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UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT
Meaning
Conflict occurs at various levels within the individuals, between the individuals in a group and between the
groups in an organisation. An issue between two or more parties who have (or think they have)

incompatible goals or ideas. Conflicts may involve deep-rooted moral or value differences, highstakes distributional questions, or can be about who dominates whom. Conflict is a perpetual given of
life, although varying views of it may be held. Some may view conflict as being a negative situation
which must be avoided at any cost. Others may see conflict as being a phenomenon which
necessitates management. Still others may consider conflict as being an exciting opportunity for
personal growth and so try to use it to his or her best advantage.
Eg: school principals and assistant principals are expected to deal with conflict situations not only on
a daily basis, but frequently on an hourly basis the students and teachers, school staff.
Definition:
According to Hocker and Wilmot
Conflict "an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive
incompatible goals, scarce rewards, and interference from the other party in achieving their goals."
According to follett, “Conflict is the appearance of difference- difference of opinions of interests”.
Features of conflict
 Conflict occurs when individuals are not able to choose among the available alternative course of
action.
 Conflict between two individuals implies that they have conflicting perception, values and goals
 Conflict is a dynamic process as it indicates a series of events
 Conflict must be perceived by the parties to it. If no one is aware of a conflict, then it is generally
agreed that no conflict exists.

Functional or positive aspect of conflict
If conflicts are handled properly, they can have the following positive consequences
 Release of tension: Conflict when expressed, can clear the air and reduce the tension which might
otherwise remain suppressed. When members express themselves, they get some psychological
satisfaction.
 Creative thinking: When group is faced with a conflict, the members display analytical thinking in
identifying various alternatives.

1
Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)
 Challenge: Conflicts tests the abilities and capacities of the individuals and group. It creates challenge
for them for which they have to be dynamic and creative.
 Stimulation of change: Sometimes conflict stimulates change among the people. When they are
faced with a conflict, they might change their attitudes and become willing to adapt themselves to
change in situation.
 Identification of weakness: When conflict arises, it might help in identifying the weakness in the
system once management come to know about the weakness a step can be taken to remove it.
 Awareness: Conflicts creates awareness of what problem exists, who are involved and how to solve
the problem.
Dysfunction or unintended consequences of conflict
The undesirable consequences of conflict in the organisation as:
 High tension: Unresolved conflicts have the potential to cause high level of tension among the
individuals and groups and a stage may come when it becomes difficult for management to resolve.
 Low productivity: conflict may result in less concentration on the job and due to this productivity will
suffer.
 Creation of distrust: Conflicts often create a climate of distrust and suspicion among the members of
the groups as well as the organisation.
 Goal conflict: Conflict may distract the attention of the members of the organisation from
organizational goals. Personal victory becomes more important than the organizational goal.
 Weakening of organisation: Conflicts may weaken the organisation as a whole if the management is
not able to handle them properly.
 Loss of dynamic staff: in conflict some time some dynamic personal may leave the organisation, if
they fail to resolve the conflict in their behaviour. In such cases, organisation will be the sufferer in
the long run.

Types of conflict
In organizations, conflicts can be
1. Interpersonal Conflicts or Inter individual conflicts
2. Intra-individual Conflicts
3. Inter-group or intra organizational in nature.
INTERPEROSNAL CONFLICTS:
 Inter individual conflict arises from differences between the choices made by different
individuals in the organisation.
 Each individual has a separate acceptable alternative of action and different individual prefer
different alternatives.
 Conflict between individuals in the same organisation.
UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT
 It exists whenever people interest in the some way to produce results or achieve goals,

because they differ, however in many ways; Attitude, personality, values, goals, experience
etc.
 Therefore, learning to make the proper adjustment is an important factor in managing
interpersonal conflict.
Causes of Inter personal conflicts:
I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.

Informational factors:
These exert their influence when various points of view have been developed on the basis of
different sets of facts. Because each of the participants has contract with a different set or has
a limited knowledge, they disagree.
Difference in perception:
The perceptual factors exert their influence when the persons have different images of the
same stimulus. Different individual may produce distinctive perceptual pictures in the minds
which will lead to a conflict.
Difference in value systems: Two persons may have misunderstanding between themselves
because of difference in their value systems and social background. E.g. Production manager
may suggest lowering of product quality to increase profit, but the marketing manager may
term it unethical.
Scarcity of resources: Inter personal conflicts also arises when individuals compete for
scarce resources. E.g. three qualified employees compete for one higher vacancy, conflict
may develop among them.
Difference in status: Each individual occupies a certain position or status in the society and
in the organisation. and such a position or status may put certain constraints e.g. higher level
executives may consider it below status to go to a junior executive.

