Ch. 13-Managing Conflict and Negotiation
Conflict: a modern persp.
Trends that conspire to make org. conflict inevitable: 1. constant change. 2. greater
3. more teams (virtual & self managed) 4. Less face to face
comm. 5. global econ. w/ increased cross cultural dealings
Review of conflict literature yielded def: a process in which one party perceives that
its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party.” Perceives:
sources of conflict/issues can be real or imagined.
Language of conflict: Fear of losing/change raises emotional stakes in conflict.
Conflicts have both partic. And observers. Observers may be interested and
active, others disinterested and passive.
*When dealing w/ org. conflicts we need to rely less on metaphor and lang. of war
and more on metaphors and lang. of opportunity and journey.
Keneth Cole and Goldsmith made instructive observations: win win beats win lose in
both conflict mgmt and negotiation.
Conflict continuum: originally, scientific mgmt experts like Frederick taylor
believed all conflict threatened mgmt’s authority and had to be avoided/resolved.
Later HR’s recognized inevitability of conflict and advised managers to learn to
live w/ it. OB specialists realized conflict has both pos. and neg. outcomes.
*work groups experiencing too little conflict tend to be plagued by apathy, lack of
creativity, indecision, and missed deadlines. Excessive conflict erodes org.
performance b/c of political infighting dissatisfaction, lack of teamwork, and
turnover. Approp. Levels and types of conflict energize ppl in constructive directions.
Functional vs. Dysfunctional Conflict: *Functional: serves org’s interests.
win win attitude and find common ground. *Dysfunctional: threatens org’s
People avoid conflict for: harm, rejection, loss of relationship, anger, being selfish,
saying wrong thing, failing, hurting someone else, getting what you want, and
intimacy.-Tim Ursiny Coward’s Guide to Conflict.
Antecedents of Conflict: By knowing situations of conflict, managers are better
able to anticipate it and take steps to resolve it if it becomes dysfunctional.
Ex: incompatible personalities/value systems, overlapping
or unclear job boundaries,
competition for limited resources, interdepartment/intergroup competition, inadequate
.interdep. tasks, org. complexity, unreasonable/unclear policies/rules,
unreasonable deadlines/time pressure, collective dec. making, dec. making by
consensus, unmet expectations, unresolved/suppressed conflicts.