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A Report

On
Conflict and Negotiation
MGMT 20129: People and Organizations
Assessment 2
Term 3, 2015

Submitted By:-

Submitted To:-

Suman Balla

Dr. Mo Kader

S0276219

(Adjunct Lecturer)
Central Queensland University
Sydney Campus

Word Count: From Introduction to conclusion (2686)

Contents
1.

Introduction:.................................................................................................... 1
2. Conflict and Negotiation:................................................................................ 1
2.1 Conflict:........................................................................................................ 1
2.2 Sources of Conflict:....................................................................................... 1
2.3 Evolution of Conflict Perspective over time:.................................................2
2.4 Types of conflict:........................................................................................... 2
2.4.1 Functional Conflict:.................................................................................... 2
2.4.2 Dysfunctional conflict:............................................................................... 3
2.5 Negotiation:.................................................................................................. 3

3. Management of Conflict and Negotiation and Diagnostics tools.......................3


4. Development Plan and Recommendation:.........................................................6
5. Conclusion:........................................................................................................ 7
References:............................................................................................................ 8
Appendix
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1. Introduction:
This report encompasses key theories, ideas, principles and application that are
associated with the managing Conflict and Negotiation. It then delves into two of
diagnostic tools namely Thomas Khilman Conflict Instrument Mode and Belbin Team
Inventory to provide a closer look at understanding the positive and negative
characteristics relating to managing conflict and negotiations. Finally, it provides certain
recommendations and plan of action based on the findings to enhance abilities over
certain period of time.

2. Conflict and Negotiation:


2.1 Conflict:
Much research has been conducted in conflict over the last few decades. One such
research conducted by (Muscalu 2015) describes conflict as a collision of interest among
people in corporate environment triggered by inconsistency when achieving a goal. In my
opinion, inconsistency coupled with frivolous attitude towards ones duties and mission
creates a situation of conflict. Conflict is a phenomenon that sparks when one group
thinks that another group has negatively hampered something that first group values
(Kotter and Cohen 2012). Conflict may be between nations like India and Pakistan
regarding the state of Kashmir where both of the nation claim that Kashmir belongs to
them or it may be between companies like Apple and IBM where each tries to take over
others market and clients. Whether the conflict is between nations, organizations or
individuals, it is not innately good or bad but the manner in which it is handled brings forth
the question of constructive or destructive outcomes (Deutsch and Coleman 2000).
Moreover, effective comprehension and management of conflict can boost gratification
and output (Fisher 2000). With this regard, it can be argued that when energy is diverted
from conflict and channeled to other scenario, there is initiation of productive
environment.

2.2 Sources of Conflict:


There has been consensus on the fact that there are many sources of conflict. Firstly, role
conflict occurs due to scarcity of clarity and mixing in roles of individuals. Disagreement in
managers view regarding necessity for change brings forth role conflict (Floyd and Lane
2000). So, a manager with adaptability to cope with change in workplace can contribute to
minimizing role conflict. Similarly, information conflict occurs due to misinformation which
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consequences to assumption. Also, peoples value, background, education and other
personality shape their decisions with proclivity to their character which brings differences
in personality and hence personality conflict (Carlopio and Andrewartha 2012). For
instance, in a work environment where there is cocktail of people with different
personalities related to DISC model, if a driver is under another driver, a small
disagreement can dramatically turn into a heated argument claiming who is right in short
time. Also, nowadays, doing things differently implies doing things collaboratively which is
associated with work environment policy (Daniels and Walker 2001). So, stressful
environment, unfavorable work environment or job insecurity should be addressed for
collaborative environment which reduce environmental conflict.

2.3 Evolution of Conflict Perspective over time:


In traditional view of conflict, conflict was seen as a detrimental process to any
organization, internally as well as externally. So previously, the pundits believed that
conflict had to be avoided. This led to formation of cagey environment where sharing and
communication was limited or avoided if possible. Nevertheless, considering the
argument put forth by Forsyth (2012), it can be concluded that those times were hit by
more conflicts due to limited communication and less openness.
Another perspective of Human relation depicts that conflict is inevitable and is a natural
phenomenon that needs to be tamed to get desirable outcomes. But, corporations have
to undergo conflict as a result of human relations which may not favor an organization
(Ernst Kossek and Ozeki 1998). Moreover, the output of a group in an organization is
jeopardized due to human relation view (Hughes 2012) and this natural belief can mar the
organizational progress.
Finally, (Abu-Nimber 2012) argues that conflict is the main components for organizations
when operating any business. This is in alignment with the interaction view where conflict
is regarded not only good but also rudimentary for effectual teamwork .