INTRA- INDIVIDUAL CONFLICT
 Intra individual conflict arises within an individual member of the organisation. It is same as
individual conflict but the organizational problem may be that none of the individual has a
known acceptable alternative in terms of his own goals and perception.
 Intra individual conflict generally arises because of between individual goal and
organizational goal and other situation where there is widespread uncertainty and scarcity of
acceptable alternatives.
 Uncertainty in a situation may be caused by complexity of the problem and lack of past
experience in handling such problems.
 Conflicts also arise because the organizational alternatives are not acceptable to the
individual.
 Intra personal conflicts arises due to role conflict and goal conflict as:
Role conflict:
 A role is a set of activities expected of a person holding a particular position in a group or
organisation.
 Managers are part of the role sets of their subordinates.
 For subordinates the role expectations communicated by the manger are likely to include
instruction about desired behaviour and behaviour to be avoided, intention regarding the
allocation of rewards.
3
Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)



Role ambiguity occurs when an individual is not certain about the role expectation of one
or more members of the role set.
Role conflict arises when the person in a role is not able to respond to the expectation of
other persons.

Goals or experience of various types:
I.

II.

III.

Approach-approach conflict: Such a conflict arises when a person has to choose from two
or more equally attractive goals. E.g. a person has to choose promotion in present job and
taking desirable job with another organisation.
Avoidance-avoidance conflict: Conflict arises when a person has to choose between two
alternatives each with negative aspects. E.g. a person may dislike his present job but the
alternative of resigning and looking for another job is equally unattractive.
Approach-avoidance conflict: In this, individual is faced with an alternative that has both
positive and negative consequences. E.g. a person may offer a promotion carrying much
higher pay but way from his own town.

INTER GROUP CONFLICTS
Conflicts between different groups in the organization are known as intergroup conflicts. A conflict between
production team and marketing team is an example of inter-group conflict. Such conflicts arise when:
(a) there is existence of a positive felt need for joint decision-making; (b) there is differentiation of
goals, i.e., different persons have different views regarding goals; and (c) there is difference in
perceptions of reality.

Inter group or intra-organizational conflict or encompasses vertical, horizontal, line-staff and
role conflict.
 Vertical Conflict:

It refers to conflicts that occur between individuals at different levels. Conflict between the
superior and subordinate is an example of vertical conflict. Such conflicts could happen
because of perceived, inadequate or ineffective communication, selective perception,
misperception, values, affect and behavior etc.
 Horizontal Conflict:

It refers to tensions between employees or groups at the same hierarchical level. Horizontal
conflict occurs because of interdependence among the parties concerned in the work situation
or the common pooled resources shared. For example, sharing personal
computers
among the various departments is likely to produce tensions among the departments.
 Line and Staff Conflict:
 It refers to the conflicts that arise between those who assist or act in an advisory

capacity (Staff) and those who have direct authority to create the products, process,
and services of the organizing (line).
 Staff managers and line managers usually have different personality predispositions
and goals and come from different backgrounds.
 Staff managers have specialized skills and expertise acquired through training and
education and have greater technical knowledge which is intended to help the line
manager who are basically money maker for the organization.
UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT
Staff people serve as advisor for the line people in as much as they have the expertise
to streamline methods and help in cost-cutting mechanisms.
 Line managers may feel that the staff people are unnecessarily interfering in their
work by always telling them how to do their job and thrusting their ideas and
methods.
 Staff people often get frustrated that the line people do not consider all the ideas put
forth by them and thereby fail to benefit.


 Role Conflict:
 It arises because different people in the organization are expected to perform different

task and pressures build up when the expectation of the members clash in several
ways.
 This situation arises when the communication of tack expectation from role- set
member proves inadequate or incompatible for the role holder
 There are four types of role conflict.
 Inter-sender role conflict
 Inter-role conflict
 Personal role
 Intra sender

Causes of inter group conflicts
These factors below:
1.
Joint Decision-making. The need for joint decision-making is felt because of the following
factors:
I.

Sharing of resources. The resources at the disposal of the organization are limited and they
have to be shared by different groups. Each group wants a greater share of the limited
resources.

II.

Inter-dependency. Inter-dependency of various departments requires decisions regarding
sharing of resources and fixing of schedules for the completion of various jobs. For instance,
there may be misunderstanding between marketing and production departments if the latter
is not able to complete an order as desired by the former.

III.

Need for coordination. Coordination at the higher levels requires joint decision-making by
various departmental heads. If they are not able to pool their knowledge and resources
effectively, conflicts are likely to arise.

2.
Difference in Goals. Various groups differ in their views about organizational goals because
of the following reasons:
There are differences in sub-goals of various groups. If a person is a member of various
groups, he may face role conflict because goals of the organization are different from the sub-goals

I.

5
Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)
of various groups.
Individuals who are members of different groups differ in family background, culture,
education, training, etc. Professionals look at the organizational goals from their respective
professional point of view. Thus, conflicts over goals arise.

II.

Division of work and departmentation may lead to certain groups which might internalise
their group goals. They may not be able to relate their group goals to the organizational goals which
might be highly non-operational.

