ECE _ DSST Organizational Behavior

The electronic meeting is the most recent approach to

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The electronic meeting is the most recent approach to group decision making because it blends the nominal group technique with sophisticated computer technology. Up to 50 people sit around large tables that contain computer terminals. Issues are presented to participants and they type their responses onto the computer screen for all to see. Major advantages of this method are anonymity, honesty, and speed. Participants can type anything they want, therefore allowing people to be brutally honest without penalty. Cohesiveness is the degree to which group members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the group. Cohesiveness can be affected by such factors as time spent together, the severity of initiation, group size, the gender makeup of the group, external threats, and previous successes. Generally speaking cohesiveness is a good thing for a group, but the relationship of cohesiveness and productivity depends on the performance-related norms established by the group. If performance-related norms are high, a cohesive group will be more productive than a less cohesive group. Conflict is 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. Whether or not conflict exists is a perception issue. If no one is aware of a conflict, then it is generally agreed that no conflict exists. Conflict describes the point in any ongoing activity when an interaction crosses over to become an interparty conflict. The traditional view of conflict is the belief that all conflict is harmful and must be avoided. The early approach to conflict assumed all conflict was bad. The traditional view was consistent with the attitudes that prevailed 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 of conflict is the belief that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any group. Since conflict seems to be inevitable, the human relations school advocated acceptance of conflict. They rationalized its existence: It cannot be eliminated, and there are even times when conflict may benefit a group’s performance. This view dominated conflict theory from the late 1940s through the mid-1970s. The interactionist view of conflict is 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. This approach 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. The major contribution of this approach is encouraging group leaders to maintain an ongoing minimum level of conflict—enough to keep the group viable, self-critical, and creative.
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The conflict process can be seen as comprising of five stages. The first stage in the conflict process is that of "potential
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