CMN212 Exam3: Conflict Management

Definition of conflict (3 I’s)
1) Interaction
2) Interdependence
3) Incompatible goals

– The Interaction of interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals and interference from each other in achieving those goals

Phases of conflict (5 phases that conflicts go through): A Descriptive Model
– It is a cycle
1) Latent : grounds for a conflict exists because parties have incompatible goals
– the two parties are not aware that there is an issues
– once conflict is perceived –>

2) Perceived Conflict Phase
– eventually begins to feel it (personalize)–>

3) Felt Conflict: beginning to work out in ones head the emotion
– what ones interfering behavior implies for the other
– there will be some sort of triggering incident –> Manifest

4) Manifest Conflict:
– could take form of a shouting match

5) Restabilization (this is the aftermath)
– can have 2 possible routes out (Aftermath)
1) Has a Resolution
2) or back into Latent/Perceived Conflict Phase (continuous cycle)

Normative Model of Conflict Phases:
– Escalation and avoidance cycles versus
– middle ground, integrative route
1) Escalation: going through cycles of escalation
– e.g., begin with shouting, then fighting during next conflict
– very negative
– can lead to situations in which conflict spirals out of control
– occur because of INTERPERSONAL REFLEX (people method of interpersonal interaction)
i.) you match negative with negative responses and positive with positive responses

2) Avoidance Cycles: people are avi
– sometimes both parties avoid, sometimes one all with the hope of keeping the conflict into the open–> conflict never addressed and it festers
– underlying problem still there–> problems in the future

3) Middle (confrontative) Ground: both addressing conflict and keeping it from spiraling out of control (+ from a normative perspective)

So…According to the normative model (if we go through the conflict phases) what is the best route to take when going through these phases?
– I.e., what is the Ideal Model for Conflict Management?
– It has 2 phases
1) Consists of Differentiation &
– parties bring out differences
– become aware that the other party will not give in

2) Integration
– at a certain point these differences begin to be addressed
– work on a mutually beneficial solution

With this Ideal model of COnflict management, what does the graph look like?
– Explain Degree of Convergence (how similar or close their positions are
– Begin at Differentiation Phase
i.) There is an initial Degree of Convergence in Parties’ Positions (start with some differences)
ii.) corresponds to latent, perceived, and felt, conflict phases
iii.) this degree slowly gets larger until it reaches its maximum point at the very end/Beginning of D/I
iv.) when trigger happens–> conflict out in the open–> more and more divergence happens
v.) at a certain point we acknowledge there are differences and that they need to be addressed to move on (this is at the maximum point of difference)

– Then Move to Integration Phases
i.) in order to get here, must differentiate and understand differences (which may be unpleasant)
ii.) also must realize you cannot force your opinions on one another
iii.) this allows them to reach a mutually benneficial solution

What should Differentiation Look Like (If done properly)- at the end of the period
• Parties are aware of differences
• Issues are clarified and defined
• Both parties recognize the need to work together
• Both regard the other’s positions as legitimate (though they may not agree with it)
What should Integration look like (If done properly)- at the end of the period
• Parties develop willingness to work with each other
• Parties work toward solution that meets interests of both
• Parties stick to their guns and do not waffle or give in
• Parties consider multiple solutions
What is on the x and y axis for the conflict management styles graph
X= Focus on Other’s Concerns

Y= Focus on Own Concerns

what are the 5 conflict styles?
1) Avoidance
– Low focus on Other’s concerns and Own Concerns

2) Accomodation
– High Focus on Other’s Concerns
– Low Focus on Own Concern’s

3) Compromise
– Moderate Focus on Other’s Concerns & Own Concerns

4) Competition
– High focus on Own Concerns
– Low Focus on Other’s Concerns

5) Collaboration
– High Focus on Own and Other’s Concerns

Competition Management Style:
– Variations
– Benefits
– Disadvantages
1) Variations
– Contending
– Winner take all competition
– Passive Agressive

2) Benefits
– Own Needs met
– Quick
– Decisive

3) Disadvantages
– Damage to future relationship
– Becomes Habitual

Avoidance Management Style:
– Variations
– Benefits
– Disadvantages
1) Variations:
– Protecting
– Withdrawing
– Smoothing

2) Benefits:
+ When need to calm down (temporary response)
+ When you are in a position of weakness
+ May help you save face

3) Disadvantages:
– Low levels of satisfaction
– Others perceive you as weak or unresponsive

Accomodation Management Style:
– Variations
– Benefits
– Disadvantages
– Open
– Not acknowledged

+ Preserves relationship
+ When you are in a position of weakness

– May lose face
– Others perceive you as weak or unresponsive

Compromise Management Style:
– Variations
– Benefits
– Disadvantages
– Openly acknowledged
– Tacit coordination

+ Each party gets something they need
+ Can build relationship
+ Others perceive you as competent

– May lead to lower levels of commitment to the solution
– Glass half empty

Collaboration Management Style:
– Involves
– Benefits
– Disadvantages
– Focus on problem and issues
– Acknowledge differences
– Generate solutions jointly

+ Meets parties needs
+ Often leads to creative solutions
+ Builds relationship

– Takes time and effort
– If it fails, may give up on future compromise/problem- solving efforts

