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Understanding and Managing Workplace Conflict

Understanding and Managing Workplace Conflict

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Understanding and Managing Workplace Conflict

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  1. Understandingand Managing Workplace Conflict

  2. Is Conflict Good or Bad? • Negative Outcomes • Less information sharing • Higher stress/dissatisfaction/turnover • More organizational politics • Wasted resources • Lower team cohesion when conflict is internal • Positive Outcomes • Better decision making • More responsive • Stronger team cohesion when conflict is external

  3. Is Conflict Good or Bad?:Emerging View • Two types of conflict • Constructive conflict -- Conflict is aimed at issue, not parties • Relationship conflict -- Conflict is aimed at undermining the other party • Goal: encourage constructive conflict, minimize relationship conflict • Problem: difficult to separate the two conflicts

  4. Minimizing Relationship Conflict Three conditions that minimize relationship conflict while engaging in constructive conflict • Emotional intelligence • Cohesive team • Supportive team norms

  5. Conflict Perceptions Manifest Conflict Conflict Outcomes Conflict Emotions The Conflict Process Sources of Conflict Conflict Escalation Cycle

  6. more Structural Sources of Conflict Incompatible Goals • One party’s goals perceived to interfere with other’s goals Differentiation • Different values/beliefs • Explains cross-cultural and generational conflict Task Interdependence • Conflict increases with interdependence • Parties more likely to interfere with each other

  7. Structural Sources of Conflict Scarce Resources • Motivates competition for the resource Ambiguous Rules • Creates uncertainty, threatens goals • Without rules, people rely on politics Communication Problems • Increases stereotyping • Reduces motivation to communicate • Escalates conflict when arrogant

  8. Five Conflict Handling Styles High Forcing Problem-solving Assertiveness Compromising Avoiding Yielding High Low Cooperativeness

  9. Conflict Handling Contingencies Problem solving • Best when: • Interests are not perfectly opposing • Parties have trust/openness • Issues are complex • Problem: other party take advantage of information Forcing • Best when: • you have a deep conviction about your position • quick resolution required • other party would take advantage of cooperation • Problems: relationship conflict, long-term relations

  10. Conflict Handling Contingencies Avoiding • Best when: • relationship conflict is high • conflict resolution cost is higher than benefits • Problems: doesn’t resolve conflict, frustration Yielding • Best when: • other party has much more power • issue is much less important to you than other party • value/logic of your position is imperfect • Problem: Increases other party’s expectations

  11. Conflict Handling Contingencies Compromising • Best when… • Parties have equal power • Quick solution is required • Parties lack trust/openness • Problem: Sub-optimal solution where mutual gains are possible

  12. Structural Approaches to Conflict Resolution • Emphasizing superordinate goals • Emphasize common objective rather than conflicting sub-goals • Reduces goal incompatibility and differentiation • Reducing differentiation • Remove sources of different values and beliefs • e.g. Move employees around to different jobs

  13. Structural Approaches to Conflict Resolution (con’t) • Improving communication/understanding • Employees understand and appreciate each other’s views through communication • Relates to contact hypothesis • Two warnings: • Apply communication/understanding after reducing differentiation • A Western strategy that may conflict with values/traditions in other cultures

  14. Structural Approaches to Conflict Resolution (con’t) • Reduce Task Interdependence • Dividing shared resources • Combine tasks • Use buffers • Increase Resources • Duplicate resources • Clarify Rules and Procedures • Clarify resource distribution • Change interdependence

  15. Types of Third Party Intervention High Mediation Inquisition Level of Process Control Arbitration Low Level of Outcome Control High