2.4 Types of conflict:


Usually people have predisposition in thinking that conflict innately is bad but it can be
good in an institution which can ignite positive changes in an organization. In this regard,
there are two conflicts namely: Functional conflict and Dysfunctional conflict.

2.4.1 Functional Conflict:

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Functional conflict is positive conflict where two parties may agree to disagree in a very
healthy and constructive demeanor. Task-oriented conflict where main focus is given to
improving relationship among people is functional conflict which may also be termed as
productive conflict (Carlopio and Andrewartha 2012). This is result of spending huge
amount of time and energy in building relationship with clients and listing to other parties
in constructive way. This brings good working conditions because of working together,
chances of innovation and upgrades in existing workflow and good win-win situation to all
the parties involved. For instance, air bags in vehicle have been a win-win situation to
both the manufacturer and the clients who buy them.

2.4.2 Dysfunctional conflict:


It is a conflict where disagreement occurs in a very bitter and unhealthy demeanor. This
type of conflict is long-term conflict and may be associated with people-focused conflict.
Sanderson and Stirk (2012) reinforce this statement arguing that clinging in the same
problem for extensive period can turn a functional conflict into dysfunctional. Ultimately, in
an organization this may result in escalation of tension, employee turnover and
dissatisfaction among people involved which may be very costly to parties involved. To
address these issues Taylor and Woodhams (2012) emphasize that focusing on group
cohesion may prevent dysfunctional conflict among the parties involved. Moreover,
faithfulness in a team environment in regard to the norms and protocol can contribute to
conflict management. In addition, although it may not be the most entertained leadership
style in the current global market, Slaikeu and Hasson (2012) stress that autocratic
leadership style may have some positive impact in managing internal as well as external
conflicts.

2.5 Negotiation:
Conflict is inevitable when there is interaction and most constructive approach to manage
or resolve such phenomenon is by means of negotiation (Kleef, Dreu and Manstead
2006). Negotiation occurs when there is discussion among multiple parties targeted to
agree on differences of interests. For instance, it occurs when a person buys car, when
organizations merge with other organization and distribute their pieces of pie and even
children may negotiate with their teachers in matter of recess time. Commonly, there are
two types of Negotiation Strategies namely Integrative and distributive negotiation
(Carlopio and Andrewartha 2012). Integrative negotiation is more of finding a way to grow
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the pie size whereas distributive negotiation focuses on dividing already existing fixed
pie more effectively.

3. Management of Conflict and Negotiation and Diagnostics tools


Thomas Kilmann Conflict Instrument Mode (TKI) has been around for more than 30 years
and more than 7 Million copies of TKI have been published (Thomas and Kilmann 2015).
It is a self-scoring evaluation conflict-resolution assessment. This model has potential to
help subsidize conflict related to many aspects of finance and power among others
(Alvesson & Willmott 2012) and is widely popular in Human Resource, Organizational
Development service providers which evaluates an individuals conflict-managing and
facing abilities. It describes individuals characteristic along two areas: i) assertiveness, a
measure of an individual where one tries to please ones concerns and ii)
cooperativeness, a measure of an individual to try and please other parties concerns.
These two areas are categorized into five modes when conflict scenario occurs and they
are:
i)
ii)
iii)
iv)
v)