Dimensions underlying the classification (figure 9.1)
1) Latent
1) Grounds for conflict exist because parties are interacting in Interdependent relationships in which incompatible goals are possible
Dimensions underlying the classification (figure 9.1)
2) Perceived
2) One or more parties perceive that their situation is characterized by incompatibility and interdependence
Dimensions underlying the classification (figure 9.1)
3) Felt
3) Parties begin to personalize perceived conflict by focusing on the conflict issue and planning conflict management strategies
Dimensions underlying the classification (figure 9.1)
4) Manifest
4) Conflict is enacted through communication. Interaction might involved cycles of escalation and de-escalation as various strategies are used
Dimensions underlying the classification (figure 9.1)
5) Conflict Aftermath
5) Conflict episode has both short-term and long-term effects on the individuals, their relationship, and the organization
Criticisms of conflict styles (4)
1) the grid approach downplays the extent to which individuals change their tactics during interaction with others in conflict situations
2) the 2 dimensional nature: issues other than concern for others and concern for self may influence a conflict interaction
3) conflict styles has downplayed the important roles that non-verbal and non-rational communication might play in conflict management
4) role of the organizational setting is ignored
Criteria for selecting a conflict style
– Importance to self
– Importance to other
– Importance of maintaining positive relationship with the other
– Time pressure
– Degree of trust in the other
What is negotiation?
A formalized mode of conflit management involving exchanged of offers within the framework of shared rules to reach joint setlements
Negotiation: Explain the Distributive Approach
– Win-lose
– Maximize individual gains and minimize losses
– Fixed sum (only limited amount of resources)
– Communication consists of:
i.) Information seeking; I try to find out things about what the other person really wants to use as a lever
ii.) Selective misrepresentation of information; (not telling person exactly how much money you need)
iii.) withholding (do not let people know true desires)
– Fairly rigid relationships (not close friends within bargaining situations)
– Outcomes include compromises, tradeoffs, win-lose outcomes (there are winners and losers)
– Prejudice toward own group (you focus on yourself mainly)
Negotiation: Explain the Integrative Approach
– Win-win
– parties Maximize joint gains
– Variable sum; issues shaped by overlapping positions
– Open communication and accurate disclosure of needs and information
i.) so we can know what both parties want
– More flexible relationship
– Outcomes include creative solutions and joint satisfaction of needs
– Focus on both groups’ positions
Which Conflict Styles are the Distributive/Integrative Approach Related to?
1) Distributive:
– Competing
– Contending
i.) go out to defeat other person

2) Integrative
– collaboration or problem solving

3) For both:
– neither are similar to avoidance or accomodation
– can both end up in compromise

A Positive Approach to Negotiation: “Getting to Yes”
– Criteria for good negotiation
– It should produce a wise agreement, if agreement is possible
– It should be efficient
– It should improve (or at least not damage) the relationship between the parties
A positive approach to negotiation: Principles of Effective negotiation (5)
1) Separate the people from the problem
– avoid focusing on another person, focus on the problem in front of you

2) Focus on interests, not positions
– e.g., don’t say “i need this amount of money” instead say “I specifically need to do this for my car”

3) Invent options for mutual gain
– important to generate a wide variety of options with the other person, get them involved–> they buy into it more, and have more of a cooperative relationship

4) Insist on fair, objective criteria for determining which options should be selected
– you should not argue for options based on preference, but rather have objective evidence
– e.g., search on google for evidence about which of the options work best (as opposed to personal preference

5) Have a BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement)
– this is your alternative if your first negotiation does not work
– this provides a way to avoid being pressured into something you do not want

what approach do principles of effective negotiation take?
integrative approach
Third Parties: Managerial third-party conflict resolution roles
1) Mediator
– doesn’t control or have any direct influence over outcome
– can influence process by which 2 parties reach a decision
– very common in legal system
– ultimate goal is to find a solution that is good for all parties

2) Arbitrator
– has power to make decision themselves
– they work with 2 parties, then either gives ruling/decision or try to get the parties to solve it themselves but if they can’t the arbitrator makes the final decision
– a common type: managers
– very common in sports

Third Parties: Process for third party intervention (5)
1) Orientation
– get the facts of the conflict in order
2) Background
– do some research possibly
3) issue processing
– getting parties to tell their story (from both sides)
– may write interests and goals of individuals
4) Problem Solving
– define goals, generate option, evaluate–>
5) Resolution
– get parties together, determine a solution
– think about ways to enforce decision
– have something formal that finalizes the decision and signifying that parties are expected to live by this decision
An alternative model of conflict management:
– A feminist view of conflict
– e.g., their model replaces concepts from the exchange model such as trades, mutual gain, settlement, and information exchange with alternative feminists concepts of “mutual inquiry” “mutual understanding” “transformation” and “sharing experiences”
How does the alternative model differ from the traditional approach?
– this feminists model shifts the emphasis in conflict negotiation from one tat values exchange, problem solving, and rationality to one that considers considers, collaboration, dialogue, and emotion
How would the various approaches view the conflict management process? (Table 9.4)
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