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Lecture 1, what is conflict


Published on 0092-3219091220

Lecture 1, what is conflict

  1. 1. What is Conflict Noorulhadi (MS, GCMS Peshawar [email_address]
  2. 2. Objective of the Lectures <ul><li>What is conflict? </li></ul><ul><li>Type of Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>What is conflict’s role in business? </li></ul><ul><li>Different views of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Kinds of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Stages of conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Methods of conflict resolution </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Conflict? <ul><li>A process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about to negatively affect, something that the first party cares about. </li></ul>This definition of conflict is taken from the article, “Conflict and Negotiation Processes in Organizations,” by K.W. Thomas in the Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
  4. 4. Type of Conflict <ul><li>Goal Conflict: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict arises when an individual selects or is assigned goals that are incompatible with each other, it refer to the extent to which an individual’s goal or group’s goals are at odds with one other. For assigned students to get 80% mark and also earn Rs. 20000 at the end of semester i.e in one month. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Affective Conflict: </li></ul><ul><li>It can be explained as the incompatible feeling and emotions within the individual or between individuals. Interpersonal conflicts as well as antagonism (being in opposition) between groups are examples of affective conflict. </li></ul>Type of conflict
  6. 6. <ul><li>Cognitive Conflict: </li></ul><ul><li>It occurs when thoughts and ideas within an individual or between individuals or groups are incompatible. </li></ul>Type of conflict
  7. 7. <ul><li>Procedural conflict: </li></ul><ul><li>Procedural conflict exists when group members disagree about the procedure to be followed in accomplishing the task or goal. </li></ul>Type of conflict
  8. 8. A Few Questions <ul><li>Is conflict bad for business? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of conflict is seen in our business? </li></ul><ul><li>Does this conflict help or hurt our performance? </li></ul><ul><li>* These questions should help give you an idea of what the employee’s view is of conflict in this organization. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Conflicts About Conflict’s Role <ul><li>Different Views </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional View </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human Relations View </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactionist View </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* 1. Information concerning the different roles of conflict in business is taken from Stephen P. Robbins book, Essentials of Organizational Behavior . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Although all of these views are currently used in some businesses, the interactionist view is seen as the most prominent view in current businesses. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Different Views <ul><li>Traditional View </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict is bad! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same as violence, destruction, irrationality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* This view considers that all conflict is bad and is detrimental (problem oriented) to a teams effectiveness. This view really doesn’t coincide (match/agree) well in business situations where innovation and change are common features. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In Robert Bacal’s, “Organizational Conflict - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly,” he says “To the &quot;traditional&quot; organizational thinker, conflict implies that the organization is not designed or structured correctly or adequately.  Common remedies would be to further elaborate job descriptions, authorities and responsibilities, increase the use of central power (discipline), separate conflicting members, etc.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Different Views <ul><li>Human Relations View </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s going to happen, so cope with it! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* This view argues that when people work together in business, conflict is inevitable. It is a mix between the traditional view and the interactionist view. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Different Views <ul><li>Interactionist View </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional conflict is good for business and even encouraged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional vs. dysfunctional conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* This view argues that conflict is essential to innovation and continually improving in business. Without it, people can become complacent in what they do. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dysfunctional conflict – destructive forms of conflict that disrupt a groups performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Functional conflict – conflict that supports and improves the performance of a group. </li></ul><ul><li>It is sometimes hard to differentiate between dysfunctional and functional conflict because similar conflicts could have different outcomes in different groups. The only thing that matters in differentiating between the two is if it improves or harms a groups performance. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Kinds of Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Task Conflict: Low to moderate levels can be acceptable </li></ul><ul><li>Process Conflict: Low levels can be acceptable </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship Conflict: Almost always dysfunctional </li></ul><ul><li>Task conflict has to do with the facts that are being used in a certain situation. Low to moderate levels can help the group by leading to more analytical thinking about the facts and better decision making. </li></ul><ul><li>Process Conflict has to do with the way that a goal is going to be reached. The procedures to be used may not be agreed on, but, a low level of conflict here could lead to a better decision being reached. </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship conflict has to do with problems between people. This type of conflict is usually detrimental to a groups performance, and although it may be inevitable in group settings, it needs to be managed. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Conflict Process <ul><li>Four Stages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential opposition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognition and personalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcomes </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The Conflict Process <ul><li>Stage 1: Potential Opposition </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Factors are present that can lead to conflict </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Variables </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>1. Information concerning the conflict process is taken from Stephen P. Robbins book, Essentials of Organizational Behavior . 2. Communication – Poor communication can lead to conflict. Misunderstanding of communication, not enough information and too much information can all lead to conflict. 3. Structure – “the term structure is used, in this context, to include variables such as size; degree of routinization, specialization, and standardization in the tasks assigned to group members; heterogeneity (gender) of the group; leadership styles; reward systems; and the degree of dependence between groups.” (Robbins) All of these different factors can be a cause of conflict in a group. 3. Personal variables – People’s personality and personal values can be a source of conflict.
