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Chapter 12: Intergroup Behavior and Conflict Creating Effective Organizations.

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1 Chapter 12: Intergroup Behavior and Conflict Creating Effective Organizations

2 Relationship Between Level of Conflict and Organizational Outcomes Low Negative Positive High LEVEL OF CONFLICT ORGANIZATIONAL OUTCOMES

3 Stages of Conflict Competition for Scarce Resources Manifest Conflict (behavior) Felt Stage (hostile feelings) Conflict Aftermath Perceived Conflict Drives for Autonomy Latent Conflict Different Goals

4 Expectations and Conflict We develop expectations concerning others’ behaviors from: Our own experiences Our own experiences By watching and listening to others By watching and listening to others Through the media Through the media We often are in conflict when our expectations regarding others’ behaviors are violated

5 Strategies for Handling Conflict Rank order the following approaches to handling conflict according to your relative use of each (1=most frequent, 5=least frequent).  I generally am firm in pursuing my goals when dealing with others. I try to point out the advantages of my approach to solving the problem and point out why their approach will not work as well. I will listen to the other point of view, but I spend most of my time stressing my point of view, and am reluctant to give in.  I try to avoid most conflict situations since they tend to create anxiety and bad feelings. I will often try to get others to deal with the conflicts. Furthermore, I avoid taking controversial positions that might cause conflict, and enjoy working with others who also avoid creating conflicts.  In most conflict situations I try to find a solution where all parties will be somewhat satisfied. I try to avoid a win-lose situation, and believe that everyone’s ideas should be utilized. I will often concede my position in order to seek a satisfactory compromise.  I generally try to smooth over differences that people have so that they won’t get upset. I listen to others’ views and try to see what is important to him or her. Maintaining harmony is the major goal that I have when dealing with a conflict situation.  I try as best I can to hear all sides of the argument and to debate the issues thoroughly. I frankly state my point of view, and want others to do the same. I try to get others to reach consensus on the right approach to solving the problem. While it’s not always possible, I do try to understand everyone’s point of view.

6 Matching the Conflict Management Approach with the Situation Situational Considerations: Conflict Management Approach: ForcingAccommodatingCompromisingCollaboratingAvoiding Issue importance HighLowMedHighLow Relationship importance LowHighMedHighLow Relative power HighLowEqual-HighLow-HighEqual-High Time constraints Med-HighMed-HighLowLowMed-High

7 Managing Conflict Behavioral Guidelines 1. Identify the source of conflict. 2. Generally utilize a collaborative approach to conflict. 3. Be clear about when to use: A forcing approach An accommodating approach A compromising approach An avoiding approach 4. As an initiator of conflict: Use descriptive communication Persist until understood Encourage two-way interchange Identify areas of agreement 5. As a responder to conflict: Establish a climate of problem solving Seek additional information Agree with some aspect Ask for recommended solutions 6. As a mediator of conflict: Acknowledge that conflict exists Maintain a neutral posture Ensure fairness Help disputants generate alternatives 7. Ensure that everyone agrees on the solution 8. Establish a follow-up to conflict solutions

8 Intergroup Problems What happens within competing groups? –Each group becomes more cohesive. –Each group becomes more task oriented. –The leadership in each group becomes more autocratic. –Each group becomes more highly structured. –Each group demands more loyalty.

9 Intergroup Problems What happens between competing groups? –Each group sees the other as the “enemy.” –Each group distorts perceptions—seeing themselves as “good” and seeing only the worst aspects of the other group. –Hostility toward the other group increases while communication and interaction decrease. –Communication from the other group is viewed with suspicion. Group members only listen to those things that support their own positions and stereotypes.

10 What Happens to Winners and Losers? To the Winners: –They become more cohesive. –They tend to become complacent. –They focus on intragroup cooperation and meeting group members’ needs. –Winning confirms their positions and stereotypes about themselves and the other group.

11 What Happens to Winners and Losers? To the Losers: –They often distort the reality of losing, find excuses for losing, and blame others. –If the loss is accepted, conflicts within the group may begin to surface. –They may become more tense and willing to work harder to avoid defeat in the future. –They become more task-oriented and less attentive to group members’ needs. –The loser may learn a lot about itself since its stereotypes of itself and others may be disconfirmed by the defeat. Losers may reorganize themselves to become more cohesive and effective.

12 Managing Intergroup Conflict 1. Have groups locate a common enemy 2. Have groups develop superordinate goals 3. Train groups on how to manage intergroup conflicts, reduce negative stereotypes, and improve communication 4. Emphasize total organizational performance rather than subunit performance. Reward people for helping other groups. 5. Encourage interaction and communication between groups 6. Rotate group members and create teams including members from both groups 7. Avoid win-lose situations

13 Effective Meeting Management 1. Have the right people invited to the meeting. Be sure that you need to have the team meet rather than handle the issues with individuals. 2. Create an agenda and have team members receive the agenda before the meeting. 3. The agenda should identify action items from the previous meeting and identify actions/decisions that need to be discussed at the meeting. 4. Order the agenda in a logical sequence. 5. Avoid distractions or side conversations that don’t focus on the topic being discussed. 6. Keep the meeting moving through the agenda in order to meet time constraints (You might put time limits next to each agenda item). 7. Summarize and record the meeting in minutes that are given later to those attending the meeting. Make sure that the action items are clear. 8. Follow-up with action items from the meeting.

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