III.

Pattern of interaction among the group members may lead to differentiation of goals. For
example, if people in a group do not interact frequently, there is bound to be differentiating of goals.
But if the group members interact quite often, they are likely to share some goals with the other
groups.

IV.

3.
Differences in Perceptions. Differences in perceptions of people arise because of the
following factors:
When people differ in their views about goals, perceptions are bound to be different.

I.

Perceptions of people may differ because of differences in background factors such as family
background, culture, education, training, etc. The value system also influences the perception of
people to a great extent.

II.

People may have different perceptions or if the flow of information is not smooth. Lack or
inadequacy of information with some people is bound to affect their perceptions.

III.

4. Task Ambiguity. Inter-group conflict is likely to arise when it is not certain which group is
responsible for certain activities. This lack of clarity over job responsibilities is called task ambiguity,
and it’s frequently leads to hostility between work groups. Task ambiguity leading to intergroup
conflict may occur in the recruitment of new employees. Both the personnel department and the
specific functional departments (e.g., marketing, operations, and finance) of a firm have
responsibilities in recruiting; identifying candidates, interviewing candidates, making selection
decisions, etc. Sometimes, there is conflict over who has the final authority to make and execute
selection decisions.
5. Differences in Work Orientation. The ways in which employees handle their work and deal with
others vary widely across functional departments of an organization.
I.

Firstly, functional groups differ in their time perspectives. For example, research and
development (R & D) scientists have much longer-range goals than do manufacturing
groups.

II.

Secondly, the goals of different functional groups vary greatly. The goals of a manufacturing
unit are more specific than the goals of an R & D unit: manufacturing has precise targets for
volume, cost savings, and percentage of defectives while R & D has much broader and less
easily measurable goals such as developing new products and suggesting potential market
applications.

III.

Thirdly, the interpersonal orientations of people in different departments vary. R & D labs need
and encourage a level of informality, an organic structure, and a collegiality that might be
dysfunctional in a manufacturing department.
UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT
6. Organizational Reward System. Inter-group conflicts also arise because of the way in which an
organization monitors group performance and distributes rewards-both economic and noneconomic. If the reward system allows only one group to accomplish its goal at the expense of other
groups, there are bound to be conflicts and even power struggle among the groups. For instance, an
organization may reward the sales unit for higher sales. The advertisement group and production
group who are denied the rewards may feel bad and develop conflicts with the sales unit and may
even sabotage the efforts of the sales unit in achieving higher sales turnover.
STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING CONFLICTS
Three different strategies of handling conflicts:
I. Conflict stimulation.
II. Conflict prevention.
III. Conflict resolution.
Stimulation of Conflicts
The following methods may be used by the management to stimulate conflict.
1.
Reorganization. Changing the structure of an organization is an effective method of
stimulating conflict. When work groups and departments are reorganized, new relations and
responsibilities arise. Members try to readjust themselves and in this process improved methods of
operations may develop.
2.
Use of Informal Communication. Managers may manipulate messages in such a way as to
stimulate conflict e.g., a department is to be abolished can reduce apathy, stimulate new ideas and
force revaluation of existing practices. Rumours may be intelligently planted in the informal
communication system. Conflict can also be stimulated by redirecting message and altering channels
of communication.
3.
Encouraging Competition. Healthy competition between individuals and groups may be
stimulated through properly administered incentives. Bonuses, incentive pay and rewards for
excellent performance can foster competitive spirit in the organization. As one group struggles hard
to out-perform the other, constructive conflict will occur.
4.
Bringing in Outsiders. Management may shake up a stagnant organization by bringing in
people whose attitudes, values and styles differ significantly from the prevailing norms. When such
heterogeneous persons join an organization, status quo is disturbed. Divergent opinions, innovative
ideas and originality can be developed.
Prevention of Conflicts
To prevent conflicts, the following strategies may be employed:
1. Reducing Interdependence. The potential for conflict is very high when two or more
departments are interdependent and share scare resources. Therefore, conflict may be
minimized by reducing interdependence among departments.
7
Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)
2. Rotation of Personnel. Rotation of employees between interdependent departments can
improve perception and mutual understanding. Employees may see the big picture and
exchange views with one another. Employees become more considerate and co-operative.
3. Establishing super ordinate Goals. A difference in goals is a common cause of conflict in
organizations. Goal differences can be avoided by establishing mutually agreed goals. A super
ordinate goal is a common goal that appeals to all the parties and cannot be achieved by the resources of
any single party. In order to achieve the super ordinate goal, conflicting parties sink their
differences and cooperate together. For example, severe competition may force different
departments to work together to ensure the survival and growth of the organization. Thus, a
common threat or enemy may act as a great unifying force.
4. Creation of Mutual Trust and Communication. The greater the trust among the members
of the unit, the more open and honest the communication will be. Individuals and groups
should be encouraged to communicate openly with each other, so that misunderstandings can
be removed and able to understand the problems of each other.

