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Surma Tower, Sylhet
An Assignment on
“Managing team and organizational conflict”
Course title: Conflict and Negotiation Ma...
Executive Summary
In our culture, we reflexively tend to think of the term “conflict” in the negative.
When we discuss con...
Contents
Subjects pages
1. Introduction 5
2. Conflict 6
3. Organizational conflict or workplace conflict 6
4. Analyzing Or...
Acknowledgement
At first, we are grateful to Almighty Allah for creating us in
such a beautiful country like Bangladesh an...
Introduction
Research into behaviour in organizations can be divided into two categories:
normative and descriptive. Norma...
Conflict:
Conflict refers to some form of friction, disagreement, or discord arising within a
group when the beliefs or ac...
(3) Resources conflict (conflict stemming from interest groups competing for organizational
resources).
Robbins identifies...
2. Passive aggressive behavior
Passive aggressive behavior is a common response from workers and managers which is
particu...
The cost of conflict:
Costs to the organization
Time is Money-There are a variety of direct costs to the organization asso...
while a similar percentage (25%) have seen conflict lead to sickness or absence. This
latter issue is clearly a major prob...
Generating energy-However, conflict can also lead to positive emotions, when it’s
managed correctly. Over three quarters (...
Stress
Interpersonal conflict among people at work has been shown to be one of the most
frequently noted stressors for emp...
charged with surveying common causes of conflict and suggesting structural improvements
to address them.
• Counseling - wh...
environment require making appropriate changes in the activities of the organization. The
organization faces these demands...
Conclusion
Organizations are social entities segmented into hierarchies of departments and
individuals. The basic realitie...
References:
1. See, for instance, K. Singer, "The Meaning of Conflict", Australian Journal of
Philosophy. 27 (3, 1949), 14...
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Managing team and organizational conflict

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In our culture, we reflexively tend to think of the term “conflict” in the negative. When we discuss conflict in the business world, we speak of it (often unwittingly) as a diminishing force on productivity, an ill that only compounds the difficulties of a job, and an element that needs expunging if companies are to achieve their goals. Normally seen as the byproduct of a “squeaky wheel” rather than a natural derivative of business itself, conflict is a force that causes short-term anxieties, and many view “fixing” ongoing conflict as synonymous with “eliminating” it.It is commonplace for organizations today to work in teams. Whether they be leader-driven teams or self-directed teams; the hope is that productivity, creativity, and results will be greater in a team environment. While this is a proven approach, any time you bring together people from differing backgrounds and experiences, it is inevitable that conflict will occur.

Every organization encounters conflicts on a daily basis. The conflicts cannot be avoided, but it is possible to manage them in a way that we recognize them on time. It is necessary to continuously track the organizational signals which point to their existence. If we do not react duly, this can lead to the situation that the conflict itself manages the organization. One of the more important determinants of productivity, efficiency and performance, and finally job contentment is also the conflict as an independent variable of organizational behavior. By systematic research of organizational behavior we want to make a positive influence on dependent variables, but first we have to understand and get a good insight into individual elements of organizational behavior. By this paper we want to brighten the meaning of conflict on the organization, the conflict process and possible conflict management styles. We will show the relationship between the level of conflict and the impact on the organizational performance.