Competing
Accommodating
Avoiding
Collaborating
Compromising

From the TKI assessment that I undertook that has been attached to this review, it is clear
that I have more of Cooperating and Accommodating characteristics but less of
Competing and Avoiding Scores. The Compromising score is in the middle of the scale.
Accommodating is a form of cooperative behavior. It is a vital component or attribute that
an individual should have to manage conflict and understand the roots of the conflict. If
between two parties, one side is already accommodating and listens to another party and
agrees on the ideas of other party i.e. if one party has accommodating character, there is
less chances of conflict in the first place. So, in this regard, I have characteristic that TKI
suggests which helps in conflict minimization. The other characteristic that I am strong at
is Collaborating which is again about cooperation and is in complete contrast to Avoiding.
As my results of TKI assessments show I have high score in this character, it suggests
that I can dig deeper for pinning exactly what the problem of conflict is and work out the
inner desire of the parties involved in a conflict situation. Besides, it means I possess
ability to explore on a matter of disagreement to find an innovative solution to a conflict
situation. Another characteristic of TKI assessment is Compromising which falls in
between Competing and Accommodating. It gives more than Competing but is lesser of
giving than Accommodating. I have moderate score in this character and need to work on
it to improve in Compromising behavior. The other individual assets of TKI assessment
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are Avoiding and Competing. Competing implies being uncooperative and being focused
on own matters and concerns. A person with this characteristic is indeed not good at
managing conflict and carrying out negotiation. Similarly, Avoiding is more of introvert
person who neither is interested in owns concern nor is focused on others concern. These
people by their nature do not want to deal with any conflict situation and should not be
idealized when there is conflict. They tend to diplomatically find an escape route from
conflict by postponing an impending issue of conflict. As I have low score in both
Competing and Avoiding, from the scores of TKI test, I only need to work out on the
Compromising and Competing aspect of TKI assessment.
Another Diagnostic tool that helps in evaluation of characteristics required for managing
conflict and negotiation is Belbin Team Inventory (BTI) which focuses on managing teams
that are related to conflict and negotiation in effective ways (Fisher 2012). Humans cannot
be perfect but teams can (Obagun 2010) and when organizations have flat or horizontal
structure the importance of team becomes more vivid. Consequently focus is directed to
work on effective and efficient team members whose result is directly visible on the
outcomes (Craver 2012). The abridged version of Belbin Inventory was used to assesse
my characteristics for this course which focuses on 8 different roles:i)
Shaper
ii)
Team Worker
iii)
Innovator
iv)
Resource Investigator
v)
Coordinator
vi)
Implementer
vii)
Monitor Evaluator
viii)
Completer-Finisher
Shaper is one who can work under pressure and yet is productive and well composed but
at the same time pushes other people. It can be compared to Competing in TKI
assessment. I have low score in Shaper which is in alignment with TKI assessment. I
need to improve on my ability to work under pressure. Likewise, Team worker is
collaborative, supports communication among team members and raises team spirit. It is
comparable with Collaborating role. As I have high score in both, I can use this ability in
conflict management. Similarly, Innovator has high imagination, IQ and is inspirational but
occasionally may be for from pragmatic approach. Resource Investigator has proclivity to
team, group objective and binds the team together. My high score in this aspect has
potential to help organize and manage team in working out solutions and negotiation in
conflict situation. Coordinator is aware of the capabilities of team but sometimes comes
across situation of risky and hasty decision making. My high score in this attribute helps in
organizing and preparing the team to deal with conflict situation. Implementer sticks to
routine, is systematic and lays out realistic plan of action. It can be comparable to
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competing attribute of TKI assessment as both of them lack flexibility to innovative ideas. I
have low score in this attribute which is in alignment with Competing. Monitor Evaluator is
known for good judgment and researching every possible option before taking actions but
runs into risk of forgetting details. I need to improve on this aspect and finally Completer
or Finisher enforces in deep understanding of task, helps to prevent mistakes in team and
abides by plans, policies and schedules of task. A high score in this aspect helps to tackle
the complexities of conflict, analyze the sources of conflict and provide mitigation
approach with effective negotiation strategy. Thus, BTI model has possibility to improve
the functional capacity of workforce (Condliffe 2012). To add to this, Bendersky and Hays
(2012) argue that inclusion of Belbin team inventory provides guidance to team regarding
specific duties of team members and this dynamics in group is essential for conflict
management.

4. Development Plan and Recommendation:


For effective management of conflict and negotiation, the attributes and roles described in
both Thomas Kilmann Conflict Instrument Mode and Belbin team inventory should be
taken into consideration. Some attributes may be important as compared to others but
when having holistic view, it is desirable that for proper conflict management all aspects
should be focused and addressed. So, even if competing is generally associated with
uncooperative behavior, it is also important as it teaches to stand for something that is
right thing to do and defend ones ground. I need to improve in this aspect for which I
intend to carry out a long term and short term goals. For long term goal, I intend to take
industry standard courses relating to competing, get involved in discussion forums. As
short term goal, whenever I get an opportunity for constructive arguments, may be with
friends, family or work colleges, I need to approach it as an opportunity. I need to be
steady with my goals, work for my position, emphasize on my points until others
understand them. When I get my goal, I need to look back for a while to appreciate the
distance I have come across. Ultimately, these improvements will add to my conflict
management skills.
Likewise the results of Belbin team inventory reveal that I should muse on some of my
key weaknesses regarding the roles of Implementer. I need to be open minded to new
ideas and innovation. When people present me with ideas, I tend to be conservative
which should be worked upon. I need to work on my ability to execute ideas and plans. At
times when I am inflexible, I need to work with people around me and develop a method
where they can remind me that I am being inflexible and difficult to work with. Likewise, I
intend to be more involved in detailed online surveys that are tailored for developing my
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Implementer skills and muse on the results to better myself. I may need to hire therapist
to assist me with my skill development. Besides simulation of problems faced by
Implementer in a workplace environment that is associated with conflict mitigation seems
to be a viable plan of action. As a long term goal the subject Initiating and Planning
Projects offered as elective subject at CQ University in my Graduate Coursework seems
to hone my planning skills and innovate aspect. As this course is basically about taking
initiation, being innovative and planning different aspects and stages of real life projects
where study of involvement in conflict situation is probable, it should be a very reasonable
decision.