Resolution of Conflicts (Curative Techniques)
Some of the common approaches towards conflict resolution are as under:
1. Compromise. This is the traditional method of resolving conflict. It is a process of bargaining
wherein the parties negotiate on the basis of give and take to arrive at some agreement. There
is no distinct winner or loser because each party is expected to sacrifice something in
exchange for a concession. Compromise is commonly used where the conflict involves
differences in goals, values or attitudes. It is effective when the sought-after goal, e.g.,
resources can be divided between the parties.
2. Smoothing. It is the process of suppressing differences existing between parties to the
conflict and emphasizing common interests. Sharing of opinions removes misunderstanding
and both parties realize that they are not far apart. Smoothing or accommodating may be
useful when the conflict is associated with aggressive feelings among the parties. However, it
can be used only as a short-term measure for resolving conflict.
3. Problem Solving. In this technique, an attempt is made to bring the conflicting parties
together and to share the mutual problems. The focus is on sharing of information to avoid
misunderstanding and to find out areas of common interest. Question of who is right or who
is wrong is avoided. This method is suitable for resolving conflicts arising out of
misunderstanding.
4. Dominance or Confrontation. In this technique, parties to the conflict are left free to settle
their score by mobilizing their strengths and capitalizing on the weaknesses of others. Parties
use weapons like fights, arguments and intimidation to win over each other. One party's gain
is another party's loss. This technique is adopted when both the parties adopt a very rigid
stand. Confrontation may aggravate the struggle and contribute little to finding out innovative
or constructive solutions acceptable to all. The stronger party ultimately dominates the
weaker party.
UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT
Conflict Resolution: The Thomas- Kilmann Model
The Thomas-Kilmann model was designed by two psychologists, Kenneth Thomas and Ralph
Kilmann, The first dimension, the vertical axis, is concerned with conflict responses based on our
attempt to get what we want. Thomas and Kilmann call these the Assertiveness options. The other
dimension, the horizontal axis, is concerned with responses based on helping others get what they
want. Thomas and Kilmann call these the cooperativeness options. This creates 5 basic types of
response.

The 5 Options of Conflict Resolution
These are the 5 options in conflict resolution in the Thomas-Kilmann model.
1. Competing. The Competing option is at the top left of the model which means you take a wholly
assertive and uncooperative approach to resolving the conflict. It means standing up for your rights,
defending a position which you believe is correct, or simply trying to beat the other side.
2. Accommodating. The Accommodating option is at the bottom right of the model which means
you take a wholly unassertive and co-operative approach. This might take the form of selfless
generosity or charity, giving in to another person's orders when you would prefer not to, or yielding
to another point of view.
3. Avoiding. The Avoiding option is at the bottom left of the model which means you take an
unassertive and uncooperative approach to the conflict and don't deal with it. Avoiding might take the
form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue until a better time or simply
withdraw from a threatening situation.
4. Compromising. The Compromising option is at the Centre of the model because it is both
assertive and co-operative but only to some extent. It's the approach of "half a sixpence is better than
none". Both sides get something but not everything. It might mean splitting the difference between
the two positions, some give and take, or seeking a quick solution in the middle ground.
5. Collaborating. The Collaborating option is at the top right of the model and is at the opposite
extreme of avoiding. It means being willing to believe that when two parties are at loggerheads, it is
possible for both sides to come out with what they want. Collaborating requires developed conflict
9
Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)
resolution skills based on mutual respect, a willingness to listen to others, and creativity in finding
solutions.

Negotiation
Negotiation is a process in which two or more individuals or groups, having both common and
conflicting goals, state and discuss proposals for specific terms of a possible agreement. Negotiation
includes a combination of compromise collaboration, and possibly some pressure on vital issues.
Characteristics of negotiation situation
 There is a clash if interest between too or more parties.
 Two or more individuals must make a decision about their interdependent goals and
objectives.
 The individuals are committed to peaceful means for resolving their conflicts, and there is no
clear procedure to make the decision.

Feature of negotiation
 There are a minimum of two parties present
 Both parties have predetermined goals.
 There is an expectation of an outcome
 Both parties are willing to modify their position
 Both parties believe the outcome of the negotiation may be satisfactory
 The parties understand the purpose of negotiation.
Types of negotiation
Integrative negotiation ( WIN-WIN strategy)

I.

The integrative process of negotiation is one in which parties on both the sides feel
that they are gaining what they expected. They are happily reconciled, empathetic,
open, receptive and satisfied. It’s called WIN-WIN situation
Principles
 Separate the people from the problem
 Focus on interest, not position
 Invent option for mutual gain
 Insist on using objective criteria.
II.

