Three Views Of Conflict

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Three Views Of Conflict

  1. 1. THREE VIEWS OF CONFLICT <ul><li>TRADITIONAL VIEW </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict is dysfunctional, destructive and irrational </li></ul><ul><li>Usually caused by poor communication, a lack of trust, or a failure to be responsible to the needs of others. </li></ul><ul><li>STAMP IT OUT! </li></ul><ul><li>“ HUMAN RELATIONS” VIEW </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict is natural in groups and organizations </li></ul><ul><li>It may even be beneficial on occasion. Learn to live with it. </li></ul><ul><li>TOLERATE IT! </li></ul><ul><li>INTERACTIONIST VIEW </li></ul><ul><li>Without conflict, we become static and non-responsive </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict keeps us viable and creative, but there are two kinds of conflict: </li></ul><ul><li>FUNCTIONAL and DYSFUNCTIONAL. </li></ul><ul><li>Functional conflict improves long-term group performance. </li></ul><ul><li>ENCOURAGE IT! </li></ul>
  2. 2. SOURCES OF CONFLICT <ul><li>COMMUNICATION BARRIERS </li></ul><ul><li>Semantic difficulties </li></ul><ul><li>Misunderstandings </li></ul><ul><li>Noise </li></ul><ul><li>INCOMPATIBLE GOALS </li></ul><ul><li>Departmental specialization </li></ul><ul><li>Long v. short-term objectives </li></ul><ul><li>SCARCE RESOURCES </li></ul><ul><li>Money, information, supplies </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment and building space </li></ul><ul><li>PERSONAL VARIABLES </li></ul><ul><li>Personality </li></ul><ul><li>Differing value systems </li></ul><ul><li>JURISDICTIONAL AMBIGUITIES </li></ul><ul><li>Task responsibility and authority </li></ul><ul><li>Role ambiguity and role conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>POWER AND STATUS DIFFERENCES </li></ul><ul><li>UNRESOLVED PRIOR CONFLICTS </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>ROLE AMBIGUITY </li></ul><ul><li>UNCLEAR PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES </li></ul><ul><li>CONFUSING INFORMATION ABOUT EXPECTED JOB BEHAVIORS </li></ul><ul><li>UNCERTAINTY ABOUT CONSEQUENCES OF JOB BEHAVIORS </li></ul><ul><li>ROLE CONFLICTS </li></ul><ul><li>INTRASENDER </li></ul><ul><li>The messages from a single sender conflict </li></ul><ul><li>INTERSENDER </li></ul><ul><li>Different role sender messages from multiple senders are received, but the messages are incompatible </li></ul><ul><li>INTERROLE </li></ul><ul><li>When the roles to be played conflict </li></ul><ul><li>PERSON-ROLE </li></ul><ul><li>When my personal attitudes or values conflict with my role expectations </li></ul>
  4. 4. CONFLICT INTENSITY CONTINUUM <ul><li>MINOR DISAGREEMENTS, MISUNDERSTANDINGS </li></ul><ul><li>OVERT QUESTIONING OR CHALLENGING OTHERS </li></ul><ul><li>ASSERTIVE VERBAL ATTACKS </li></ul><ul><li>THREATS AND ULTIMATUMS </li></ul><ul><li>AGGRESSIVE PHYSICAL ATTACKS </li></ul><ul><li>OVERT EFFORTS TO DESTROY THE OTHER PARTY </li></ul><ul><li>AT WHAT POINT DOES THE CONFLICT BECOME DYSFUNCTIONAL? </li></ul><ul><li>HOW DO WE “DEFUSE” DYSFUNCTIONAL CONFLICT? </li></ul>
  5. 5. CONFLICT STIMULATION TECHNIQUES (SOME CONFLICT IS GOOD!) <ul><li>INCREASE COMPETITION AMONG INDIVIDUALS AND TEAMS </li></ul><ul><li>Contests and incentives based on performance…we know the rules! </li></ul><ul><li>COMMUNICATE WITH LESS PRECISION </li></ul><ul><li>Send ambiguous messages and give very general instructions which will be open to differing interpretations of what to do, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>HIRE OR BRING IN OUTSIDERS </li></ul><ul><li>Add people who differ regarding their backgrounds, values and attitudes (increase heterogeneity)…we need some new ideas! </li></ul><ul><li>RESTRUCTURE THE ORGANIZATION…MAKE CHANGES </li></ul><ul><li>Realign work groups, alter the rules, etc…shake the place up! </li></ul><ul><li>ENCOURAGE DISSENT…APPOINT A DEVIL’S ADVOCATE </li></ul><ul><li>Sensitize the members that it’s ok to disagree or raise concerns. Designate a critic to purposely argue against the majority position. </li></ul>
