WORK GROUPS, TEAMS,
CONFLICT AND NEGOTIATION:
THEORIES AND MODELS
Table of Contents
Work Groups and Teams Identification.......................................................................................... 2
Conflict and negotiations Identification.......................................................................................... 5
Analyzing relationship between work groups and teams, conflict and negotiations...................... 7
Evaluating impact of work groups and teams on organization culture........................................... 8
Evaluating impact of conflict and negotiations on organization culture ...................................... 10
Conclusion .................................................................................................................................... 11
This persuasive essay has been based on analyzing the nature of working groups, teams, conflict
and negotiation in an organization. Work groups and teams identification will be provided by the
model of Wilfred given on group experiences with respect to Bruce Tuckman model. The
development stages by Scott Peck will be explained as a model to understand group and team
Furthermore, conflict and negotiations section will be explained by understanding the
relationship between them in order to analyze their influence on groups and teams. Then focus
will be laid on understanding the influence of work groups and teams on organization culture
with respect to influence on groups and teams in the management of employees (Elden 2011).
Critical analysis of each of these models using real examples will be done in order to understand
the true relationship of each of these attributes with regard to organization culture and its
structure in the globalized world.
Work Groups and Teams Identification
Defining Work groups: According to Schein, work groups are employees of an organization
working in aggregation to each other with a focus on individual goals.
Defining teams: Teams on the other hand are defined as members of organization grouped
together to focus on shared belief and goal. Teams often fail in organizations and those
organizations implementing teams in their work places require to have a balanced perception on
team benefits and its limitations (Cotton 2005).
Analyzing the term “Teams”
According to Robinson, 1994 and Thamhain, 1988, a team can be defined as an aggregate of
people but every group does not get qualified to be known as a team (Robinson et al
1994). As per Katzenbach and Smith, 1994, however a team is a group of people
consisting of varied skills having an aim at a general purpose, goals of performance and
general approach to which each member is accountable in a mutual manner (Katzenbach
and Smith, 1994). Working in team, as per Thamhain, 2004 is a process involving
symbiotic relationship that leads towards enhanced results that is even more than the
individual performance integration.(Thamhain, 2004) As per Bailey et al 2000, however,
effective teams are those which produce results of high quality even in adverse conditions
(Bailey et al 2000).. Task oriented and characteristics such as oriented by people are only
some of the features of an effective team (Bailey et al 2000).
From this perspective, it becomes important to analyze team with the help of certain models such
as Bruce Tuckman model of change (Cordery et al 2011). This model was known as the model
of 4 stages designed to study the decision making process in ideal groups which requires to
occur in the form of 4 designed stages (Elmuti 2013).
(Figure 1: Tuckman’s model of 4 stages: Work Group)
(Source: (Elden 2011))
Tuckman's (1965) group improvement model attracts regard for unique periods of gathering
change and advancement normally alluded to as the forming, storming, norming and performing
stages. Tuckman (1965) accepts the group advancement procedure can be sub-cognizant
however in the event that the gathering is mindful of the stages then the group can be more
powerful all the more quickly. This snappier additional execution is quite compelling in task
administration. Pioneers ought to have the capacity to distinguish the cycle of their group to
know when it is prone to be the most astounding performing and additionally when it will have a
tendency to need inspiration. The forming stage includes distinguishing the undertaking and
finishing it. The gathering accumulates data about the errands and other colleagues. There is
exchange on the standard authoritative methodologies and individuals are concerned with
schedules and hierarchical issues. Tuckman (1965) does not accept that there is much errand
achievement at this stage, so maybe not the best stage for a task administration group to wait in.
As the group propels into the storming stage, the gathering parts contend among themselves,
whether they concur or not on the quick errands to be performed. There is dissension, strain and
These stages according to Tuckman were inclusive of forming, storming, norming and
performing as described in the above figure (Elloy et al 2010). The model explains that as
development in a team takes place, it moves towards maturity, attains enhanced capabilities,
establishes relationships and several leadership style changes take place (Dion 2009). This is the
time in team’s development stage when a successor leader may be produced by a team and the
leaders previously made can move towards development of another new team (Cotton 2005).
Stage 1 is forming where there is high dependence of the team on leaders and there is less
agreement on the goals of the team when not suggested by the leader (Costa 2010). There is also
no clear idea about team roles and responsibilities. A lot of doubts in team members exist which
the leader needs to address without ignoring processes.
The second stage is storming wherein decision making begins but making decisions is difficult.
