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Conflict. Conflict may be understood as collision or disagreement. Conflict arises when individuals or groups encounter goals that both parties cannot.

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Presentation on theme: "Conflict. Conflict may be understood as collision or disagreement. Conflict arises when individuals or groups encounter goals that both parties cannot."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conflict

2 Conflict may be understood as collision or disagreement. Conflict arises when individuals or groups encounter goals that both parties cannot obtain satisfactorily. Conflict may be:  Within an individual;  Between two individuals; or  Between two groups in an organization.

3 We can define Conflict as a process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about to negatively affect, something that the first party cares about.

4 Transitions in Conflict Thought Causes: Poor communication Lack of openness Failure to respond to employee needs Causes: Poor communication Lack of openness Failure to respond to employee needs Traditional View of Conflict The belief that all conflict is harmful and must be avoided.

5 Human Relations View of Conflict The belief that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any group. Interactionist View of Conflict The belief that conflict is not only a positive force in a group but that it is absolutely necessary for a group to perform effectively.

6 Functional versus Dysfunctional Conflict Functional Conflict Conflict that supports the goals of the group and improves its performance. Dysfunctional Conflict Conflict that hinders group performance.

7 Consequences of Conflict Positive Consequences Negative Consequences  Leads to new ideas.  Stimulates creativity.  Motivates Change.  Promotes organizational vitality.  Helps individuals and groups establish identities.  Serves as a safety valve to indicate problems.  Diverts energy from work.  Threatens psychological well- being.  Wastes resources.  Creates a negative climate.  Breaks down group cohesion.  Can increase hostility and aggressive behaviours.

8 Types of Conflict Task Conflict Conflicts over content and goals of the work. Relationship Conflict Conflict based on interpersonal relationships. Process Conflict Conflict over how work gets done.

9 LEVELS OF CONFLICT Individual level Group level Organizational level

10 All individuals have needs, which make them directed towards goals. The goals are individual as well as organizational, which are often not compatible. This leads to Intra Individual Conflict. Intra Individual Conflict Goal ConflictRole Conflict

11 Goal Conflict Arises due to existence of two or more competing goals.  Approach-Approach Conflict  Approach-Avoidance Conflict  Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict

12 Conflict arising out of:  Role Ambiguity  Organizational Position  Personal Characteristics Role Conflict

13 Inter Personal Conflict Conflict among individuals. Occurs as a result of; a. Personality differences b. Perceptions c. Clashes of values and interests d. Power and status differences e. Scarce resources  Vertical Conflict  Horizontal Conflict

14 GROUP CONFLICT Conflict among groups. Sources:  Incompatible goals  Task Interdependence  Resource Sharing  Competitive rewards and incentive system  Line and staff conflicts  Differences in values and perceptions  Heterogeneity of members  Communication distortions  Participative decision making  Low formalization Group Conflict Intra group Conflict Intergroup Conflict

15 ORGANIZATIONAL LEVEL CONFLICT INTRAORGANIZATIONAL CONFLICT a. Formal –informal conflict. b. Line and staff conflict

16 INTERORGANIZATIONAL CONFLICT Conditions for such conflict to exist: a) Two or more organizations must be aware of each other b) Decision of one should affect the other c) Decision of one must affect the image in such a way that one considers it as unfavorable ORGANIZATIONAL LEVEL CONFLICT

17 Types of Inter-organizational conflict Management -government Inter-management- disputes over patents Inter union Union government Union management

18 Purposes served by inter organizational conflicts Promotes bond of unity among organizational members Brings new life to organizational objectives and values Acts as an agency of social control Makes the organizational members aware of the tactics and strategies of the antagonist.

19 The Conflict Process

20 Stage I: Potential Opposition or Incompatibility Communication –Semantic difficulties, misunderstandings, and “noise” Structure –Size and specialization of jobs –Jurisdictional clarity/ambiguity –Member/goal incompatibility –Leadership styles (close or participative) –Reward systems (win-lose) –Dependence/interdependence of groups

21 Personal Variables  Differences in Perceptions  Communication Problems  Value and Ethics  Skills and Abilities  Emotions  Personalities  Personality types

22 Stage II: Cognition and Personalization Perceived Conflict Awareness by one or more parties of the existence of conditions that create opportunities for conflict to arise. Felt Conflict Emotional involvement in a conflict creating anxiety, frustration, or hostility.

23 Stage III: Intentions Cooperativeness: Attempting to satisfy the other party’s concerns. Assertiveness: Attempting to satisfy one’s own concerns. Cooperativeness: Attempting to satisfy the other party’s concerns. Assertiveness: Attempting to satisfy one’s own concerns. Intentions Decisions to act in a given way.

24 Dimensions of Conflict-Handling Intentions

25 Competing A desire to satisfy one’s interests, regardless of the impact on the other party to the conflict. Collaborating A situation in which the parties to a conflict each desire to satisfy fully the concerns of all parties. Avoiding The desire to withdraw from or suppress a conflict.

26 Accommodating The willingness of one party in a conflict to place the opponent’s interests above his or her own. Compromising A situation in which each party to a conflict is willing to give up something.

27 Conflict and Unit Performance

28 Stage IV: Behavior Conflict Management The use of resolution and stimulation techniques to achieve the desired level of conflict.

29 Conflict Management Techniques Conflict Resolution Techniques Problem solving Superordinate goals Expansion of resources Avoidance Smoothing Compromise Authoritative command Altering the human variable Altering the structural variables Conflict Resolution Techniques Problem solving Superordinate goals Expansion of resources Avoidance Smoothing Compromise Authoritative command Altering the human variable Altering the structural variables

30 Conflict Stimulation Techniques Communication Bringing in outsiders Restructuring the organization Appointing a devil’s advocate Conflict Stimulation Techniques Communication Bringing in outsiders Restructuring the organization Appointing a devil’s advocate

31 Stage V: Outcomes Functional Outcomes from Conflict –Increased group performance –Improved quality of decisions –Stimulation of creativity and innovation –Encouragement of interest and curiosity –Provision of a medium for problem-solving –Creation of an environment for self-evaluation and change

32 Dysfunctional Outcomes from Conflict –Development of discontent –Reduced group effectiveness –Retarded communication –Reduced group cohesiveness –Infighting among group members overcomes group goals

33 Preventing Conflict Assess positive and negative personality traits of people involved Determine personality type –Aggressive –Submissive –Assertive Assess if people are introvert or extroverts... Assess if people are introvert or extroverts...

34 Review past conflicts Assess communication skills of those involved Read body language of participants

35 Try to reduce conflict –Realize that communication is colored by personal experience, beliefs, fear, prejudices –Try to be neutral – Plan the timing and place of the conversation –Realize that outside stress may add to confrontation – Eliminate/reduce external interruptions

36 Manage the language used –Neutral vs. loaded words –Reduce technical language –Allow for cultural differences in language –Words may have different meanings for different people…ask them to elaborate


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