  6. 6. CONTROLLING CONFLICT (LEARNING HOW TO LIVE WITH CONFLICT) <ul><li>EXPAND THE RESOURCE BASE </li></ul><ul><li>Can we find more resources so we don’t have to fight over them? </li></ul><ul><li>Find ways to increase budgets, provide more space, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>SET SUPERORDINATE GOALS </li></ul><ul><li>Focus attention on higher-level objectives…the corporate goals that cannot be attained without cooperation. </li></ul><ul><li>IMPROVE THE COORDINATION OF INTERDEPENDENCIES </li></ul><ul><li>Develop better coordination and communication channels to bridge the gap between interdependent departments and groups. Consider liaison roles, task forces, and other integrating mechanisms. </li></ul><ul><li>MATCH PERSONALITIES & WORK HABITS OF EMPLOYEES </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t make incompatible personalities work together continuously. Consider a transfer for one or both of them to other units. </li></ul>
  7. 7. RESOLVING AND ELIMINATING CONFLICT (CONFLICT IS BAD…GET RID OF IT) <ul><li>AVOIDANCE OF CONFLICT </li></ul><ul><li>If I ignore it…maybe it will die down and go away! Separate the parties involved…give them time to cool off. </li></ul><ul><li>COMPROMISE </li></ul><ul><li> If our goals are incompatible, we must bargain with each other to resolve the conflict. Each party gives something up to reach an agreement (a “lose-lose” situation). </li></ul><ul><li>CONFRONT THE CONFLICT AND RESOLVE IT </li></ul><ul><li>Sit down and discuss the issues face-to-face in a mature fashion. Search for a “win-win” solution, or agree on how the conflict will be resolved (superior decision, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, etc). </li></ul>
  8. 8. CONFLICT RESOLUTION TECHNIQUES <ul><li>AVOIDANCE </li></ul><ul><li>Withdraw from or suppress conflict </li></ul><ul><li>SMOOTH OVER </li></ul><ul><li>Play down differences, emphasize common interests </li></ul><ul><li>COMPROMISE </li></ul><ul><li>Each party gives something up </li></ul><ul><li>AUTHORITATIVE COMMAND </li></ul><ul><li>Top management mandates a solution </li></ul><ul><li>ALTER STRUCTURAL VARIABLES </li></ul><ul><li>Redesign jobs, reassign tasks and personnel </li></ul><ul><li>TRAINING TO CHANGE ATTITUDES & BEHAVIORS </li></ul><ul><li>Raising sensitivity, learning to negotiate, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>PROBLEM-SOLVING MEETINGS </li></ul><ul><li>Face-to-face discussions to find a “win-win” solution </li></ul><ul><li>FOCUS ON SUPERORDINATE GOALS </li></ul><ul><li>A corporate goal that cannot be attained without cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>EXPAND SCARCE RESOURCES </li></ul><ul><li>Find ways to increase budgets, provide more space, etc. </li></ul>
  9. 9. CONFLICT-HANDLING STYLES GRID THOMAS (76) <ul><li> ASSERTIVE --------------------------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li> COMPETITIVE COLLABORATIVE </li></ul><ul><li>SATISFY OWN </li></ul><ul><li>CONCERNS COMPROMISING </li></ul><ul><li> AVOIDANT ACCOMMODATIVE </li></ul><ul><li> UNASSERTIVE --------------------------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li> UNCOOPERATIVE COOPERATIVE </li></ul><ul><li> SATISFY THE </li></ul><ul><li>CONCERNS OF OTHERS </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a DISTRIBUTIVE (Zero-sum) game -- “How shall we split the pie?” </li></ul><ul><li>Or, is this an INTEGRATIVE (Proactive) game -- “How to create a larger pie?” </li></ul>
  10. 10. THOMAS’ CONFLICT RESOLUTION STRATEGIES - 1 <ul><li>AVOIDANT </li></ul><ul><li>NON-ATTENTION </li></ul><ul><li>PHYSICAL SEPARATION </li></ul><ul><li>LIMIT INTERACTION </li></ul><ul><li>Let people cool down and regain perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Issue is trivial, more important issues are pressing </li></ul><ul><li>Potential disruptions outweigh the benefits of resolution </li></ul><ul><li>There is no chance for you to satisfy your concerns </li></ul><ul><li>When others can resolve the conflict more effectively </li></ul><ul><li>ACCOMMODATIVE </li></ul><ul><li>APPEASEMENT – GIVE AN “OLIVE BRANCH” </li></ul><ul><li>SMOOTH OVER DIFFERENCES </li></ul><ul><li>“ CAVE IN” </li></ul><ul><li>When harmony and stability are quite important </li></ul><ul><li>When the goals pursued are not critical to us </li></ul><ul><li>To build social credits (idiosyncratic) for later issues </li></ul><ul><li>When you find you were wrong, or to show you’re reasonable </li></ul><ul><li>To satisfy others and maintain their cooperation </li></ul>