This is also the stage when conflicts arise and the leader needs to clarify every question imposed
by the team members in order to prevent conflicts from growing. Compromising should be kept
as a priority by coaching being given by the leader (Devine 2010).
Stage 3 is norming wherein agreement begins to form and leader facilitation is enhanced.
Individual team members acknowledge their roles and responsibilities due to which conflict does
Performing is the fourth stage where teams are aware strategically and have knowledge of
what they further need to do. There is a shared vision of the team members and they do not
require consistent supervision of the leader.
Adjourning is the 5th stage of the model wherein team break-up takes place when successful
completion of team task has been attained (Idrissou et al 2011a). The leadership style in this
stage is empathetic. Insecurity is a common feeling amongst team members in this stage leading
towards anxiety and anger which may often become conflict.
Analyzing work groups
According to Scott Peck, on the contrary to Tuckman’s model, is the development model of
groups. A group with several strangers aggregated together for creating a group has to be face 3
different phases (Idrissou et al 2011a). The first phase is pseudo-community wherein the
important dynamic lies in avoidance of conflict. Group members are in harmony to each other
and try to avoid any conflict. Group members deliberately try to behave as good as possible to let
everything function in a smooth manner. The stage can be characterized by generalization and
platitudes (Bonito et al 2002). Chaos is the second phase of this model where the individual
differences slightly start to emerge. Further in the stage the group moves into conflict of
deliberate nature in order to show superiority of one group member over the other. Members in
this phase often blame the leader and try to get him or her replaced. Emptiness is the third phase
and it is only by this phase that a group can finally move to its final phase of forming a true
group (Craps et al 2004).
Conflict and negotiations Identification
According to Gray et al, 2007, Conflict is defined traditionally as the incompatible activity
perception between work groups with regard to aims, perceptions and beliefs which can cause a
barrier towards effective goal achievement (Grey et al, 2007). The basis of conflict (as cited in
Bonito et al 2002) is on interaction.
Putnam, 1985, led towards delineating conflict management to be termed as negotiation
characterized through exchanging proposals or counterproposals as a way to reach a settlement
which satisfies the work groups and involved teams (Bailey 2007). Conflict involves different
perceptions according to Lewitt et al 2010 which are inclusive of traditional perception, human
relations and conflicting interactionist views (Craps et al 2004).
According to Figure 2, Conflict Resolution stages by negotiation are not only essential for an
organization but also for individual members in a team or a group. The figure clearly illustrates
that there are 5 stages by which conflict can be resolved. However, there are five stages of
conflict itself (Bonito et al, 2002). The first stage is the latent stage where people can be under
conflict without knowing that they are.
(Figure 2: Conflict Resolution Stages by Negotiation)
(Source: (Davis et al 2011))
There comes a point, often after a stalemate is reached, where the parties decide to try
negotiation to attempt to resolve the conflict. The process of initiating negotiation can be
difficult as it may be interpreted as a sign of weakness. This is one reason why it is often useful
for third parties to become involved.
The timing of this step is crucial. Resolution can only be achieved if the parties are willing to
negotiation. In order for the conditions to be ripe, there must be both a perception on all sides
that the present course is unsustainable, and a perception that there is a suitable "way out" of the
conflict. In some instances, participants realize their course of action cannot succeed and they
initiate discussion. At other times, outside interveners may bring the parties to the negotiating
table. The timing is critical however, because if negotiation is started too early, before both
parties are ready, it is likely to fail. And repeated failed negotiation efforts reinforce the notion
that the conflict is intractable and can make resolution more difficult by discouraging further
Negotiation may lead to a settlement, but may also simply lead to a pause in the conflict. If the
latter, there is a relatively good chance the conflict may cycle back to escalation at a later time.
Negotiations generally go through a series of stages: each group decides on its position;
determines its alternatives. Once together with the other party, they share their positions,
consider options, exchange concessions, perhaps reach an accord, and implement it.
A number of theories have emerged to understand negotiating tactics, their strengths and
weaknesses, as well as how to respond to them. Generally speaking, negotiations are complex,
drawn-out processes and a broad range of factors make each somewhat unique. Their shape
depends upon the procedures that have become institutionalized, the number of parties and
number of representatives present, the scope of issues under discussion, the degree to which it is
part of a broader framework of negotiations, and the extent to which they are taking place in the
Example: An employee from customer care department wrongly acknowledges the complaint of
a client. This is still not known to the customer nor the manager and the conflict has not arisen
still but it will (Davis et al 2011).