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Managing team and organizational conflict

  1. 1. Surma Tower, Sylhet An Assignment on “Managing team and organizational conflict” Course title: Conflict and Negotiation Management Course code: HRM-602 Submitted to: Prof. Dr. Zahurul Alam Advisor Department of Business Administration Leading University, Sylhet Prepared by: Head Hunter’s ID Name 1611017019 Md. Abdur Rob Rejvee 1431015008 Sharmila Dash Simi 1201010541 Husne Ara Begum Helen 1611017014 Mahmudul Hasan 1611017021 Masum Hussain Semester: 5th Batch: 38th MBA Program Major: Human Resource Management Department of Business Administration Leading University, Sylhet Date of Submission: 10 December, 2016
  2. 2. Executive Summary In our culture, we reflexively tend to think of the term “conflict” in the negative. When we discuss conflict in the business world, we speak of it (often unwittingly) as a diminishing force on productivity, an ill that only compounds the difficulties of a job, and an element that needs expunging if companies are to achieve their goals. Normally seen as the byproduct of a “squeaky wheel” rather than a natural derivative of business itself, conflict is a force that causes short-term anxieties, and many view “fixing” ongoing conflict as synonymous with “eliminating” it.It is commonplace for organizations today to work in teams. Whether they be leader-driven teams or self-directed teams; the hope is that productivity, creativity, and results will be greater in a team environment. While this is a proven approach, any time you bring together people from differing backgrounds and experiences, it is inevitable that conflict will occur. Every organization encounters conflicts on a daily basis. The conflicts cannot be avoided, but it is possible to manage them in a way that we recognize them on time. It is necessary to continuously track the organizational signals which point to their existence. If we do not react duly, this can lead to the situation that the conflict itself manages the organization. One of the more important determinants of productivity, efficiency and performance, and finally job contentment is also the conflict as an independent variable of organizational behavior. By systematic research of organizational behavior we want to make a positive influence on dependent variables, but first we have to understand and get a good insight into individual elements of organizational behavior. By this paper we want to brighten the meaning of conflict on the organization, the conflict process and possible conflict management styles. We will show the relationship between the level of conflict and the impact on the organizational performance. Many people and organizations view conflict as a negative, or something to be avoided. Yet conflict, differences, or disagreements are a natural result of people working together. Also, without conflict, teams can become complacent and not perform at optimum levels. The challenge then becomes, how should the team be prepared for this stage of their existence, and how should the team leader facilitate through it.
  3. 3. Contents Subjects pages 1. Introduction 5 2. Conflict 6 3. Organizational conflict or workplace conflict 6 4. Analyzing Organizational Conflict 6 5. Sources of conflict 6 6. Causes of Organizational Conflict 7 a. Role conflict 7 b. Passive aggressive behavior 8 c. Office romance 8 7. Team member preparation 8 8. Team leader's role in managing conflict 8 9. The cost of conflict 9 a. Costs to the organization 9 b. Costs to the employee 9 10.Consequences 11 a. Stress 12 b. Positive outcomes 12 11.Resolution 12 a. Conflict management 12 b. Change 13 c. Resolving Structural Conflicts 14 12.Conclusion 15 13.References 16
  4. 4. Acknowledgement At first, we are grateful to Almighty Allah for creating us in such a beautiful country like Bangladesh and also for controlling our life. For the mercy of Him, we have got such courage to start this assignment on “Managing team and organizational conflict”“Managing team and organizational conflict”“Managing team and organizational conflict”“Managing team and organizational conflict” After that we would like to give thanks to our honorable Dean and Head of the Department Prof.Prof.Prof.Prof. Md. Nazrul IslamMd. Nazrul IslamMd. Nazrul IslamMd. Nazrul Islam for giving us the opportunity to study in this subject. We would like to express our thanks to the librarian of Leading University for all his help that we have received. Our respected parents who gave us mental support and inspiration for our assignment, there is a special thanks for them. We also would like to give a lot of thanks to our honorable course teacher, Prof. Dr. Zahurul AlamProf. Dr. Zahurul AlamProf. Dr. Zahurul AlamProf. Dr. Zahurul Alam for giving us a wonderful opportunity to make such an interesting and valuable assignment and giving us a clear concept about the assignment. At last but not the least, without the help of our friends and classmates it was quite impossible to prepare such kind of assignment. They gave us some necessary information about this topic which was unknown to us. So, we would like to give thanks to all of them.
