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Unformatted text preview: Week 11 Readings Chapters 14, 15 Chapter 14 A Definition of Conflict Conflict : a process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about to negatively affect, something that the first party cares about. • Examples: incompatibility of goals, differences over interpretations of facts, disagreements based on behavioral expectations, and the like. Transitions in Conflict Thought Traditional View of Conflict : the belief that all conflict is harmful and must be avoided. Human Relations View of Conflict : the belief that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any group. • It has the potential to be positive force in determining group performance. Interactionist View of Conflict : the belief that conflict is not only a positive force in a group but that it is absolutely necessary for a group to perform effectively. The Traditional View • Conflict was viewed negatively, and it was used synonymously with violence, destruction, and irrationality to reinforce its negative connotation. • Consistent with the values in the 1930s and 1940s. • Conflict was seen as a dysfunctional outcome resulting from poor communication, a lack of openness and trust between people, and the failure of managers to be responsive to the needs and aspirations of their employees. The Human Relations View • Conflict cannot be eliminated, and there are even times when conflict may benefit a group’s performance. • Dominated from 1940s through 1970s. The Interactionist View • Encourages conflict on the grounds that a harmonious, peaceful, tranquil, and cooperative group is prone to becoming static, apathetic, and nonresponsive to needs for change and innovation. • Encourages group leaders to maintain an ongoing minimum level of conflict—enough to keep the group viable, self-critical, and creative. • Whether conflict is good or bad depends on the type of conflict. Functional Versus Dysfunctional Conflict Functional Conflict : conflict that supports the goals of the group and improves its performance. Dysfunctional Conflict : conflict that hinders group performance. • To distinguish between the two, you need to define the type of conflict. Task Conflict : conflicts over content and goals of the work. • Low to moderate levels of conflict demonstrate a positive effect on group performance. Relationship Conflict : conflict based on interpersonal relationships. • Almost always dysfunctional. • The friction and interpersonal hostilities inherent in relationship conflicts increase personality clashes and decrease mutual understanding, which hinders the completion of organizational tasks. Process Conflict : Conflict over how work gets done....
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This note was uploaded on 10/28/2007 for the course BUAD 304 taught by Professor Cummings during the Spring '07 term at USC.
- Spring '07