The second stage is the perceived stage of conflict. Felt stage is the third stage after which are
the stages namely, manifestation and aftermath. As per figure 2, the first stage to resolve conflict
is to analyze first the condition and situation (Bodtker et al, 1997). The second stage lies in
cognition and personalization. The third, fourth and fifth stages are connected to each other and
without the completion of third, the fourth and fifth stages cannot follow because at the third
stage the initial conflict barriers are removed.
Analyzing relationship betweenwork groups and teams, conflict and
According to Putnam and Roloff, negotiation takes place when more than one parties
interdependently perceive the goals of work groups to be incompatible (Aarts et al 2013). This
leads towards the requirement to negotiate in the situation to reach a mutual satisfaction
perception. Fisher et al, 1991 (as cited in Baron et al 2006), describe negotiation to be
characterized through interdependence which exists at the time of conflict between two or more
than two parties as these parties essentially require to work cooperatively even though they are
fighting to meet different ends (Bean et al 2006). O Hair et al, 2010, however presented in their
research that there exists a relationship between negotiation and communication to solve
conflicts between work groups and teams (Bijlsma et al 2011). With proper planning and
communication in a structured manner, it becomes possible to negotiate (Lewicki et al 2011).
However, according to Lee et al, 2005, work group’s influences in effective management of
employees which was proved by using dominant patterns of behavior, work group’s dynamics
and elaborate conflicts leading towards adverse impact on the organization culture (Andisani
2008). The impact of work teams and groups works is either adverse or positive, depending upon
the manner in which teams are managed effectively within organization cultures.
Empirical evidences have helped in supporting the relationship existing between conflicts and
productivity of team along with team satisfaction but (Banker et al 1996), these conflicts cannot
be resulted into effective management of employees unless negotiation process is made
applicable (Cohen 2004). The relationship between work group and conflict as described by the
researchers of Columbian University states that work groups have group dynamics involved in
them but without effective management of these work groups and team works, conflict is bound
to exist (Carron et al 2003).
Evaluating impact of work groups and teams on organizationculture
Most issues in work places arise not because employees do not have the capability of performing
their work appropriately but because employees in work groups and teams often cannot get along
with other employees (Caron et al 2010). This is the main impact of work groups and teams
on effective management of employees within an organization culture. Teams and work groups
are often diversified in nature and employees react differently to this diversification. Experiences
of life and culture are two factors that in turn influence work groups and teams and these two
factors are actually responsible for the reaction of each member in the group and team (Argyris
2007). The problem of diversity is a significant one and this has also been explained with the
help of a conceptual problem.
According to Kozlowski and Klein, 2000, an impact of conceptual problem is faced by groups
and teams working together to achieve a goal. This impact is negative in nature and it affects the
performance and productivity of group members and team members. Additionally, Kozlowski et
al, 2000 it has been clearly stated that coordination lacking between members of team mostly
leads towards team failures and inefficient management of team. In addition, there is a
significant impact of team work and group work on the way in which team members and group
members are managed effectively (Bailey et al 2000). When working in a team, members in a
team can have various perceptions, some team members may work more while others don’t work
at all and in some situations team work may often take more time (Bailey et al 2000). These are
some barriers imposed by working in teams and groups on effective team member or group
member management (Aarts et al 2013).
(Figure 5: Team effectiveness model)
(Source: Caron et al 2010)
The Figure 5 represents team effectiveness model wherein it is clearly evident that within the
competitive environment of an organization, design and processes allocated to a team are the
basics that lead towards finally effectiveness in team management (Andisani 2008). This model
helps in analyzing the basic elements such as enhanced systems of communication and proper
style of leadership can be implemented as per the size and composition of a team by developing
and norming the team for effective management (Caron et al 2010).
An example here can be quoted here of Apple which has been known across the world in all
competitive realms to be a culture mediator as the organization has been founded on strong
beliefs, set of patterns, responsibilities and values (Carron et al 2010). In this globalized world,
the requirement is to avoid cultural clash because teams and work groups are formulated of
diverse backgrounds and cultures (Asah et al 2012). Apple on the contrary has managed to
imbibe the cultural perspective in the minds of its members that it is important to focus on a
shared goal (Andisani 2008). When teams and work groups conflict with each other at Apple, a
negotiation process is implemented such as arbitration or mediation which are both third party
models of negotiation to manage conflict.