  5. 5. Introduction Research into behaviour in organizations can be divided into two categories: normative and descriptive. Normative research is concerned with how things should be, whereas descriptive research addresses itself to what is rather than what could or should be. This dual perspective is most apparent in approaches to the issues of conflict and conflict management in organizations. Normative approaches reflect attitudes and beliefs which identify all conflicts as destructive and promote conflict-elimination as the formula for organizational success. Descriptive approaches accept conflict as inevitable and consider its proper management the primary responsibility of all administrators. This paper pertains to the descriptive mode of inquiry in presenting a framework for the study of conflict in organizations. But it goes beyond this domain in suggesting that administrators must take the offensive and seek to manage conflict, and also in advocating that traditional methods of dealing with conflict be replaced by a new and more sophisticated approach. Over the years three distinct views have evolved about conflict in projects and organizations)’ The traditional view (dominant from the late nineteenth century until the mid- 1940s) assumes that conflict is bad, always has a negative impact, and leads to declines in performance as the level of conflict increases. Conflict must therefore always be avoided. In this view conflict is closely associated with such terms as violence, destruction, and irrationality. The response to conflict in the traditional view is to reduce, suppress, or eliminate it. The manager was responsible for freeing the project of any conflict, often using an authoritarian approach. Although that approach worked sometimes, it was not generally effective; when they are suppressed, the root causes cannot be identified, and the potentially positive aspects of conflict cannot emerge. This traditional view of conflict is still widely held because industrial and business institutions that have a strong influence on our society concur with it. This negative view of conflict played a role in the development of labor unions. Violent or disruptive confrontations between workers and management led people to conclude that conflict was always detrimental and should therefore be avoided.
  6. 6. Conflict: Conflict refers to some form of friction, disagreement, or discord arising within a group when the beliefs or actions of one or more members of the group are either resisted by or unacceptable to one or more members of another group. Conflict can arise between members of the same group, known as intragroup conflict, or it can occur between members of two or more groups, and involve violence, interpersonal discord, and psychological tension, known as intergroup conflict. Conflict in groups often follows a specific course. Routine group interaction is first disrupted by an initial conflict, often caused by differences of opinion, disagreements between members, or scarcity of resources. At this point, the group is no longer united, and may split into coalitions. Organizational conflict or workplace conflict: It is a state of discord caused by the actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests between people working together. Conflict takes many forms in organizations. There is the inevitable clash between formal authority and power and those individuals and groups affected. There are disputes over how revenues should be divided, how the work should be done and how long and hard people should work. There are jurisdictional disagreements among individuals, departments, and between unions and management. There are subtler forms of conflict involving rivalries, jealousies, personality clashes, role definitions, and struggles for power and favor. There is also conflict within individuals – between competing needs and demands to which individuals respond in different ways. Analyzing Organizational Conflict: Three distinct criteria define the role of an administrator in an organization: planning, resource allocation and conflict management.14 there is no doubt that managing conflict permeates every aspect of the administrative role. Awareness of the various forms of conflict management that can be employed at different stages of the development of a conflict is vital, if administrators are to organize efforts towards influencing the conflict situation, the parties' attitudes or their behavior. In addition to that, effective conflict management requires recognition of the sources that generate a conflict. What, then, are the sources or bases of organizational conflicts? Sources of conflict: Organizational conflict appears in a variety of forms and has varying causes. These can generally be separated into several categories. Katz identifies three sources of conflict. These are: (1) Structural conflict (conflict arising out of the need to manage the interdependence between different organizational sub-units), (2) Role conflict (conflict arising from sets of prescribed behavior) and
  7. 7. (3) Resources conflict (conflict stemming from interest groups competing for organizational resources). Robbins identifies three sources of organizational conflict and indicates that an understanding of the source of a conflict improves probability of effective conflict management. The main factors which serve as sources of conflict are identified as (1) Communicational (conflicts arising from misunderstandings etc.), (2) Structural (conflicts related to organizational roles), and (3) Personal (conflicts stemming from individual differences). Methods of conflict management which are appropriate in one case may not necessarily be appropriate when applied to a conflict generated from another source. Causes of Organizational Conflict 1. Role conflict One facet of personal conflict includes the multiple roles people play in organizations. Behavioral scientists sometimes describe an organization as a system of position roles. Each member of the organization belongs to a role set, which is an association of individuals who share interdependent tasks and thus perform formally defined roles, which are further influenced both by the expectations of others in the role set and by one's own personality and expectations. For example, in a common form of classroom organization, students are expected to learn from instructors by listening to them, following their directions for study, taking exams, and maintaining appropriate standards of conduct. Instructors are expected to bring students high-quality learning materials, give lectures, write and conduct tests, and set a scholarly example. Another in this role set would be the dean of the school, who sets standards, hires and supervises faculty, maintains a service staff, readers and graders, and so on. The system of roles to which an individual belongs extends outside the organization as well, and influences their functioning within it. As an example, a person's roles as partner, parent, descendant, and church member are all intertwined with each other and with their set of organizational roles. As a consequence, there exist opportunities for role conflict as the various roles interact with one another. Other types of role conflict occur when an individual receives inconsistent demands from another person; for example, they are asked to serve on several time-consuming committees at the same time that they are urged to get out more production in their work unit. Another kind of role strain takes place when the individual finds that they are expected to meet the opposing demands of two or more separate members of the organization. Such a case would be that of a worker who finds himself pressured by their boss to improve the quality of their work while their work group wants more production in order to receive a higher bonus share.