Distributive Negotiation ( WIN-LOSE strategy)
UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT
The distributive process of negotiation is one in which each of the parties tries to grab
maximum benefits, and impose maximum losses on the other. It’s called as WIN-Lose
situation. Here one party’s gain and the other party loss
Most commonly used win lose strategies that may have to face as a negotiator as under:
 I want it all
 Time wrap
 Goop cop, bad cop
 Ultimatum

11
Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)

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Conflict unit 3 hb

  • 1. UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT Meaning Conflict occurs at various levels within the individuals, between the individuals in a group and between the groups in an organisation. An issue between two or more parties who have (or think they have) incompatible goals or ideas. Conflicts may involve deep-rooted moral or value differences, highstakes distributional questions, or can be about who dominates whom. Conflict is a perpetual given of life, although varying views of it may be held. Some may view conflict as being a negative situation which must be avoided at any cost. Others may see conflict as being a phenomenon which necessitates management. Still others may consider conflict as being an exciting opportunity for personal growth and so try to use it to his or her best advantage. Eg: school principals and assistant principals are expected to deal with conflict situations not only on a daily basis, but frequently on an hourly basis the students and teachers, school staff. Definition: According to Hocker and Wilmot Conflict "an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce rewards, and interference from the other party in achieving their goals." According to follett, “Conflict is the appearance of difference- difference of opinions of interests”. Features of conflict  Conflict occurs when individuals are not able to choose among the available alternative course of action.  Conflict between two individuals implies that they have conflicting perception, values and goals  Conflict is a dynamic process as it indicates a series of events  Conflict must be perceived by the parties to it. If no one is aware of a conflict, then it is generally agreed that no conflict exists. Functional or positive aspect of conflict If conflicts are handled properly, they can have the following positive consequences  Release of tension: Conflict when expressed, can clear the air and reduce the tension which might otherwise remain suppressed. When members express themselves, they get some psychological satisfaction.  Creative thinking: When group is faced with a conflict, the members display analytical thinking in identifying various alternatives. 1 Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)
  • 2.  Challenge: Conflicts tests the abilities and capacities of the individuals and group. It creates challenge for them for which they have to be dynamic and creative.  Stimulation of change: Sometimes conflict stimulates change among the people. When they are faced with a conflict, they might change their attitudes and become willing to adapt themselves to change in situation.  Identification of weakness: When conflict arises, it might help in identifying the weakness in the system once management come to know about the weakness a step can be taken to remove it.  Awareness: Conflicts creates awareness of what problem exists, who are involved and how to solve the problem. Dysfunction or unintended consequences of conflict The undesirable consequences of conflict in the organisation as:  High tension: Unresolved conflicts have the potential to cause high level of tension among the individuals and groups and a stage may come when it becomes difficult for management to resolve.  Low productivity: conflict may result in less concentration on the job and due to this productivity will suffer.  Creation of distrust: Conflicts often create a climate of distrust and suspicion among the members of the groups as well as the organisation.  Goal conflict: Conflict may distract the attention of the members of the organisation from organizational goals. Personal victory becomes more important than the organizational goal.  Weakening of organisation: Conflicts may weaken the organisation as a whole if the management is not able to handle them properly.  Loss of dynamic staff: in conflict some time some dynamic personal may leave the organisation, if they fail to resolve the conflict in their behaviour. In such cases, organisation will be the sufferer in the long run. Types of conflict In organizations, conflicts can be 1. Interpersonal Conflicts or Inter individual conflicts 2. Intra-individual Conflicts 3. Inter-group or intra organizational in nature. INTERPEROSNAL CONFLICTS:  Inter individual conflict arises from differences between the choices made by different individuals in the organisation.  Each individual has a separate acceptable alternative of action and different individual prefer different alternatives.  Conflict between individuals in the same organisation.
  • 3. UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT  It exists whenever people interest in the some way to produce results or achieve goals, because they differ, however in many ways; Attitude, personality, values, goals, experience etc.  Therefore, learning to make the proper adjustment is an important factor in managing interpersonal conflict. Causes of Inter personal conflicts: I. II. III. IV. V. Informational factors: These exert their influence when various points of view have been developed on the basis of different sets of facts. Because each of the participants has contract with a different set or has a limited knowledge, they disagree. Difference in perception: The perceptual factors exert their influence when the persons have different images of the same stimulus. Different individual may produce distinctive perceptual pictures in the minds which will lead to a conflict. Difference in value systems: Two persons may have misunderstanding between themselves because of difference in their value systems and social background. E.g. Production manager may suggest lowering of product quality to increase profit, but the marketing manager may term it unethical. Scarcity of resources: Inter personal conflicts also arises when individuals compete for scarce resources. E.g. three qualified employees compete for one higher vacancy, conflict may develop among them. Difference in status: Each individual occupies a certain position or status in the society and in the organisation. and such a position or status may put certain constraints e.g. higher level executives may consider it below status to go to a junior executive. INTRA- INDIVIDUAL CONFLICT  Intra individual conflict arises within an individual member of the organisation. It is same as individual conflict but the organizational problem may be that none of the individual has a known acceptable alternative in terms of his own goals and perception.  