5. Conclusion:
Thus, it can be concluded that conflict is inevitable and should be taken in constructive
way which is necessary for growth. Sources of conflict should be well understood to
prevent the occurrence of conflict and in case of failure to prevent them, necessary
negotiation strategies should be exercised ensuring win-win situation which is a result of
functional conflict. Thomas Kilmann Conflict Instrument Mode and Belbin team inventory
are some of the assessment methods which provide a benchmark for understanding the
attributes associated with individuals and the results obtained afterwards should be
leveraged to understand key strength and weakness in personality so that this information
can be used for individual and organizational improvement ensuring proper conflict
management and negotiation.

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References:
Abu-Nimer, M. 2012, Dialogue, conflict resolution, and change: Arab-Jewish encounters in
Israel, SUNY Press.
Alvesson, M. and Willmott, H. 2012, Making sense of management: A critical introduction,
Sage.
Bendersky, C. and Hays N.A. 2012, Status conflict in groups, Organization Science, vol. 23
no. 2, pp.323-340.
Carlopio, J. and Andrewartha, G. 2012, Developing management skills, Pearson Australia.
Condliffe, P. 2012, Conflict Management: a practical guide, LexisNexis Butterworths.
Craver, C.B. 2012, Effective legal negotiation and settlement, LexisNexis.
Daniels, S.E. and Walker, G.B., 2001, Working through environmental conflict: The
collaborative learning approach.
Deutsch, M., Coleman, P.T. and Marcus, E.C. 2011, The handbook of conflict resolution:
Theory and practice, John Wiley & Sons.
Ernst Kossek, E. and Ozeki, C. 1998, Workfamily conflict, policies, and the joblife
satisfaction relationship: A review and directions for organizational behaviorhuman
resources research, Journal of applied psychology, vol. 83 no. 2, p.139.
Fisher, R. 2000, Sources of conflict and methods of conflict resolution, International Peace
and Conflict Resolution, School of International Service, The American University.
Floyd, S.W. and Lane, P.J. 2000, Strategizing throughout the organization: Managing role
conflict in strategic renewal, Academy of management review, vol. 25 no. 1, pp.154-177.
Forsyth, P. 2012, Managing change, London: Kogan Page.
Hughes, O.E., 2012, Public management and administration, Palgrave Macmillan.
Kotter, J.P. and Cohen, D.S. 2012, The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people
change their organizations, Harvard Business Press.
MUSCALU, E 2015, 'CONSIDERATIONS ON THE CAUSES OF CONFLICTS IN THE
ORGANIZATION', Revista Academiei Fortelor Terestre, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 472-476.
Obagun, O 2010, AN EVALUATION OF BELBINS TEAM ROLE SELF PERCEPTION
INVENTORY: TO HELP THE PROJECT OFFICE CONSTRUCT AN OPTIMAL TEAM

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Sanderson, H. and Stirk, S. 2012, Creating Person-Centred Organisations, London: Jessica
Kingsley Publishers.
Slaikeu, K.A. and Hasson, R.H. 2012, Controlling the costs of conflict: How to design a
system for your organization, John Wiley & Sons.
Taylor, S. and Woodhams, C. 2012, Managing people and organizations, London:
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Thomas, KW and Kilmann, RH 2015, An Overview of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode
Instrument (TKI), viewed 2 February 2016, http://www.kilmanndiagnostics.com/overviewthomas-kilmann-conflict-mode-instrument-tki
Van Kleef, G.A., De Dreu, C.K. and Manstead, A.S. 2006, Supplication and appeasement in
conflict and negotiation: The interpersonal effects of disappointment, worry, guilt, and
regret, Journal of personality and social psychology, vol. 91 no. 1, p.124.

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Appendix

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