CHAPTER 14: MANAGING CONFLICT, POWER, AND POLITICS
P H A M H O A N G H I E N
CHAPTER 14 MANAGING CONFLICT, POWER, AND POLITICS
1. To explain that conflict is inevitable, because stakeholders compete for resources and their goalsoften conflict. (14.1)2. To examine Pondy’s model of conflict and its five stages: latent, perceived, felt, manifest, andconflict aftermath. (14.2)3. To consider ways to manage conflict by making changes in structure, increasing integration, andclearly defining authority relationships. (14.3)4. To discuss how conflict can be managed by changing attitudes, attitudinal structuring, a proceduralsystem, a third-party negotiator, and employee rotation. (14.3)5. To explain how power enables individuals or subunits to resolve a conflict in their favor. (14.4)
To examine the seven sources of power: authority, control over resources, control over information,nonsubstitutability, centrality, control over uncertainty, and control over decision-making premises.(14.5)
7. To consider how organizational politics can increase power. (14.6)8. To address the costs and benefits of organizational politics. (14.6)
This chapter examines conflict, power, and politics in the organizational setting. Although stakeholderscooperate to contribute resources, they compete for resources. Conflict arises when one group pursues itsgoals at the expense of another. Research shows that some conflict is good to overcome inertia, butbeyond a certain point, conflict hurts organizational effectiveness.Pondy’s model of conflict consists of five sequential stages: latent conflict, perceived conflict, feltconflict, manifest conflict, and conflict aftermath. The potential for conflict exists due tointerdependence, subunit orientations, bureaucratic factors, incompatible performance criteria, andcompetition for scarce resources. Conflict should be managed before it reaches the manifest conflictstage. Conflict is manifest by either open or passive aggressiveness. Manifest conflict reducescommunication and leads to poor conflict aftermath. Conflict can be managed by structural changes,increasing integration, establishing a procedural system for grievances, attitudinal structuring, and usinga third-party negotiator.Power influences how conflicts are resolved. There are seven sources of organizational power: authority,control over resources, control over information, nonsubstitutability, centrality, control over uncertainty,and unobtrusive power.Organizational politics increase power. There are tactics for playing politics: increasing indispensabilityby increasing nonsubstitutability and centrality, associating with powerful managers, building andmanaging coalitions, and influencing decision-making by controlling the agenda and bringing in outsideconsultants. An organization must manage the balance of power to ensure that power and politics arebeneficial, not harmful.