Workplace Conflict


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Workplace Conflict

  1. 1. WORKPLACE CONFLICT & STRATEGIES FOR MANAGEMENT <ul><li>by </li></ul><ul><li>DR JANEFRANCIS I. DURU </li></ul><ul><li>B.A, MPA, Ph.D, MNIM, ACIPM, MNITAD </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>0803 3210968 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Course Objectives <ul><li>By the end of this session, participants will be able to: </li></ul><ul><li>Explain what workplace conflict means. </li></ul><ul><li>List and discuss the different views and levels of conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>List the causes of conflict in the workplace. </li></ul><ul><li>List & discuss the different styles of Conflict management and the conflict resolution process. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Conflict? <ul><li>Conflict is a condition that exists anytime two or more people disagree over an issue or situation. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Workplace Conflict? <ul><li>Workplace conflict is disagreement or opposition between/among individuals, teams or departments in an organisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict is a natural phenomenon, neither inherently good or bad, but there may be positive or negative outcomes. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is Workplace Conflict? (cont) <ul><li>Conflict is inevitable and often good. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict is not the same as discomfort. The conflict isn't the problem - it is when conflict is poorly managed that is the problem </li></ul>
  6. 6. Views About Conflict <ul><ul><li>Three Views of Conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional View </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Human Relations View </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Interactionist View </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Traditional View <ul><li>This approach assumes that all conflicts hamper performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts occur due to poor communication, lack of openness and trust between people, and the failure of managers to be open to their employees. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Human Relations View <ul><li>This approach assumes that conflicts occur naturally in all groups and organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>It is natural and cannot be avoided, hence it should be accepted. </li></ul><ul><li>It cannot be removed and it may play a role in group performance. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Inter-actionist View <ul><li>This approach encourages conflict because it believes that a peaceful and cooperative group may become constant and may not respond to the need for change and innovation. </li></ul><ul><li>Group leaders should maintain sufficient conflict so that the group remains creative and self-critical. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Levels of Conflict <ul><li>Conflicts can be at </li></ul><ul><li>Intrapersonal level (conflict within the individual) </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal level (individual to individual conflict) </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-group level </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-organizational level </li></ul>
  11. 11. Intrapersonal conflict <ul><li>These conflicts involve the individual alone. </li></ul><ul><li>It can be of three types (Schermerhorn et al, 2002): </li></ul><ul><li>Approach – approach conflict : It occurs when a person has to choose between two positive and equally attractive alternatives. For example, choosing between promotion in the organization or a new job with another firm. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoidance – avoidance conflict : It occurs when a person has to choose between two negative and equally unattractive alternatives. For example, to make a choice between accepting a job transfer to another town or have the employment terminated. </li></ul><ul><li>Approach – avoidance conflict : It occurs when a person has to choose between something that has both positive and negative results. For example, accepting or not accepting a job with a higher pay but with increased responsibilities that demand a lot of personal time. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Interpersonal conflict <ul><li>It occurs between two or more individuals who are against one another. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Inter-group conflict <ul><li>It occurs among members of different teams or groups </li></ul>
  14. 14. Inter-organizational conflict <ul><li>It occurs due to competition and rivalry between firms that operate in the same markets </li></ul>
  15. 15. Causes of Conflict <ul><li>Misunderstandings </li></ul><ul><li>Personality clashes </li></ul><ul><li>Competition for resources </li></ul><ul><li>Authority issues </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of co-operation </li></ul><ul><li>Differences of opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Low performance </li></ul><ul><li>Values or goal differences </li></ul>
  16. 16. Managerial Actions that Cause Workplace Conflicts <ul><li>Poor communications </li></ul><ul><li>The alignment or the amount of resources is insufficient. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Personal chemistry&quot;, including conflicting values or actions among managers and employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Passing the buck </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Typical Responses to Conflict <ul><li>Avoid the person </li></ul><ul><li>Change the subject </li></ul><ul><li>Try to understand the other person’s point of view </li></ul><ul><li>Find a judge/arbitrator </li></ul><ul><li>Play the martyr </li></ul><ul><li>Give in </li></ul><ul><li>Apologize </li></ul><ul><li>Whine or complain </li></ul>
  18. 18. Typical Responses to Conflict <ul><li>Fight it out </li></ul><ul><li>Pretend to agree </li></ul><ul><li>Try to find common ground </li></ul><ul><li>Admit that you are wrong </li></ul><ul><li>Turn the conflict into a joke </li></ul><ul><li>Work toward a mutually agreeable solution </li></ul>
