Ch13 - Chapter 13: Conflict, Power, and Politics Intergroup...

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Chapter 13: Conflict, Power, and Politics Intergroup Conflict in Organizations Behaviour that occurs between organizational groups when participants identify with one group and perceive that other groups may block their group’s goal achievements or expectations 3 ingredients to intergroup conflict: o Group identification: employees have to perceive themselves as part of an identifiable group or department o Observable group differences: groups may be on different floors, members may have different social or educational backgrounds, or they may work in different departments o Frustration: if one group achieves its goal, the other will not Competition is rivalry among groups in pursuit of a common prize, whereas conflict presumes direct interference with goal achievement Intergroup conflict can occur horizontally across departments or vertically between different levels Conflict can also occur between different divisions or business units within an organization, such as between the auditing and consulting units of big firms like Deloitte Too much conflict can be harmful, but conflict can actually be positive when: o It challenges the status quo o Encourages new ideas and approaches o Leads to change Sources of Conflict Factors that generate conflict that are determined by contextual factors of environment, size, technology, strategy, and goals, and organizational structure 4 sources are: o Goal incompatibility The greatest cause of conflict, because the goals of each department reflect the specific objectives members are trying to achieve, and the achievement in one department often interferes with another department’s goals For example, University police have a goal of providing a safe campus by ensuring locked doors, etc. but without easy access to buildings, science department’s research may be going much slower o Differentiation The differences in cognitive and emotional orientations among managers in different functional departments Departments or divisions within an organization often differ in values, attitudes, and standards of behaviour, and these subcultural differences lead to conflict o Task interdependence Refers to the dependence of one unit on another for materials, resources, or info As interdependence increases, potential for conflict increases For example, in sequential and reciprocal interdependence, employees must spend time on coordinating and sharing info, so conflict can occur when agreements aren’t reached about coordination of services o Limited resources Organizations have limited money, physical facilities, staff resources, and human resources to share between departments, but to achieve goals, groups want to increase their resources, which thrives them into conflict Resources also symbolize power and influence within an organization, so in almost every organization, conflict occurs during the annual budget exercise Rational versus Political Model
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This note was uploaded on 10/15/2011 for the course BUSINESS Bu398 taught by Professor - during the Spring '11 term at Wilfred Laurier University .

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Ch13 - Chapter 13: Conflict, Power, and Politics Intergroup...

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