Intra individual conflict generally arises because of between individual goal and organizational goal and other situation where there is widespread uncertainty and scarcity of acceptable alternatives.  Uncertainty in a situation may be caused by complexity of the problem and lack of past experience in handling such problems.  Conflicts also arise because the organizational alternatives are not acceptable to the individual.  Intra personal conflicts arises due to role conflict and goal conflict as: Role conflict:  A role is a set of activities expected of a person holding a particular position in a group or organisation.  Managers are part of the role sets of their subordinates.  For subordinates the role expectations communicated by the manger are likely to include instruction about desired behaviour and behaviour to be avoided, intention regarding the allocation of rewards. 3 Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)
  • 4.   Role ambiguity occurs when an individual is not certain about the role expectation of one or more members of the role set. Role conflict arises when the person in a role is not able to respond to the expectation of other persons. Goals or experience of various types: I. II. III. Approach-approach conflict: Such a conflict arises when a person has to choose from two or more equally attractive goals. E.g. a person has to choose promotion in present job and taking desirable job with another organisation. Avoidance-avoidance conflict: Conflict arises when a person has to choose between two alternatives each with negative aspects. E.g. a person may dislike his present job but the alternative of resigning and looking for another job is equally unattractive. Approach-avoidance conflict: In this, individual is faced with an alternative that has both positive and negative consequences. E.g. a person may offer a promotion carrying much higher pay but way from his own town. INTER GROUP CONFLICTS Conflicts between different groups in the organization are known as intergroup conflicts. A conflict between production team and marketing team is an example of inter-group conflict. Such conflicts arise when: (a) there is existence of a positive felt need for joint decision-making; (b) there is differentiation of goals, i.e., different persons have different views regarding goals; and (c) there is difference in perceptions of reality. Inter group or intra-organizational conflict or encompasses vertical, horizontal, line-staff and role conflict.  Vertical Conflict: It refers to conflicts that occur between individuals at different levels. Conflict between the superior and subordinate is an example of vertical conflict. Such conflicts could happen because of perceived, inadequate or ineffective communication, selective perception, misperception, values, affect and behavior etc.  Horizontal Conflict: It refers to tensions between employees or groups at the same hierarchical level. Horizontal conflict occurs because of interdependence among the parties concerned in the work situation or the common pooled resources shared. For example, sharing personal computers among the various departments is likely to produce tensions among the departments.  Line and Staff Conflict:  It refers to the conflicts that arise between those who assist or act in an advisory capacity (Staff) and those who have direct authority to create the products, process, and services of the organizing (line).  Staff managers and line managers usually have different personality predispositions and goals and come from different backgrounds.  Staff managers have specialized skills and expertise acquired through training and education and have greater technical knowledge which is intended to help the line manager who are basically money maker for the organization.
  • 5. UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT Staff people serve as advisor for the line people in as much as they have the expertise to streamline methods and help in cost-cutting mechanisms.  Line managers may feel that the staff people are unnecessarily interfering in their work by always telling them how to do their job and thrusting their ideas and methods.  Staff people often get frustrated that the line people do not consider all the ideas put forth by them and thereby fail to benefit.   Role Conflict:  It arises because different people in the organization are expected to perform different task and pressures build up when the expectation of the members clash in several ways.  This situation arises when the communication of tack expectation from role- set member proves inadequate or incompatible for the role holder  There are four types of role conflict.  Inter-sender role conflict  Inter-role conflict  Personal role  Intra sender Causes of inter group conflicts These factors below: 1. Joint Decision-making. The need for joint decision-making is felt because of the following factors: I. Sharing of resources. The resources at the disposal of the organization are limited and they have to be shared by different groups. Each group wants a greater share of the limited resources. II. Inter-dependency. Inter-dependency of various departments requires decisions regarding sharing of resources and fixing of schedules for the completion of various jobs. For instance, there may be misunderstanding between marketing and production departments if the latter is not able to complete an order as desired by the former. III. Need for coordination. Coordination at the higher levels requires joint decision-making by various departmental heads. If they are not able to pool their knowledge and resources effectively, conflicts are likely to arise. 2. Difference in Goals. Various groups differ in their views about organizational goals because of the following reasons: There are differences in sub-goals of various groups. If a person is a member of various groups, he may face role conflict because goals of the organization are different from the sub-goals I. 5 Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)