  19. 19. Constructive Conflict <ul><li>Conflict is constructive when it </li></ul><ul><li>Results in clarification of important problems and issues </li></ul><ul><li>Results in solutions to problems </li></ul><ul><li>Involves people in resolving issues important to them </li></ul><ul><li>Causes authentic communication </li></ul><ul><li>Helps release emotion, anxiety, and stress </li></ul><ul><li>Builds cooperation among people through learning more about each other; </li></ul><ul><li>joining in resolving the conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Helps individuals develop understanding and skills </li></ul>
  20. 20. Destructive Conflict <ul><li>Takes attention away from other important activities </li></ul><ul><li>Undermines morale or self-concept </li></ul><ul><li>Polarizes people and groups, reducing cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>Increases or sharpens difference </li></ul><ul><li>Leads to irresponsible and harmful behavior, such as fighting, name-calling </li></ul>
  21. 21. Advantages of Conflict <ul><li>Helps to raise and address problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Energizes work to be on the most appropriate issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Helps people &quot;be real&quot;, for example, it motivates them to participate. </li></ul><ul><li>Helps people learn how to recognize and benefit from their differences. </li></ul><ul><li>Improves communication </li></ul>
  22. 22. Disadvantages of Conflict <ul><li>Lost work time and productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Lost employees / high turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Damage to organization reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Sabotage, theft, damage </li></ul><ul><li>Lowered job motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Health costs due to stress </li></ul><ul><li>Legal costs due to litigation </li></ul>
  23. 23. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STYLES <ul><li>Force </li></ul><ul><li>Avoidance </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodation </li></ul><ul><li>Compromise </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative </li></ul>
  24. 24. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STYLES (cont) <ul><li>Force – It is a victory achieved due to force, superior skill, or domination of one party. It is a win-lose situation. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoidance – In avoidance, every one shows that the conflict does not really exist and hopes that it will finish. </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodation – It involves hiding the differences between the conflicting parties and showing areas of agreement. </li></ul><ul><li>Compromise – It occurs when each party gives up something for the sake of the other. No party is fully satisfied. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration – It involves appreciation by all conflicting parties that something is wrong and needs attention. </li></ul>
  25. 25. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STYLES (cont) Other person is likely to take advantage of you. Maintaining harmonious relationships should be our top priority. “ How can I help you feel good about this encounter? My position isn’t so important that it is worth risking bad feelings between us.” Don’t upset the other person. Accommodating Interpersonal problems don’t get resolved, causing long-term frustration manifested in a variety of ways. Disagreements are inherently bad because they create tension. “ I’m neutral on that issue. Let me think about it.” Avoid having to deal with conflict. Avoiding You feel vindicated, but other party feels defeated and possibly humiliated. It is better to risk causing a few hard feelings than to abandon a position you are committed to. “ I know what’s right. Don’t question my judgment or authority.” Get your way. Forcing Likely Outcome Supporting Rationale Your Posture Objective Approach
  26. 26. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STYLES (cont) Participants find an effective solution. The positions of both parties are equally important (though not necessarily equally valid). Equality emphasis should be placed on the quality of the outcome and the fairness of the decision-making. “ This is my position. What is yours? I’m committed to finding the best possible solution.” Solve the problem together. Collaborating Participants become conditioned to seek an expedient, rather than effective solution. Prolonged conflicts distract people from their work and engender bitter feelings. “ Let’s search for a mutually agreeable solution.” Reach an agreement quickly. Compromising Likely Outcome Supporting Rationale Your Posture Objective Approach
  27. 27. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STYLES (cont) <ul><li>It’s likely that a person employs more than one style, depending on the situation, but usually one style dominates. </li></ul><ul><li>Certain styles may be appropriate for certain situations. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Conflict Resolution Process <ul><li>Managing conflict constructively depends in large measure on clear, open, and honest communication </li></ul>
  29. 29. Conflict Resolution Process (cont) <ul><li>Find a good time and place to talk. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the problem - Clarify issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get all the facts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use active (aka reflective) listening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use “I” messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on the problem, not the person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid communication blockers </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Conflict Resolution Process (cont) <ul><li>Generate a variety of options; brainstorm </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a solution that works for everybody </li></ul><ul><li>Try the solution. If it doesn’t work, go back to step three and renegotiate . </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Thank You </li></ul>