Conflict and conflict management


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Conflict and conflict management

  1. 1. Conflict Management PT-MBA, 1st Year, 2nd Trimester, Group & Organization Dynamics Project, 30th Nov, 2012 Presented By :  Neha Kumar (A029)  Nitya Murthy (A031)  Rashi Kapur (A039)  Sonal Rajadhyax (A050)  Yuvraj Tandon (A059)
  2. 2. What is Conflict? Conflict may be defined as a struggle or contest between people with opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals. A few definitions of conflicts are: 1. A state of open, often prolonged fighting; a battle or war. 2. A state of disharmony between incompatible or antithetical persons, ideas, or interests; a clash. 3. A state of opposition between ideas, interests, etc.; disagreement or controversy 4. A state of opposition between two simultaneous but incompatible wishes or drives, sometimes leading to a state of emotional tension Conflict at the workplace In the workplace, a simple disagreement between team members, if unresolved, may escalate into avoidance, inability to work together, verbal assaults, and resentment. In the worst cases, it may also lead to hostility and eventual separation from the organization. Therefore, it is important that the conflict be resolved as soon as possible. As organizations continue to restructure work teams, conflicts will arise from differences, and when individuals come together in teams, their differences in terms of power, values, and attitudes contribute to the creation of conflict. Some disputes managers and employees alike may be subjected to in the workplace include:  Unfair or unequal treatment  Emotional Abuse  Discrimination  Sexual harassment  Angry/ Resistant individuals  Inability to saying no  Feuding groups  Environments in transitions (i.e. changes)  Inability to ask for what one needs  Culturally diverse environment
  3. 3.  Unclear or undefined organizational directives  Physical attributes of the workplace (e.g. health and safety issues) An overlook of Organizational Conflicts Interpersonal Conflict: Conflict between individuals due to differences in their goals or values. Intra-group Conflict: Conflict within a group or team. Intergroup Conflict: Conflict between two or more teams, groups or departments. Managers play a key role in resolution of this conflict. Inter-organizational Conflict: Conflict that arises across organizations. Impact of Conflict Conflict on teams is inevitable; however, the results of conflict are not predetermined. Conflict might escalate and lead to nonproductive results, or conflict can be beneficially resolved and lead to quality final products. When is Conflict constructive? Results in clarification of important problems and issues Results in solutions to problems Involves people in resolving issues important to them Causes authentic communication Helps release emotion, anxiety, and stress Builds cooperation among people through learning more about each other joining in resolving the conflict Helps individuals develop understanding and skills
  4. 4. When is conflict destructive? Takes attention away from other important activities Undermines morale or self-concept Polarizes people and groups, reducing cooperation Increases or sharpens difference Leads to irresponsible and harmful behavior, such as fighting, name-calling Conflict Prevention As well as being able to handle conflict when it arises, One should first focus on ways of preventing conflict from becoming damaging. A constructive approach would be to:       Being open – if we have issues, we need to express and deal with them immediately and not allow it to accumulate and dwell upon. Maintain clear communication – articulate thoughts clearly, question and clarify views. Encouraging different points of view and evaluating each fairly without any personal bias Not looking for blame – encourage ownership of the problem and solution. Demonstrating respect for team members rather than resorting to blame game. Keeping team issues within the team, talking outside results in conflict escalation. Conflict Management The term conflict refers to perceived incompatibilities resulting typically from some form of interference or opposition. Conflict management, then, is the employment of strategies to correct these perceived differences in a positive manner. For many decades, managers had been taught to view conflict as a negative force. However, conflict may actually be either functional or dysfunctional. Whereas dysfunctional conflict is destructive and leads to decreased productivity, functional conflict may actually encourage greater work effort and help task performance.  Learning to manage conflict is integral to a high-performance team.  Conflict management is the principle that all conflicts cannot necessarily be resolved, but learning how to manage conflicts can decrease the odds of nonproductive escalation.  It involves acquiring skills related to conflict resolution, selfawareness about conflict modes, conflict communication skills and establishing a structure for management of conflicts.