  • 6. of various groups. Individuals who are members of different groups differ in family background, culture, education, training, etc. Professionals look at the organizational goals from their respective professional point of view. Thus, conflicts over goals arise. II. Division of work and departmentation may lead to certain groups which might internalise their group goals. They may not be able to relate their group goals to the organizational goals which might be highly non-operational. III. Pattern of interaction among the group members may lead to differentiation of goals. For example, if people in a group do not interact frequently, there is bound to be differentiating of goals. But if the group members interact quite often, they are likely to share some goals with the other groups. IV. 3. Differences in Perceptions. Differences in perceptions of people arise because of the following factors: When people differ in their views about goals, perceptions are bound to be different. I. Perceptions of people may differ because of differences in background factors such as family background, culture, education, training, etc. The value system also influences the perception of people to a great extent. II. People may have different perceptions or if the flow of information is not smooth. Lack or inadequacy of information with some people is bound to affect their perceptions. III. 4. Task Ambiguity. Inter-group conflict is likely to arise when it is not certain which group is responsible for certain activities. This lack of clarity over job responsibilities is called task ambiguity, and it’s frequently leads to hostility between work groups. Task ambiguity leading to intergroup conflict may occur in the recruitment of new employees. Both the personnel department and the specific functional departments (e.g., marketing, operations, and finance) of a firm have responsibilities in recruiting; identifying candidates, interviewing candidates, making selection decisions, etc. Sometimes, there is conflict over who has the final authority to make and execute selection decisions. 5. Differences in Work Orientation. The ways in which employees handle their work and deal with others vary widely across functional departments of an organization. I. Firstly, functional groups differ in their time perspectives. For example, research and development (R & D) scientists have much longer-range goals than do manufacturing groups. II. Secondly, the goals of different functional groups vary greatly. The goals of a manufacturing unit are more specific than the goals of an R & D unit: manufacturing has precise targets for volume, cost savings, and percentage of defectives while R & D has much broader and less easily measurable goals such as developing new products and suggesting potential market applications. III. Thirdly, the interpersonal orientations of people in different departments vary. R & D labs need and encourage a level of informality, an organic structure, and a collegiality that might be dysfunctional in a manufacturing department.
  • 7. UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT 6. Organizational Reward System. Inter-group conflicts also arise because of the way in which an organization monitors group performance and distributes rewards-both economic and noneconomic. If the reward system allows only one group to accomplish its goal at the expense of other groups, there are bound to be conflicts and even power struggle among the groups. For instance, an organization may reward the sales unit for higher sales. The advertisement group and production group who are denied the rewards may feel bad and develop conflicts with the sales unit and may even sabotage the efforts of the sales unit in achieving higher sales turnover. STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING CONFLICTS Three different strategies of handling conflicts: I. Conflict stimulation. II. Conflict prevention. III. Conflict resolution. Stimulation of Conflicts The following methods may be used by the management to stimulate conflict. 1. Reorganization. Changing the structure of an organization is an effective method of stimulating conflict. When work groups and departments are reorganized, new relations and responsibilities arise. Members try to readjust themselves and in this process improved methods of operations may develop. 2. Use of Informal Communication. Managers may manipulate messages in such a way as to stimulate conflict e.g., a department is to be abolished can reduce apathy, stimulate new ideas and force revaluation of existing practices. Rumours may be intelligently planted in the informal communication system. Conflict can also be stimulated by redirecting message and altering channels of communication. 3. Encouraging Competition. Healthy competition between individuals and groups may be stimulated through properly administered incentives. Bonuses, incentive pay and rewards for excellent performance can foster competitive spirit in the organization. As one group struggles hard to out-perform the other, constructive conflict will occur. 4. Bringing in Outsiders. Management may shake up a stagnant organization by bringing in people whose attitudes, values and styles differ significantly from the prevailing norms. When such heterogeneous persons join an organization, status quo is disturbed. Divergent opinions, innovative ideas and originality can be developed. Prevention of Conflicts To prevent conflicts, the following strategies may be employed: 1. Reducing Interdependence. The potential for conflict is very high when two or more departments are interdependent and share scare resources. Therefore, conflict may be minimized by reducing interdependence among departments. 7 Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)
