed
What is the feminist view of conflict?
models of conflict that emphasize competition and exchange create a gendered practice. because the qualities of effective bargaining are linked to masculinity. feminine labeled attributes are less valued
Classical approach to conflict management
Viewed as a breakdown of communication and would be managed to the extent that the existence of conflict detracts from efficiency
Human relations approach to conflict management
Viewed as evidence of faulty relationships among members. Parties are encourage to avoid conflict and compromise in order to return to harmonious work relations
Human resources approach to conflict management
Viewed as a possible means for growth and development in the organization and conflicting parties are encouraged to collaborate on mutually beneficial solutions
Systems approach to conflict management
Conceptualized as cycles of activities that can escalate and de-escalate. Conflict is seen as particularly prevalent for highly interdependent parties.
Cultural approach to conflict management
Seen as stemming from the different value systems among individuals and groups. Factors such as national origin, age, and ethnicity can potentially heighten conflict situations.
Constitutive approach to conflict management
Seen as created through the ongoing conversation and discourse of organizational actors. The frames created then shape and constrain subsequent communication in ongoing organizing.
Critical approach to conflict management
Superficial organizational conflicts reflect deeper imbalances of power. based on issues such as class, culture, and economic factors. These imbalances are revealed and sustained through organizational discourse.
Feminist approach to conflict management
Seen as an opportunity to reframe organizational practices away from patriarchal and rational forms and toward patterns that support transformative and collaborative behavior.
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