  8. 8. 2. Passive aggressive behavior Passive aggressive behavior is a common response from workers and managers which is particularly noxious to team unity and productivity. In workers, it can lead to sabotage of projects and the creation of a hostile environment. In managers, it can end up stifling a team's creativity. De Angelis says "It would actually make perfect sense that those promoted to leadership positions might often be those who on the surface appear to be agreeable, diplomatic and supportive, yet who are actually dishonest, backstabbing saboteurs behind the scenes." 3. Office romance Office romances can be a cause of workplace conflict. 96 percent of human resource professionals and 80 percent of executives said workplace romances are dangerous because they can lead to conflict within the organization.Public displays of affection can make co- workers uncomfortable and accusations of favoritism may occur, especially if it is a supervisor-subordinate relationship. If the relationship goes awry, one party may seek to exact revenge on the other. Team Member Preparation As mentioned above, teams are a powerful force in organizations. They are assembled to tackle complex and strategic issues within a company. Often the membership is a select group of people from different departments, each with special skills or talents to solve a particular problem. However; what is often lacking is training in the core competencies of working on a team. "In order for a team to be successful, it is essential that members know the basics of conflict resolution, delegation, and consensus building" (Convey, 1994, p. 13). Without these skills, each member must rely on whatever they've learned on their own, or the facilitator's skills in moving the team through these struggles. This is not an ideal way to manage teams, and reduces the synergistic benefits of team-based activities. Team Leader's Role in Managing Conflict: "Conflicts are part of individual relationships and organizational development, and no relationship or organization can hope to mature to productivity and be successful without being able to resolve conflicts effectively" (Cottringer, 1997, p. 6). Clearly, one of the main responsibilities of any manager or group leader is to resolve conflict. The two key goals for a group leader are to remain impartial, and to facilitate understanding among the group members. "As a team leader, one must realize the paradox that surrounds conflict. The team needs to embrace conflict as a means of generating and evaluating ideas. While at the same time, it must shy away from it to prevent anger, frustration, or alienation. The biggest challenge for the team leader is figuring out how to balance these two forces" (Brockmann, 1996, p. 61).
