Presentation Conflict

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  • Presentation Conflict

    1. 1. Conflict at work Dr. Joe O’Mahoney 07906133649
    2. 2. Learning Objectives <ul><li>To understand three perspectives on conflict </li></ul><ul><li>To discuss whether conflict is inevitable </li></ul><ul><li>To understand if conflict is good for organisations </li></ul>07906133649
    3. 3. The Agenda <ul><li>A case-study </li></ul><ul><li>Theories of Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Is conflict bad for organisations? </li></ul><ul><li>Is conflict inevitable? </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>07906133649
    4. 4. 1. Case-study 07906133649
    5. 5. Gate Gourmet <ul><li>US owned </li></ul><ul><li>In-flight meals for BA (outsourced in 1997) </li></ul><ul><li>2000: Mostly Punjabi women: £15k/yr </li></ul><ul><li>Unionised: TGWU </li></ul><ul><li>Losses at £25m / year </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions on redundancies </li></ul><ul><li>Workers refused GG proposals </li></ul>07906133649
    6. 6. The Walk-out <ul><li>GG said it would replace with seasonal labour </li></ul><ul><li>(Illegal) walk-out by 700 workers: picketing </li></ul><ul><li>GG sacked the workers instantly </li></ul><ul><li>Replaced with 130 temps </li></ul>
    7. 7. Secondary Picketing <ul><li>TGWU asked BA stewards to strike in support </li></ul><ul><li>Baggage-handlers walked out (illegal) </li></ul><ul><li>550 flights cancelled: 100,000 customers </li></ul><ul><li>Cost = £45m </li></ul>07906133649
    8. 8. The Outcome <ul><li>BA strike over in 2 days </li></ul><ul><li>BA sacked the 2 shop stewards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stewards sued the trade union for £650k </li></ul></ul><ul><li>GG settled after 6 weeks </li></ul><ul><li>GG settled with TGWU </li></ul><ul><ul><li>144 workers forced to take redundancy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others re-employed or offered redundancy </li></ul></ul>07906133649
    9. 9. Questions <ul><li>Is conflict inevitable in capitalist organisations? </li></ul><ul><li>Is conflict always bad for organisations? </li></ul><ul><li>What role should the state have in mediating conflict? </li></ul>07906133649
    10. 10. 2. Theories of Conflict 07906133649
    11. 11. Types of Conflict <ul><li>Negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collective Bargaining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strikes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sabotage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Damage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work to rule </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Making Out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relieving boredom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Invisible Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absenteeism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turnover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress </li></ul></ul>07906133649
    12. 12. Unitarism <ul><li>The organisation as an organism / machine </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict as illness / breakdown / pathological </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on shared ideals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Profit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural justice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worker development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisations with a heart </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unions unnecessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HRM, TQM etc…. </li></ul></ul>07906133649
    13. 13. Pluralism <ul><li>Conflict is natural </li></ul><ul><li>Competing needs </li></ul><ul><li>Interests sometimes overlap </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiated settlements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arbitration </li></ul></ul>07906133649
    14. 14. Radical <ul><li>Roots in Marxist / Feminist thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism exploits and oppresses </li></ul><ul><li>Wealth maximisation doesn’t work </li></ul><ul><li>The system needs to change </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict as good and necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Sees pluralism as management ideology </li></ul>07906133649
    15. 15. 3. Is conflict bad for organisations? 07906133649
    16. 16. The utility of conflict <ul><li>Unitarists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict as pathological and bad </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pluarlists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict as inevitable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorrect decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long term company interests </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Radicals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who cares? </li></ul></ul>07906133649
    17. 17. Is conflict bad for profit? Level of Intergroup Conflict Probable Impact on Organization Organization Characterized By Level of Organizational Performance Low or none Slow adaptation to environment Few changes Little stimulation of ideas Apathy Stagnation Low Dysfunctional Situation I Situation II Optimal Functional Positive movement toward goals Innovation and change Search for problem solutions Creativity and quick adaptation to environmental changes High Disruption Interference with activities Coordination difficulties Chaos Low Dysfunctional High Situation III Mary-Jo Hatch (2000) Organization Theory (Interactionist Theory)
    18. 18. 4. Is Conflict Inevitable? 07906133649
    19. 19. The Wider Corporate Agenda <ul><li>“ The only protection people need in a tight labour market with skills shortages is to be so adaptable, trained and valuable that no employer would dare let them go or treat them badly” </li></ul>Digby Jones – Director General of the CBI <ul><li>The Neo-liberal Agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lobbying government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employer’s organisations (e.g. CBI) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workplace pressure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unitarist Ideology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free-market flexiblity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>World Bank & International Monetary Fund </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pro-military and Anti-Europe </li></ul></ul>07906133649
    20. 20. Controlling Conflict <ul><li>Labour Market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Debt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unemployment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individualisation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Monitor & Control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information gathering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ideology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups </li></ul></ul>07906133649
    21. 21. Thank you 07906133649
    22. 22. History of trade unions <ul><li>Industrialisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High food prices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unions banned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workhouses, starvation & poverty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Combination Acts repealed in 1824 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fear of revolution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creations of unions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wider social movement of enfranchisement and democracy </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Eisenhowever, 1961 <ul><li>This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. </li></ul><ul><li>In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. </li></ul><ul><li>We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. </li></ul>

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