  5. 5. Ways of Dealing with Conflict Dual concern model of conflict resolution The dual concern model of conflict resolution is a conceptual perspective that assumes individuals’ preferred method of dealing with conflict is based on two underlying themes or dimensions:[1] 1. A concern for self (i.e. assertiveness), and 2. A concern for others (i.e. empathy). According to the model, group members balance their concern for satisfying personal needs and interests with their concern for satisfying the needs and interests of others in different ways. The intersection point between these two dimensions ultimately lead individuals towards exhibiting different styles of conflict resolution The dual model identifies five conflict resolution styles/strategies that individuals may use depending on their dispositions toward pro-self or prosocial goals. Accommodating : The accommodating strategy essentially entails giving the opposing side what it wants. Avoiding : The avoidance strategy seeks to put off conflict indefinitely. Collaborating : Collaboration works by integrating ideas set out by multiple people. The object is to find a creative solution acceptable to everyone. Compromising : The compromising strategy typically calls for both sides of a conflict to give up elements of their position in order to establish an acceptable, if not agreeable, solution. Competing : Competition operates as a zero-sum game, in which one side wins and other loses. Healthy and Unhealthy ways of managing and resolving conflict Unhealthy Healthy Inability to compromise or see other persons side. Ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing Explosive, angry, hurtful, resentful reactions Calm, non-defensive and respectful reactions Withdrawal of love resulting in rejection, isolation and abandonment Readiness to forgive and forget and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger Fear and avoidance of conflict; the expectation of bad outcomes Belief that facing conflict head on is the best thing for both sides
  6. 6. Conflict Management Skills  Good and a patient listener  The pitch and the tone have to be taken great care of  Adopt a positive attitude  Never criticize anyone or make him feel small  Prefer the conference room, board room or any suitable place for presentations, seminars and discussions  The superiors must ensure that the team members are assigned responsibilities according to their KRAs and specializations  Avoid gossips and rumors Conflicts must be avoided at workplace so that employees do not carry tensions back home and are able to give their best to benefit themselves as well as the organization. Importance of Conflict Management  Facilitates employees to concentrate on their work.  Strengthens bonds amongst employees  Helps finding a middle way – an alternative to any problem and successful implementation of any idea.  Motivates employees to strive hard to live up to the expectations and contribute to the organization in the best possible way.  Prevention is better than cure.
  7. 7. Video : Series : The Office, Season 2, Episode 21 : Conflict Resolution About “The Office” The series depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. "Conflict Resolution" is the twenty-first and penultimate episode of the second season of the American comedy television series The Office, the show's twenty-seventh episode overall. In the episode, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) resolves a conflict between Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez) and Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey), and then discovers a file of other unresolved complaints between staff members and he determines to resolve them. But Michael's attempts actually unearth old tensions and create new ones between the office employees. The Plot "Conflict Resolution" features the return of a poster created for the earlier episode "Christmas Party". The show opens when Michael Scott hears Oscar Martinez complaining about Angela Martin's baby poster to Toby Flenderson. Michael learns that Angela and Oscar are fighting over the poster of babies dressed up like musicians. He intervenes and resolves the conflict himself by forcing his "solution" onto all parties. Inspired, Michael wrests the file outlining other unresolved office complaints from Toby, determined to resolve them all. Michael publicly reads all the outstanding complaints against
  8. 8. everyone, even though they were supposed to be anonymous, which only serves to further increase office tensions. This is an excellent example of how conflict shouldn’t be managed. Michael now wants to resolve all the complaints in the office. The list of conflicts depicted in the series include : Kevin complains that Stanley uses his Miracle Whip without asking. Meredith complains that everyone is too loud in the morning and that the lights are too bright. Creed complains that he doesn't want to look at the redhead all day, but would rather be at a desk facing the receptionist. "Someone" has complained that Pam does too much wedding planning at the office. Kelly is upset that Ryan never returns her calls. Michael is equally upset that Ryan never returns his calls. Jim says that Dwight tried to kiss him once but he didn't make a complaint because he wasn't sure how he felt about it. Someone has complained that the bathroom is for whites only. (An assumption because the picture on the door is that of a white man. Phyllis complains that Angela gives her "death stares". Stanley complains that Phyllis cries too much and it bothers him. Angela is upset because Phyllis keeps forgetting and parking in Angela's unmarked, reserved parking space. Ryan complains that Creed has an old man smell about him. Angela complains that Kevin has made sexually suggestive remarks to her.