  9. 9. The cost of conflict: Costs to the organization Time is Money-There are a variety of direct costs to the organization associated with poorly managed conflict, including, in the worst cases, the loss of customers and good employees. One that is visible to everyone is the time taken to successfully resolve issues. Time that would be better spent on accomplishing work and achieving goals is instead used to manage disagreements and smooth ruffled feathers, although where the outcome is wholly positive this might be seen as an investment. Our survey found that, on average, each employee spends 2.1 hours every week approximately one day a month– dealing with conflict in some way (being involved in a disagreement, managing a conflict between co-workers, etc). For the US alone, that translates to 385 million working days spent every year as a result of conflict in the workplace. In Germany and Ireland, where the average time spent managing conflict rises to 3.3 hours per week, that figure is an even higher proportion of available working time. In some organizations, the situation is worse still: one in ten respondents say they spend six hours a week or more dealing with conflict. It is also a major drain on the resources of HR departments: half of the HR workers questioned (51%) spend between one and five hours a week managing disagreements. Prolonging the agony-It is not unusual for conflicts to escalate, rather than being swiftly resolved. Nine out of ten employees (89%) have experienced a workplace conflict that escalated. Almost one in three (29%) said that a recent workplace conflict took a few days to properly dispel, but as many as one in six (16%) report that a recent conflict remains unresolved, having lasted longer than expected and/or becoming increasingly intense. It’s difficult to say whether this is because the issues underlying these situations are genuinely complex, but certainly the likelihood of speedy recovery without some form of scar tissue diminishes as conflicts prolong. The research also found that women are more likely to have been involved in a conflict that escalated (19% versus 14%). The sectors in which disagreements are most likely to become inflamed are marketing and the charity/not-for-profit sector (30% and 23% respectively). Only one in ten employees (11%) has never experienced a conflict that grew into something bigger, which suggests that conflict management techniques are not well embedded into organizations. Of course, where escalation occurs, more management time is required to restore calm and refocus the team on its original purpose. Costs to the employee Individual impact-When conflicts are not addressed effectively, emotions can run high and individuals suffer. The impact of this is more difficult to calculate but no less serious, particularly on staff engagement levels. Over a quarter of employees (27%) have been involved in a workplace disagreement that led to personal insults or attacks,
  10. 10. while a similar percentage (25%) have seen conflict lead to sickness or absence. This latter issue is clearly a major problem in the not-for-profit sector, where almost half (48%) have been involved in a conflict that led to sickness and/or absenteeism. Short-term problems are not the only outcomes of a poorly managed conflict: one in five employees (18%) say that people have left the organization because of conflict, 16% say that people were fired and one in ten (9%) even attribute a project failure to disagreements between those involved. It’s likely that not all departures are unwanted, but the disruption generated by the conflict that catalyzed them often leaves scars, suggesting that swift and targeted conflict management is key. Undermining the team-Unsurprisingly, conflict reduces cooperation and a sense of “team” when it is poorly handled. Two thirds of employees (67%) have gone out of their way to avoid a colleague because of a disagreement at work, which is likely to create a distraction and de-focusing of the team, at the very least. This rises to three quarters (76%) in the US and it is more prevalent among women, generally (71%, versus 64% of men). It seems that women may be more diffident about opening up disagreements. While smaller numbers of people take more extreme measures in the face of conflict, the cost to teams and organizations of even one in ten employees failing to attend meetings (10%) or taking multiple days off (9%) to avoid conflict situations quickly becomes significant in terms of lost productivity. A quarter (24%) of workers have stayed away from a work-related social event to avoid conflict, rising to 36% in Germany. One in seven (14%) has missed a day’s work, one in ten (9%) has taken off more than a day, and one in eight (12%) even admits that conflict resulted in them leaving their job. It seems that conflict avoidance is a common but highly ineffective technique. For teams, this represents a missed opportunity; well-managed conflicts within a team can lead to greater trust and better decision-making through the quality of the resolution process. It doesn’t end there. The destructive emotions experienced by those involved in a conflict at work don’t simply vanish. Over half of employees (57%) have left a conflict situation with negative feelings, most commonly de-motivation, anger and frustration. Workers in the UK are most likely to feel this way, with 65% admitting to negative emotions from conflict, while only 41% of Brazilians have this problem. Of course, we can’t speculate about how long these emotions lasted; some people may have felt better afterwards. Regrettably, many people are deterred from resolving issues properly by the difficult emotions aroused in the moment of conflict. Women struggle most to cope with the emotional debris of conflict. Nearly two thirds (64%) emerge from a conflict with negative emotions, as opposed to less than half (48%) of men. Women are also twice as likely as men to feel sick with nervousness or sleepless as a result of a workplace conflict.
