Conflict Management Design • organizational conflict still fall within the realm of conflict resolution, reduction, or minimization • organizational conflict is deficient in three major areas. 1. There is no clear set of rules to suggest when conflict ought to be maintained at a certain level, when reduced, when ignored, and when enhanced. 2. There is no clear set of guidelines to suggest how conflict can be reduced, ignored, or enhanced to increase individual, group, or organizational effectiveness. 3. There is no clear set of rules to indicate how conflict involving different situations can be managed effectively.
DEFINING CONFLICT MANAGEMENT • Conflict resolution implies reduction, elimination, or termination of conflict. • negotiation, bargaining, mediation, and arbitration fall into the conflict resolution category. • Conflict management does not necessarily imply avoidance, reduction, or termination of conflict, • It involves designing effective strategies to; • minimize the dysfunctions of conflict and • enhancing the constructive functions of conflict.
Affective Conflict • These conflicts are generally caused by the negative reactions of organizational members (e.g., personal attacks of group members, racial disharmony, sexual harassment), • relationship conflicts interfere with task-related effort, • Affective conflict slow down group performance. • Affective conflict diminishes group loyalty, work group commitment, intent to stay in the present organization, and satisfaction.
Paradox of Conflict • two dimensions of conflict that are useful for managing conflict; • disagreements relating to task issues • emotional or interpersonal issues that lead to conflict. • two dimensions are positively correlated. • Enhancing substantive conflicts, affective conflict may also be increased.
Conflict Management Styles Integrating Style; Situation where appropriate: • When one party alone cannot solve the problem, • useful in utilizing the skills, information, and other resources possessed by different parties, • more effective than others in attaining integration of the activities of different subsystems of an organization. • appropriate for dealing with the strategic issues pertaining to an organization’s objectives and policies, long-range planning
Contd. Where inappropriate; • when the task or problem is simple or trivial; • when there is no time for problem solving, • when the other parties do not have adequate training and experience for problem solving.
Obliging Style • Situation where Appropriate; • when a party is not familiar with the issues involved in a conflict, • When the other party is right, • When the issue is much more important to the other party. • when a party is dealing from a position of weakness. • Situation where inappropriate; • When issue involved in a conflict is important to the party, and the party believes that he or she is right. • when a party believes that the other party is wrong or unethical.
Dominating Style • Situation where Appropriate; • when the issues involved in a conflict are important to the party, • may be used by a supervisor if the issues involve routine matters, • When a speedy decision is required. • effective in dealing with the implementation of unpopular courses of action. • Situation where Inappropriate; • when the issues involved in conflict are complex and there is enough time to make a good decision. • When both parties are equally powerful, • when the issues are not important to the party, • Subordinates who possess a high degree of competence may not like a supervisor who uses this authoritarian style.
Avoiding Style • Situation where Appropriate; • when dysfunctional effect of confronting the other party outweighs the benefits, • trivial or minor issues. • Situation where Inappropriate; • When the issue is important to a party, • When the party is responsible for decision making, • When quick action is required.
Compromising Style • Situation where Appropriate; • When goals of the parties are mutually exclusive • when both parties are equally powerful, • When consensus cannot be reached, • May be used for protracting conflict, • Situation where Inappropriate; • When dealing with complex problems, • if a party is more powerful than another, • When dealing with conflict of values.
Criteria for Conflict Management Strategies 1. Organizational Learning and Effectiveness, 2. Needs of Stakeholders, 3. Ethics. Conflict Management Strategy 1. Attain and maintain a moderate amount of substantive conflict for non-routine tasks. 2. Minimize substantive conflict for routine tasks. 3. Minimize affective conflicts for routine and non-routine tasks. 4. Enable the organizational members to select and use the styles of handling interpersonal conflict so that various conflict situations can be appropriately dealt with.
CONTINGENCY APPROACH • it is possible to develop a contingency theory of conflict management, • For example, when low decision quality and acceptance, is needed then dominating style may be used. • When high decision quality and high decision acceptance, the integrating style is the most appropriate to use.
Contd. • Problem finding or recognition requires appropriate diagnosis of the problems, • Proper diagnosis of the causes and effects of the different types of conflict is important, • diagnosis of the problems must lead any intervention designed to manage the conflict, • without a proper diagnosis of conflict, there is the probability that a change agent may try to solve a wrong problem (type III error),
Measurement • A comprehensive diagnosis involves these measurements: 1. The amount of conflict at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, intra-group, and intergroup levels; 2. The styles of handling interpersonal, intra-group, and intergroup conflicts of the organizational members; 3. The sources of (1) and (2); and 4. Individual, group, and organizational learning and effectiveness.
Analysis • The analysis of data collected above should include: 1. The amount of conflict and the styles of handling conflict classified by departments, units, divisions, and so on, and whether they are different from their corresponding national norms. 2. The relationships of the amount of conflict and conflict styles to their sources. 3. The relationships of the amount of conflict and conflict styles to organizational learning • and effectiveness.
Intervention • A proper diagnosis should indicate any need for intervention and the type of intervention required, • An intervention may be needed if there is; • too much affective conflict or too little or too much substantive conflict and/or • if the organizational members are not handling their conflict effectively, • There are two basic approaches to intervention in conflict: • process and • structural
Process • A process refers to the sequence of events or activities that are undertaken to bring about some desired outcome. Such as, • communication, • decision making, and • leadership, • attempts to improve organizational effectiveness by changing members’ styles of handling interpersonal conflict, • enables the organizational members to make effective use of the five styles of handling interpersonal conflict,
Structural • Structure refers to the stable arrangement of task, technological, and other factors so that organizational members can work together effectively, • attempts to improve the organizational effectiveness by changing the organization’s structural design characteristics, which include; • differentiation and integration mechanisms, • hierarchy, • procedures, and • reward system, • Conflicts that result from the organization’s structural design can be managed effectively by appropriate change in such design.