Evaluating impact of conflict and negotiations on organizationculture
The impact of Conflict and negotiation is evident on the process of effective employee
management (Argyris 2007). This influence is caused by the conflicting interests of team
members and group members that does not allow the group or team to produce something
positive to reach to the goal oriented (Van Paassen 2011b). The first impact of conflict on
effective management of employees is deteriorated performance of employees.
However, conflict and negotiation are both processes that do slow the general functions of an
organization (Van Paassen 2011b). The relationship between conflict and negotiation is evident
from this perspective but this relationship adversely affects management of diverse employees
because members of the groups as well as the teams have a tendency to fall into conflict when
cultural diversity is present (Bijlsma et al, 2011). In such a situation, it is the duty of a leader to
negotiate the conflict and resolve it.
Negotiation on the other hand, impacts management of employees by distracting their focus
from organizational goals and their individual goals. Negotiation from the perspective of Thibaut
and Walker, 1975 paradigm, can be best done by adopting mediation and arbitration as third
party processes of Negotiation (Van Paassen 2011b). An example here can be of Enron when the
company was only a company dealing with pipelines and it mainly lost the contract of setting up
itself in India because authorities in the local environment of India felt that the organization is
trying the fasten up the negotiation process (Hamilton et al 2010).
Individual members of organizations that are either working without work group collaboration of
team work, all involve different perspectives and beliefs but when working under the same
organization, culture of an organization often influences the way in which people think, believe
and respond (Drucker 2008). As evident from the perspective of this persuasive report, there
exists an evident relationship between culture of an organization with attributes such as
discussed i.e work groups and teams, conflict and negotiation (Francois et al 2007). Work groups
and teams are different to each other even though they are often used interchangeably (Andrisani
2008). In a working group, each member works on their shared visions and goals rather than
working to achieve individual goals whereas in a team work, the focus of individual members is
on their goals and objectives. Conflict and negotiation on the other hand are both related to group
work and team work (Applebaum 2014) (Bean et al 2006). The influence of working groups and
team work is evidently seen as positive as well as negative (Antoni 2010). When members in a
team or a group are not managed effectively then it leads towards development of conflict which
not only hampers the productivity of a team but also an organization on the whole.
Groups ought to be perceived and coordinated inside their associations (Pearce & Ravlin 1987).
Associations need to unmistakably characterize their desires and instruments of responsibility for
all groups (De Meuse & Futrell 1990). Hierarchical society needs to change imparted qualities
into behavioral standards (Brill 1976). For instance, group achievement is encouraged by a
society that fuses imparted encounters of achievement. In times of financial realism, there may
be social clash and conflict between standards of keeping up clinical benchmarks and holding
fast to the health awareness association's mission (Firth-Cozens 1998). Colleagues with higher
status likewise have less respect for group standards and may intensify inward clash (Kane
Collaboration is a complex sensation. Strong authoritative structures and ideal individual
commitments set the scene for compelling collaboration. Health awareness groups require a
reasonable reason that fuses particular symptomatic gatherings and parts of patient consideration.
At the point when groups have an acceptable reason that is steady with the association's mission,
they can be all the more obviously coordinated, backed and resourced. Further, key arranging
procedures can elucidate the arrangement of different groups inside human services associations.
Authority styles and examples need to be unequivocal and suitable to the group's formative
stage. In a perfect world, the group pioneer ought to be properly gifted and all colleagues require
unmistakably outlined and vital parts. Groups are more effective with the base number of parts to
meet their motivation and participation ought to be consistently cleared up in light of patient
needs. Colleagues should at the same time perceive and esteem their commitment to the group.
With sufficient self knowledge,
people can trust and admiration the commitments of their partners. Consistent formal and casual
contact helps parts to perceive their own and others' commitments to patient consideration. At
the point when people feel sure of the requirement for all colleagues, they comprehend the
profits of filling in as a group. Over the long haul, duty fortifies compelling cooperation.
When groups have created clear structures, they have to keep up express techniques through
concurred and formal frameworks of correspondence and co-appointment. Predictable training
and backing for group building and improvement ought to be available for all social insurance
specialists. At the point when all colleagues are strong, make choices mutually and oversee
clash, the group is more powerful. Both people and the group need standard criticism and
distinguishment of their advancement towards the group's objectives. At last, there is a need to
manufacture and keep up powerful groups to amplify the master abilities of social insurance
experts in gathering complex patient needs. Group advancement and execution can be advanced
through training if there is learning of the most essential attributes of cooperation in human
services settings. Patient consideration will at last be upgraded through the co-ordinated
endeavors of compelling health awareness groups.
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Table 1: Models of Negotiation