  11. 11. Generating energy-However, conflict can also lead to positive emotions, when it’s managed correctly. Over three quarters (76%) of employees have identified a good end result from conflict. A quarter of workers (22%) say that they feel good about conflict, particularly as it can engender confidence that the issue in question has been properly aired and dealt with. The fact that one in four has actually learned to enjoy the process reinforces the idea that tough conversations can be stimulating and refreshing! While the 5% of respondents who see conflict as a chance to prove themselves may have something to learn about true collaboration, the similar number of respondents who see conflict as “the spice of life” seem to have discovered the energizing properties of conflict for change and creativity. This underlines the value that conflict can bring to an organization if it is handled in the right way. Consequences: Unresolved conflict in the workplace has been linked to miscommunication resulting from confusion or refusal to cooperate, quality problems, missed deadlines or delays, increased stress among employees, reduced creative collaboration and team problem solving, disruption to work flow, decreased customer satisfaction, distrust, split camps, and gossip. The win-lose conflict in groups may have some of the following negative effects: • Divert time and energy from the main issues • Delay decisions • Create deadlocks • Drive unaggressive committee members to the sidelines • Interfere with listening • Obstruct exploration of more alternatives • Decrease or destroy sensitivity • Cause members to drop out or resign from committees • Arouse anger that disrupts a meeting • Interfere with empathy • Incline underdogs to sabotage • Provoke personal abuse • Cause defensiveness Conflict is not always destructive. When it is destructive, however, managers need to understand and do something about it. A rational process for dealing with the conflict should be programmed. Such a process should include a planned action response on the part of the manager or the organization, rather than relying on a simple reaction or a change that occurs without specific action by management.
  12. 12. Stress Interpersonal conflict among people at work has been shown to be one of the most frequently noted stressors for employees. Conflict has been noted to be an indicator of the broader concept of workplace harassment.It relates to other stressors that might co-occur, such as role conflict, role ambiguity, and workload. It also relates to strains such asanxiety, depression, physical symptoms, and low levels of job satisfaction. Positive outcomes Group conflict does not always lead to negative consequences. The presence of a dissenting member or subgroup often results in more penetration of the group's problem and more creative solutions. This is because disagreement forces the members to think harder in an attempt to cope with what may be valid objections to general group opinion. But the group must know how to deal with differences that may arise. True interdependence among members leads automatically to conflict resolution in the group. Interdependence recognizes that differences will exist and that they can be helpful. Hence, members learn to accept ideas from dissenters (which do not imply agreeing with them), they learn to listen and to value openness, and they learn to share a mutual problem- solving attitude to ensure the exploration of all facets of a problem facing the group. Intergroup conflict between groups is a sometimes necessary, sometimes destructive, event that occurs at all levels and across all functions in organizations. Intergroup conflict may help generate creative tensions leading to more effective contributions to the organization's goals, such as competition between sales districts for the highest sales.Intergroup conflict is destructive when it alienates groups that should be working together, when it results in win-lose competition, and when it leads to compromises that represent less-than-optimum outcomes. Resolution: Conflict management Constantino helps organizations design their own, ad hoc conflict management systems, Tosi, Rizzo, and Caroll suggested that improving organizational practices could help resolve conflicts, including establishing superordinate goals, reducing vagueness, minimizing authority- and domain-related disputes, improving policies, procedures and rules, re-apportioning existing resources or adding new, altering communications, movement of personnel, and changing reward systems. Most large organizations have a human resources department, whose tasks include providing confidential advice to internal "customers" in relation to problems at work. This could be seen as less risky than asking one's manager for help. HR departments may also provide an impartial person who can mediate disputes and provide an objective point of view. Another option is the introduction of the Ombudsman figure at the organizational level,