  • 8. 2. Rotation of Personnel. Rotation of employees between interdependent departments can improve perception and mutual understanding. Employees may see the big picture and exchange views with one another. Employees become more considerate and co-operative. 3. Establishing super ordinate Goals. A difference in goals is a common cause of conflict in organizations. Goal differences can be avoided by establishing mutually agreed goals. A super ordinate goal is a common goal that appeals to all the parties and cannot be achieved by the resources of any single party. In order to achieve the super ordinate goal, conflicting parties sink their differences and cooperate together. For example, severe competition may force different departments to work together to ensure the survival and growth of the organization. Thus, a common threat or enemy may act as a great unifying force. 4. Creation of Mutual Trust and Communication. The greater the trust among the members of the unit, the more open and honest the communication will be. Individuals and groups should be encouraged to communicate openly with each other, so that misunderstandings can be removed and able to understand the problems of each other. Resolution of Conflicts (Curative Techniques) Some of the common approaches towards conflict resolution are as under: 1. Compromise. This is the traditional method of resolving conflict. It is a process of bargaining wherein the parties negotiate on the basis of give and take to arrive at some agreement. There is no distinct winner or loser because each party is expected to sacrifice something in exchange for a concession. Compromise is commonly used where the conflict involves differences in goals, values or attitudes. It is effective when the sought-after goal, e.g., resources can be divided between the parties. 2. Smoothing. It is the process of suppressing differences existing between parties to the conflict and emphasizing common interests. Sharing of opinions removes misunderstanding and both parties realize that they are not far apart. Smoothing or accommodating may be useful when the conflict is associated with aggressive feelings among the parties. However, it can be used only as a short-term measure for resolving conflict. 3. Problem Solving. In this technique, an attempt is made to bring the conflicting parties together and to share the mutual problems. The focus is on sharing of information to avoid misunderstanding and to find out areas of common interest. Question of who is right or who is wrong is avoided. This method is suitable for resolving conflicts arising out of misunderstanding. 4. Dominance or Confrontation. In this technique, parties to the conflict are left free to settle their score by mobilizing their strengths and capitalizing on the weaknesses of others. Parties use weapons like fights, arguments and intimidation to win over each other. One party's gain is another party's loss. This technique is adopted when both the parties adopt a very rigid stand. Confrontation may aggravate the struggle and contribute little to finding out innovative or constructive solutions acceptable to all. The stronger party ultimately dominates the weaker party.
  • 9. UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT Conflict Resolution: The Thomas- Kilmann Model The Thomas-Kilmann model was designed by two psychologists, Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann, The first dimension, the vertical axis, is concerned with conflict responses based on our attempt to get what we want. Thomas and Kilmann call these the Assertiveness options. The other dimension, the horizontal axis, is concerned with responses based on helping others get what they want. Thomas and Kilmann call these the cooperativeness options. This creates 5 basic types of response. The 5 Options of Conflict Resolution These are the 5 options in conflict resolution in the Thomas-Kilmann model. 1. Competing. The Competing option is at the top left of the model which means you take a wholly assertive and uncooperative approach to resolving the conflict. It means standing up for your rights, defending a position which you believe is correct, or simply trying to beat the other side. 2. Accommodating. The Accommodating option is at the bottom right of the model which means you take a wholly unassertive and co-operative approach. This might take the form of selfless generosity or charity, giving in to another person's orders when you would prefer not to, or yielding to another point of view. 3. Avoiding. The Avoiding option is at the bottom left of the model which means you take an unassertive and uncooperative approach to the conflict and don't deal with it. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue until a better time or simply withdraw from a threatening situation. 4. Compromising. The Compromising option is at the Centre of the model because it is both assertive and co-operative but only to some extent. It's the approach of "half a sixpence is better than none". Both sides get something but not everything. It might mean splitting the difference between the two positions, some give and take, or seeking a quick solution in the middle ground. 5. Collaborating. The Collaborating option is at the top right of the model and is at the opposite extreme of avoiding. It means being willing to believe that when two parties are at loggerheads, it is possible for both sides to come out with what they want. Collaborating requires developed conflict 9 Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)
  • 10. resolution skills based on mutual respect, a willingness to listen to others, and creativity in finding solutions. Negotiation Negotiation is a process in which two or more individuals or groups, having both common and conflicting goals, state and discuss proposals for specific terms of a possible agreement. Negotiation includes a combination of compromise collaboration, and possibly some pressure on vital issues. Characteristics of negotiation situation  There is a clash if interest between too or more parties.  Two or more individuals must make a decision about their interdependent goals and objectives.  The individuals are committed to peaceful means for resolving their conflicts, and there is no clear procedure to make the decision. Feature of negotiation  There are a minimum of two parties present  Both parties have predetermined goals.  There is an expectation of an outcome  Both parties are willing to modify their position  Both parties believe the outcome of the negotiation may be satisfactory  The parties understand the purpose of negotiation. Types of negotiation Integrative negotiation ( WIN-WIN strategy) I. The integrative process of negotiation is one in which parties on both the sides feel that they are gaining what they expected. They are happily reconciled, empathetic, open, receptive and satisfied. It’s called WIN-WIN situation Principles  Separate the people from the problem  Focus on interest, not position  Invent option for mutual gain  Insist on using objective criteria. II. Distributive Negotiation ( WIN-LOSE strategy)
  • 11. UNIT 3 CONFLICT MANAGMENT The distributive process of negotiation is one in which each of the parties tries to grab maximum benefits, and impose maximum losses on the other. It’s called as WIN-Lose situation. Here one party’s gain and the other party loss Most commonly used win lose strategies that may have to face as a negotiator as under:  I want it all  Time wrap  Goop cop, bad cop  Ultimatum 11 Ms SONAM KAPIL Asst. Professor (MIT,MIET GROUP)