Many corporations that use collaboration to resolve conflict urge conflicting

Many corporations that use collaboration to resolve

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Many corporations that use collaboration to resolve conflict urge conflicting sides to establish a common goal and get away from the focus on one's own interest. Some organizations' definition of collaboration is very individualist: One continues to keep one's own goals firmly in view while accommodating others' goals. This is not the approach used in collectivist organizations; they encourage commitment by teams and groups to common goals. Individual goals are not worthy of the effort that common goals merit. If individual goals conflict with the group's goals, the individual goals fade or are postponed. Compromising involves giving up something voluntarily. Both or all parties are expected to do so until finally a resolution is reached. The implication is that when goals, roles, or processes conflict, different sides give up some things while managing to retain other aspects of their goals. So although the conflicting parties all yield something, they also all gain something. Cultural attitudes toward compromise vary, and this will be discussed more fully in Chapter 9. Bargaining and negotiating may be necessary to reach this partial-loss/partial-gain position. When the parties themselves cannot reach agreement, a third party may be asked to intervene. When the third party is a go-between, an information conduit, mediation takes place. When the third party is asked to make a judgment and impose a solution to the conflict, the process is called arbitration. These third-party roles can exist in a culture that places a high priority on the explicit encoding of messages and the achievement of goals as markers of success. In cultures accustomed to authoritarian behavior and hierarchical power structures, the use of a third party may move quickly to an arbitrator. This is the case, for example, in India, where conflicting brothers will appeal to the president of a family-owned company for a ruling rather than sit and discuss their conflict on their own or with a go-between. The resolution of the conflict, rather than conflict management, is the goal. Avoiding conflict is another way of resolving it. In results cultures, it is rarely a satisfactory, long-term solution. The parties simply agree to stop disagreeing openly. Perhaps they get tired of conflict. Perhaps the parties feel no meaningful goal can be achieved if they have to give up anything. In collectivist organizations, avoidance is the most common method of handling conflict. When disagreements arise, parties hold back from openly pursuing their goals in the face of opposition. They may continue to work toward goals, but they will do nothing openly that might disrupt the harmony of the larger group. Accommodating the other party's goals and abandoning one's own is not a common process for the resolution of conflict in individualist cultures. In collectivist cultures, however, such a move may be taken more often because it results in an indebtedness. At a
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later date, the party that gave up its goals can remind the party that was assisted in reaching its goals of the favor. Such a move
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