  13. 13. charged with surveying common causes of conflict and suggesting structural improvements to address them. • Counseling - when personal conflict leads to frustration and loss of efficiency, counseling may prove to be a helpful antidote. Although few organizations can afford the luxury of having professional counselors on the staff, given some training, managers may be able to perform this function. • Conflict avoidance - non-attention or creating a total or partial separation of the combatants allowing limited interaction • Smoothing - stressing the achievement of harmony between disputants • Dominance or power intervention - the imposition of a solution by management at a higher level than the level of the conflict • Compromise - seeking a resolution satisfying at least part of each party's position • Confrontation - a thorough and frank discussion of the sources and types of conflict and achieving a resolution that is in the best interest of the group, but that may be at the expense of one or all of the conflicting parties A trained conflict resolver can begin with an economical intervention, such as getting group members to clarify and reaffirm shared goals. If necessary, they move through a systematic series of interventions, such as testing the members' ability and willingness to compromise; resorting to confrontation, enforced counseling, and/or termination as last resorts. Workplace conflict may include disputes between peers, supervisor-subordinate conflict or intergroup disputes. When disputes are not dealt with in a timely manner, greater efforts may be needed to solve them. Party-Directed Mediation (PDM) is a mediation approach particularly suited for disputes between colleagues or peers, especially those based on deep-seated interpersonal conflict or multicultural or multiethnic ones. The mediator listens to each party separately in a pre-caucus or pre-mediation before ever bringing them into a joint session. Part of the pre-caucus also includes coaching and role plays. The idea is that the parties learn how to converse directly with their adversary in the joint session. Some unique challenges arise when disputes involve supervisors and subordinates. The Negotiated Performance Appraisal (NPA) is a tool for improving communication between supervisors and subordinates and is particularly useful as an alternate mediation model because it preserves the hierarchical power of supervisors while encouraging dialogue and dealing with differences in opinion. Change Management is presumed to be guided by a vision of the future. The manager reflects in their decision-making activities the values of the organization as they have developed through time, from the original founder-owner to the present top-management personnel. In navigating a path between the values of the organization and its objectives and goals, management has expectations concerning the organization's effectiveness and efficiency and frequently initiates changes within the organization. On other occasions, changes in the external environment market demand, technology, or the political, social, or economic
  14. 14. environment require making appropriate changes in the activities of the organization. The organization faces these demands for change through the men and women who make up its membership, since organizational change ultimately depends on the willingness of employees and others to change their attitudes, behavior, their degree of knowledge and skill, or a combination of these. Resolving Structural Conflicts Structural conflict resolution techniques focus on the structural aspects of the project organization (such as procedures, personnel, resources, and reporting relationships) that may be causing the conflict. These techniques emphasize that certain structural features can cause conflict even if the project team members behave (as individuals) in a reasonable manner.’2 Procedural changes mainly refer to changing work procedures to avoid conflict. For instance, a project manager or technical expert on the team may evaluate and select a vendor for a technical contract. The purchasing department may then follow traditional departmental procedures, causing delays that may lead to conflict. Such disputes can be avoided by involving the purchasing department in the process of evaluating bids for complex technical contracts and thereby ensuring purchasing cooperation and prompt service when needed to expedite the contract. Personnel changes: It is involve transferring individuals into or out of the project in order to resolve personality conflicts. For example, a personality conflict between two high-performing technical experts may be reducing overall project output. If one of the experts is transferred to another project, both people are then able to make a significant and positive contribution to their projects and to the organization as a whole. Authority changes clarify or alter line of authority and responsibility to reduce conflict. Such situations usually arise in matrix structures, where functional managers may exert their authority over personnel who have been assigned to a specific project manager for the duration of the project. Clarifying or changing authority lines or reporting relationships in such circumstances will reduce typical structural conflicts between the project manager and the functional manager. Layout changes: It rearranges work space to resolve conflict. This becomes essential when two project teams harass or disturb each other continually. It may be effective to build a physical separation between them to eliminate interaction. Resource changes: Involve increasing resources so that the disputing parties can each have what they need. For example, a conflict may develop between two project managers (each handling a large but tight project) over the priorities for purchasing and accounting personnel. A manager of projects can resolve the conflicts by getting an authorization to hire separate accounting and purchasing personnel for each project so that both project managers get what they need.