  9. 9. Meanwhile, when photos for identification badges are being taken in the break room, Jim Halpert uses the situation as a way to prank Dwight Schrute. Jim made Dwight's new ID, labeled Dwight as a security threat, and changed his middle name from Kurt to "Fart". Dwight could no longer take it. He storms into the conference room and demand that Michael take care of this. Dwight becomes even more furious that his voluminous complaints against Jim have gone ignored, and tells Michael that either Jim gets fired or Dwight will quit. When Michael reads all of Jim's pranks on Dwight, Jim begins to regret how much time he has wasted at the office. List of Dwight's grievances mentioned against Jim:         Told Dwight there was an abandoned infant in the women's bathroom, thus tricking him into going into the bathroom and "[seeing] Meredith on the can" Dwight hit himself in the head with his phone (Jim kept putting nickels into the handset until Dwight got used to the weight; Jim then abruptly removed all of the nickels; Dwight went to pick up the phone, and believing the phone was heavy, pulled it very hard) Jim paid everyone five dollars so they would call Dwight "Dwayne" Every time Dwight typed his name it came out as "diapers" Placed a bloody glove in Dwight's desk drawer and tried to convince him he committed murder By the end of the day, Dwight's desk was moved two feet closer to the copier Replaced all of Dwight's pens and pencils with crayons Also in the episode Jim said "Dwight tried to kiss me. I didn't say anything because I'm not really sure how I feel about it." Attempts at Conflict Management 1.Michael wrests the file outlining other unresolved office complaints from Toby, determined to resolve them all. Michael publicly reads all the outstanding complaints against everyone, even though they were supposed to be anonymous, which only serves to further increase office tensions. This is an excellent example of how conflict shouldn’t be managed. 2.He also tries to force his opnion on others to resolve any issues pointed by them, that’s again a wrong approach. 3.Michael locks Dwight and Jim together in a room for a "cage match", where they're not allowed to leave until they come to an understanding. However, no conclusion can be reached. Dwight taunts Jim with a notice of a Dunder-Mifflin position in Stamford, saying that Jim should look into it because Dwight will still be working in Scranton by next week. Michael surveys the angry, divided office and silently nods to a watching Toby, acknowledging his efforts were a disaster. 4.He then defuses Dwight's anger by saying he will make his decision but needs indeterminate time to do so, which placates Dwight. Pam Beesly is particularly troubled by a nameless complaint that she plans her wedding during office hours, a complaint she concludes was filed by Angela.
  10. 10. 5.As everyone prepares to leave, Michael pays the photographer to take a special group photo, but goes through a lot of money before he, albeit poorly, Photoshops one himself. During the procedure, Jim admits to Pam that he had registered the complaint about her wedding planning, and Pam looks shocked. As we can see the above series episode is a fitting example of an attempt at conflict management. It shows various kinds of conflicts : Interpersonal Conflict: Conflict between Jim and Dwight Inter-sender Conflict : Jim had complained about Pam earlier, and then later redacted his own words, signifying conflicting messages from the same sender. Intra-group Conflict: When different people in the office groyup have a resentment towards Pam because she has invited some to her wedding and ignored a few others. Intergroup Conflict: Conflict between Angela and Angela and how others have different opinions about it. Inter-organizational Conflict: Whole group upset with each other and not ready to pose together for a group picture. Lastly, toby is seen taking the boxful of complaints to huge room and dumps the box between thousands of stacks of identical boxes, thus signifying an attempt at the avoidance style of conflict management. Conclusion "The better able team members are to engage, speak, listen, hear, interpret, and respond constructively, the more likely their teams are to leverage conflict rather than be leveled by it” I n many cases, effective conflict resolution can make the difference between positive and negative outcomes. The good news is that by resolving conflict successfully, you can solve many of the problems that it has brought to the surface, as well as getting benefits that you might not at first expect:    Increased understanding: The discussion needed to resolve conflict expands people's awareness of the situation, giving them an insight into how they can achieve their own goals without undermining those of other people. Increased group cohesion: When conflict is resolved effectively, team members can develop stronger mutual respect, and a renewed faith in their ability to work together. Improved self-knowledge: Conflict pushes individuals to examine their goals in close detail , helping them understand the things that are most important to them, sharpening their focus, and enhancing their effectiveness.