  11. 11. THOMAS’ CONFLICT RESOLUTION STRATEGIES - 2 <ul><li>COMPETITIVE </li></ul><ul><li>USE OF FORCE, POWER </li></ul><ul><li>AUTHORITATIVE COMMANDS </li></ul><ul><li>ALLIES, DOMINANT COALITIONS </li></ul><ul><li>When the goals pursued are incompatible with others’ goals </li></ul><ul><li>When important, yet unpopular actions must be taken </li></ul><ul><li>On issues where there can be no compromise, and time is critical </li></ul><ul><li>When we think we’re “in the right” </li></ul><ul><li>Against those who have taken unfair advantage in the past </li></ul><ul><li>COMPROMISING </li></ul><ul><li>BARGAINING </li></ul><ul><li>MEDIATION </li></ul><ul><li>ARBITRATION </li></ul><ul><li>When opponents with equal power have mutually exclusive goals </li></ul><ul><li>To arrive at expedient solutions under time pressure </li></ul><ul><li>To achieve temporary settlements to complex issues </li></ul><ul><li>As a backup (“Plan B”) when competitive and collaborative attempts fail </li></ul><ul><li>When goals are not worth the disruption of assertive approaches </li></ul>
  12. 12. THOMAS’ CONFLICT RESOLUTION STRATEGIES - 3 <ul><li>COLLABORATIVE </li></ul><ul><li>PROBLEM-SOLVING MEETINGS </li></ul><ul><li>CONFRONTATION AND HONEST COMMUNICATION </li></ul><ul><li>SEARCH FOR SUPERORDINATE GOALS </li></ul><ul><li>EXPAND SCARCE RESOURCES </li></ul><ul><li>When both sets of concerns are too important to be compromised </li></ul><ul><li>When the goals of both parties differ, but are potentially compatible </li></ul><ul><li>When interaction and cooperation are very important for goal attainment </li></ul><ul><li>To work through feelings that have interfered with a relationship </li></ul>
  13. 13. DIAGNOSING YOUR CONFLICT SITUATION <ul><li>WHAT IS IT YOU WANT OR NEED? </li></ul><ul><li>Precisely state your objectives </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT DOES THE OTHER PARTY WANT OR NEED </li></ul><ul><li>Have them clearly reveal their most basic objective </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DISAGREE OVER? </li></ul><ul><li>Facts? ..Criteria? ..Priorities? ..Processes? ..Objectives to be pursued? ..Methods of achievement? </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT COULD YOU LOSE IF THE CONFLICT CONTINUES? </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT OTHER COMMON OBJECTIVES DO YOU AND THE OTHER PARTY SHARE? </li></ul><ul><li>MUST YOU HAVE COOPERATION AND HELP FROM THIS PARTY IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS? </li></ul>
  14. 14. NEGOTIATION <ul><li>STEPS IN THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS </li></ul><ul><li>PREPARATION & PLANNING </li></ul><ul><li>DEFINITION OF GROUND RULES </li></ul><ul><li>CLARIFICATION & JUSTIFICATION </li></ul><ul><li>BARGAINING & PROBLEM-SOLVING </li></ul><ul><li>CLOSURE & IMPLEMENTATION </li></ul><ul><li>ISSUES IN NEGOTIATION </li></ul><ul><li>Do personality traits affect negotiations? NO </li></ul><ul><li>Are there gender differences in negotiations? NO & YES </li></ul><ul><li>WOMEN ARE NOT MORE COOPERATIVE AND PLEASANT TO NEGOTIATE WITH, </li></ul><ul><li>BUT MEN DO NEGOTIATE SLIGHTLY BETTER OUTCOMES THAN WOMEN. </li></ul><ul><li>Does one’s cultural background affect the negotiation process? YES </li></ul><ul><li>AMERICANS PRAISE OTHERS BEFORE THEY CRITICIZE </li></ul><ul><li>GIVE SMALL CONCESSIONS </li></ul><ul><li>TALK ABOUT BOTH BUSINESS AND PERSONAL THINGS </li></ul><ul><li>WANT TO BE LIKED </li></ul><ul><li>WANT TO GET THE DEAL DONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. </li></ul><ul><li>FRENCH LIKE CONFLICT, SEE THE PRAISE AS MANIPULATIVE </li></ul><ul><li>THEY DRAW OUT THE NEGOTIATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>DON’T SEEM TO CARE WHETHER THEY ARE LIKED </li></ul><ul><li>ISRAELIS AND BRITISH THINK AMERICANS CHATTER TOO MUCH ABOUT SMALL TALK </li></ul><ul><li>INDIANS FEEL THE AMERICANS AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION BECAUSE THEY DON’T INTERRUPT THE DISCUSSIONS REGULARLY FOR CLARIFICATION. </li></ul><ul><li>ASIANS AND ARABS NEGOTIATE “BUSINESS” AFTER A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN FORMED, AND USUALLY RECIPROCATE WITH CONCESSIONS, BUT THE RUSSIANS NEVER DO. </li></ul>
  15. 15. GROUND RULES FOR CONFRONTATION <ul><li>Review and clarify the issues and facts </li></ul><ul><li>Begin with a positive overture </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate freely, don’t hold back grievances </li></ul><ul><li>Address problems, not personalities </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t attack things that are irrelevant </li></ul><ul><li>Keep focused on specifics – don’t argue aimlessly </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use inflammatory rhetoric </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure all participants say all they want to say </li></ul>

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