  15. 15. Conclusion Organizations are social entities segmented into hierarchies of departments and individuals. The basic realities of organizational life can not but stimulate comparisons, competitions and conflicts between departments and individuals. Conflict is an omnipresent feature at each of these organizational levels. Since conflict may have functional as well as dysfunctional consequences, it is essential that administrators explore various methods and techniques of conflict management. Effective conflict management is indispensable if coordinated efforts and productive achievements are to result. We have suggested above that the planned intervention by behavioral scientists represents the most effective method since it can produce organizational change and a sense of personal accomplishment. A wide range of intervention activities may be utilized to deal with conflicts at various organizational levels. It is beyond the scope of this article to provide a manual that can possibly foresee all the contingencies or to evaluate the effectiveness of different types of intervention. This assignment purported to view conflict management as an integral part of the administrative process. Administrators should be able to ascertain the presence of a conflict, its basic sources, the level at which it manifests itself, its degree of intensity and the ways of furthering the objectives of conflict resolution. From a pragmatic viewpoint administrators should direct their attention to four issues: Is there a conflict? Where is the conflict? Does it require to be managed? How best to implement an effective conflict management strategy? With these issues in mind, the main features of this article may be summarized by developing a conceptual framework for conflict management in organizations. Conflict and conflict in organizations has only recently begun to receive the attention it deserves. In this article I have sought to address ourselves to the two most important issues in this field, namely, the determinants of conflict and the effectiveness of different methods of conflict management. Working from a conceptual basis this article represents only an initial step in the direction of systemizing our understanding of conflict and conflict management. Our task lies in stimulating a more thorough analysis to fill the gap between our knowledge and the realities of organizational life. The administrators' task lies in accepting conflict evaluation as part of their role and in developing the creative abilities that are necessary to deal with it. Conflict can be healthy if it is managed effectively. Conflict management requires a combination of analytical and human skills. To resolve it permanently, they must address the cause of the conflict and not just the symptoms of it. They size up possible clashes before “contact” is actually made and then prepare their action plans to handle potential trouble. They should concentrate on building an atmosphere designed to reduce destructive conflict and deal with routine frictions and minor differences before they become unmanageable. The key to resolving conflict with a positive outcome includes looking for a win-win situation, cutting losses when necessary, formulating proactive conflict management strategies, using effective negotiation and communication, and appreciating cultural differences among stakeholders.
  16. 16. References: 1. See, for instance, K. Singer, "The Meaning of Conflict", Australian Journal of Philosophy. 27 (3, 1949), 141-157. 2. This is the approach adopted in J. Kelly, Organizational Behaviour. (Homewood, III.: Dorsey Press, 1969). 3. For the support of this conception, see: R.W. Mack, "The Components of Social Conflict", Social Problems, 12 (4, 1965), 388-397. 4. Cf. M. Deutsch, The Resolution of Conflict. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973) and C.R. Mitchell, The Structure of International Conflict (London: Macmillan, 1981). 5. C.F. Fink, "Some Conceptual Difficulties in the Theory of Social Conflict", Journal of Conflict Resolution, 12 (4, 1968), 412-460. 6. R.L. Pondy, "Organizational Conflict: Concepts and Models", Administrative Science Quarterly, 12 (2, 1967), 296-320. 7. This is adapted from J. Galtung, "Conflict as a Way of Life" in Progress in Mental Health, ed. by H. Freeman (London: Churchill, 1969) and elaborated in Mitchell, op. cit. 8. This view is supported by S.M. Schmidt and T.A. Kochan, "Conflict: Towards Conceptual Clarity", Administrative Science Quarterly, 17 (3,1972), 359-370. 9. On this conception of organization see: D. Katz and R.L. Kahn, The Social Psychology of Organizations (2nd ed.; New York: Wiley, 1976) and K.E. Boulding, "Organizations and Conflict", Journal of Conflict Resolution, 1 (2, 1957), 122-134. 10. This is the distinction between "conflicts of interest" and "conflicts of value". See: V. Aubert, "Competition and Dissensus", Journal of Conflict Resolution, 7 (1,1963), 26- 42. 11. On the distinction between destructive and constructive conflicts see: M. Deutsch, "Conflicts: Productive and Destructive", Journal of Social Issues, 25 (1, 1969), 7-42. 12. L. Rico "Organizational Conflict: A Framework for Reappraisal", Industrial Management Review, 5 (Fall, 1964), 67. 13. On the constructive or desirable features of organizational conflict, see: H. Assael, "Constructive Role of Interorganizational Conflict", Administrative Science Quarterly, 14 (4,1969),

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