  16. 16. The Conflict Process <ul><li>Stage 2: Cognition and Personalization </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness of conditions in stage 1 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The conditions cause some sort of frustration </li></ul></ul></ul>In stage 2 of the conflict process, a person becomes aware of one of the conditions in stage 1 and is somehow frustrated by it. A conflict can exist without it becoming personalized. When a conflict is personalized, the person feels frustration, tension, anxiety (nervous) about it.
  17. 17. The Conflict Process <ul><li>Stage 3: Behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An action is done that frustrates another person’s interests </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The conflict becomes known to the differing parties and to others </li></ul></ul></ul>In stage 3, an action is actually taken that conflicts with another parties desires or goals. In this stage, both parties become aware of the conflict and a method to handle the conflict is initiated. These different methods are shown in figure 1 on the next slide.
  18. 19. Continue :…. <ul><li>This is taken from Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument by K.W. Thomas and Kilmann. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding – the manager is not very helpful in helping to resolve the conflict. This could be used on situations seen as not very important or when disruption could be a big problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Competing – These are win-lose situations. One person’s option is chosen at the expense of another’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodating – One person allows the opposing person to have their way. This could be used when a conflict is more important to another person, when one person decides they were wrong, or to preserve future relations. </li></ul><ul><li>Compromising – People bargain to get pieces of what they want by giving up pieces that aren’t as important to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborating – These situations can be viewed as win-win. The opposing groups sincerely and creatively work together to reach a method that pleases both sides. </li></ul>
  19. 20. The Conflict Process <ul><li>Stage 4: Outcomes </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Functional Outcomes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dysfunctional Outcomes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Functional outcomes – “Conflict is constructive when it improves the quality of decisions, stimulates or motivate creativity and innovation, encourages interest and curiosity among group members, provides medium through which problems can be aired and tensions released, and fosters (friendly grown up) an environment of self-evaluation and change.” (Robbins) </li></ul><ul><li>Dysfunctional outcomes are seen when the conflict has hurt the performance of the team in some way. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Conflict Resolution <ul><li>Even in the interactionist view of conflict, conflict can become dysfunctional. </li></ul><ul><li>At this point, someone may need to step in and help resolve the conflict. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Methods for Resolving Conflict <ul><li>Passive conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Win-win </li></ul><ul><li>Structured problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Confronting conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing a winner </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting a better alternative </li></ul><ul><li>Preventing Conflict </li></ul>
  22. 23. Methods for Resolving Conflict <ul><li>Passive conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just ignore the conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Win-win </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Satisfy both side’s needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Passive conflict resolution is the most common method. The leader may not want to get involved or may feel that the workers are better off working the problem out on their own. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Win-win - “One form of this is called balancing demands. This happens when the manager determines what each person in the conflict wants as an outcome and looks for solutions that can satisfy the needs of both parties.” (Foster) </li></ul>
  23. 24. Methods for Resolving Conflict <ul><li>Structured problem solving </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gather data about the problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a third party observer analyze the data and make an argument for one side </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mediation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Confronting conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen the problem and help the parties resolve it </li></ul></ul>Continue
  24. 25. <ul><li>“ Structured problem solving. Conflicts can be resolved in a fact-based manner by gathering data regarding the problem and having the data analyzed by a disinterested observer to add weight to the claims of one of the conflicting parties.” (Foster) This method is similar to using a mediator. A neutral mediator can act as a good catalyst for coming to an agreeable solution. They can try to understand and explain both points of view and help the conflicting sides understand each others point of view. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Confronting conflict. At times it is best to confront the conflict and use active listening techniques to help the subordinates resolve conflicts. This provides a means for coming to a solution of the conflict.” (Foster) </li></ul>Continue…..
  25. 26. Methods for Resolving Conflict <ul><li>Choosing a winner </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose the winner, then deal with the negative feelings between the two parties </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Selecting a better alternative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose an idea neither of the parties considered </li></ul></ul>1. “Selecting a better alternative. Sometimes there is an alternative neither of the parties to the conflict has considered. The leader then asks the conflicting parties to pursue an alternative plan of action.” (Foster)
  26. 27. Methods for Resolving Conflict <ul><li>Preventing conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Skilled leaders use different techniques to create an environment that is relatively free of conflict…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1. “…These approaches are more strategic in nature and involve organizational design fundamentals…By carefully defining goals, rewards, communication systems, coordination, and the nature of competition in a firm, conflict can be reduced or eliminated.” </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Summary <ul><li>Conflict can be good for a business </li></ul><ul><li>When it isn’t good, the conflict must be resolved </li></ul><ul><li>Different methods exist to resolve conflict </li></ul><ul><li>No one method is best for any conflict </li></ul>