14 terms

OB Final: Conflict Management

Explanation of above graph
The task of the effective manager is to maintain an optimal level of conflict while keeping conflicts focused on productive purposes
Two sets of skills required: (1) Managers must accurately diagnose the causes of conflict and select an appropriate conflict management strategy (2) Managers must be able to effectively settle interpersonal disputes in such a way that the underlying problems are resolved and the interpersonal relationship between the disputants is not damaged
Forms of conflict
Goal conflict- desired ends or preferred outcomes appear to be incompatible
Cognitive conflict- ideas or thoughts are perceived as incompatible
Affective conflict- feelings or emotions are incompatible, people literally become angry with one another
Procedural conflict- parties differ on the process to use for solving the problem (best way to get there)
Levels of conflict
Intrapersonal conflict- occurs within an individual and often involves some form of goal or cognitive conflict
Three types include: (approach-approach conflict- two or more favorable outcomes but can't implement all, must choose one (positive), avoidance-avoidance- negative (travel or demotion), approach-avoidance- has both positives and negatives)
Interpersonal conflict- involves two or more individuals who perceive themselves as being in opposition to each other over preferred outcomes (goals) and/or attitudes, values, or behaviors
Role ambiguity (who's responsible for what?)
Intragroup conflict- clashes among some or all of the group's members which often affects the group's processes and effectiveness (part of team, effects outcomes)
Intergroup conflict- opposition and clashes between two or more groups with an organization, includes vertical (with manager), horizontal (different departments, same position), and line-staff (assembly line, if you work with closely the good or service such as customer service, HR, accounting, maintenance) conflict
Cuts, downsize- line or staff?
Sources of interpersonal confrontations
Personal differences (values, hard to solve, hope for less antagonism), Informational deficiency (looking at different information, a little easier to solve), Role incompatibility (sales/production, sales want something that production can't make), Environmental stress from uncertainty
Sources of intergroup conflict
Work independence, different group goals, limited resources, group-based rewards, perceptual differences, different time horizons, status differences, increased demands for specialists
Conflict response alternatives
Avoiding- sidesteps, postpones a solution, issues often don't get resolved, can create a leadership vacuum
Forcing or Competing- satisfying own needs at expense of others, use of formal authority, manipulation, assumes conflicts are win/lose situations
Accommodating- neglect one's own concerns, preservation of relationship is key, favorable but weak and submissive
Compromising- attempt partial satisfaction for all, based on sacrifice to obtain common gain, may emphasize resolving disputes over solving problems
Collaboration- attempts to address concerns of both parties, win/win approach to conflict resolution, openness, directness, equality
Forcing approach
Appropriate situations include: emergencies, unpopular courses of action that must be taken for long-term organizational effectiveness or survival, the person needs to take action for self-protection and to stop other from taking advantage of him or her
Accommodating approach
Effective on a short-term basis when: individuals are in potentially explosive emotional conflict situation, keeping harmony is important, the conflicts are based primarily on the personalities of the individuals
Compromising approach
Appropriate when: agreement enables each party to be better off or at least not worst off than if no agreement were reached, it simply is not possible to achieve a total win/win agreement, conflicting goals block agreement on one party's proposal
Collaborating approach
Practical when: sufficient interdependence exists so that it makes sense to expend the extra time and energy needed work through individual differences, there is sufficient parity in power among individuals, there exists potential form mutual benefits over the long run for resolving the dispute through a win/win process
Avoidance approach
Desirable when: issue is minor or only of passing importance, not enough information is available, there is little chance of causing change
Strategies for resolving intergroup conflict
Problem solving, superordinate goals, expansion of resources, avoidance, smoothing, compromise, authoritative command, altering the human and/or structural variables, identifying a common enemy
Key conflict handling skills
What's your underlying preferred conflict-handling style?, be judicious in selecting the conflicts that you want to handle, evaluate the conflict players, assess the source of the conflict, know your options, select the best option
Practical communication guidelines in conflict situations
(1) Don't assume a win/lose orientation, consider all 5 types of conflict management, (2) listen for both content and feeling statements from the other person, (3) maintain normal volume and pitch when you talk in a conflict situation, (4) choose your words carefully, avoid loaded language, (5) deal with one problem at a time, don't "gunnysack," (6) deal with the conflict in private