Managing Conflict, Power, & Politics Chapter 14
Organizational Conflict • Definition? • Functional vs. dysfunctional conflict • Benefits of functional conflict: • Overcomes organizational inertia • Improves D/M. How? • Allows adaptation to change • Organizational learning • Disadvantages of dysfunctional conflict: • Slows D/M process (diversion from task at hand) • Wastes time & resources • Reduces innovation • Failure to change organizational decline.
Pondy’s Model of ConflictWhat are the sources? How do we control & manage it? • Stage 1: Latent Conflict • The potentialfor conflict exists • Conflict occurs because vertical & horizontal differentiation cause subunit orientation Sources of conflict between subunits: • Subunits interdependence • Differing subunits’ goals & priorities • Bureaucratic factors (status inconsistencies) • Incompatible performance criteria • Competition for resources.
Pondy’s Model • Stage 2: Perceived Conflict • SH or subunit perceives opposition • Begin to search for causes • Conflict escalates- battles begin • Stage 3: Felt Conflict • Emotions come into play • “Us-versus-them” attitude • Battles escalate • Reduced cooperation reduced org. effectiveness!
Pondy’s Model • Stage 4: Manifest Conflict • Retaliation, aggression & passive aggression • Breakdown in communication & coordination • Managers pursue self-interests political maneuvering • Stage 5: Conflict Aftermath • If conflict effectively resolved- good future working relationships • If conflict not fully resolved- permanent suspicious & uncooperative behavior.
Strategies for Managing Conflict • Depends on the cause…. • Change organizational structure 1. Integrating roles 2. Flatten hierarchy 3. Decentralize authority. Why? • Change attitudes of individuals 1. Formal grievance procedures 2. Third party negotiators 3. Job rotation (reduces subunit orientation) 4. Transfer or fire 5. Strong CEO- manage conflict, models values.
How are power & conflict related? • Power vs. authority • Potential power/authority problem between manager & subordinates • Power is used to resolve conflict • When conflict is present, groups use power to influence D/M & change the outcome to their favor
Sources of Organizational Power • Authority(legitimate power) • Control over resources • Control over information(expert power) • Nonsubstitutability • Centrality • Control over uncertainty • Unobtrusive power.
Organizational Politics Political tactics? • Become indispensable • Increase centrality • Associate with powerful managers • Form a coalition • Use power to control D/M. How?? • Control the agenda. How? • Bring in outside “neutral” expert.
Closing Thoughts… • Organizations need to balance power between various SH groups • Balance of power shifts with time as uncertainties change • Give power to SH groups who will serve the organization’s needs • Can’t give all the power to top management or they will abuse it to serve self-interests • How?
Practicing Organizational Theory • Managing conflict • Page 415