Lecture Notes By : M. K.

RavI

Conflict Management
Trimester – IV

I-Business Institute Greater Noida

CONFLICT AND NEGOTIATION After studying this chapter, students should be able to understand the following: A. Conflict B. Negotiation CHAPTER OVERVIEW This lecture takes an in-depth look at conflict management and negotiation, key aspects of contemporary organizational behavior. After examining the two views of conflict, the consequences of conflict, and the types and levels of conflict, the chapter discusses culture and conflict, conflict management styles, organizational sources of conflict, and conflict management strategies. The chapter goes on to explore negotiation.

Conflict
Conflict is the process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party. Conflict is a process in which people disagree over significant issues, thereby creating friction between parties. Conflict can exist when people have opposing interests, perceptions, and feelings; when those involved recognize the existence of differing points of view; when the disagreement is ongoing; and when opponents try to prevent each other from accomplishing their goals. Although conflict can be destructive, it can also be beneficial when used as a source of renewal and creativity. Competition, rivalry between individuals or groups over an outcome that both seek, is not the same as conflict. In competition, there must be a winner and a loser; with conflict, people can cooperate so that no one wins or loses. Organizational conflict occurs when a stakeholder group pursues its interests at the expense of other stakeholders. Given the different goals of stakeholders, organizational conflict is inevitable. Conflict is associated with negative images, such as unions getting angry and violent, but some conflict can improve effectiveness. When conflict passes a certain point, it hurts an organization. I. Transitions in Conflict Thought Under traditional view conflict is a process in which people disagree over significant issues, creating friction between parties. One view of conflict is that it is dysfunctional and harmful to organizations, because the struggle over incompatible goals is a waste of time that prevents people and organizations from being productive and reaching their potential. On the other hand, interactionist view states that when conflict is based on issues rather than personalities, it can enhance problem solving and creativity. Open discussions of differing viewpoints allows for a thorough consideration of alternatives and their consequences in the course of decision making. Conflict can also increase motivation and energize people to focus on a task. Human relation view states that Conflict is a natural occurrence and we should accept conflict
Lecture Notes/MKRAVI/HR/Conflict Management Page 1

when commitment is needed. knowledge is limited. conflict can cause participants to lose sight of common goals and focus on winning at all costs. vertical conflict occurs between groups at different levels of the organization. the losers in a conflict feel demoralized and lose motivation. it can lead to distorted judgments and a lack of cooperation. It can also increase group cohesion and stimulate open discussion of issues. and styles between two or more people who are required to interact. and when long term solutions are required. Inter group conflict can occur at two levels which are horizontal and vertical. when dealing with strategic issues. Horizontal conflict takes place between departments or groups at the same level of the organization. Intra group conflict occurs within a work group over goals and work procedures. Types of Conflict Task conflict Relationship conflict Process conflict : Conflicts over content and goals of the work : Conflict based on interpersonal relationships : Conflict over how work get done V. In addition. IV. and the quality of decision-making is improved. Inter-group conflict occurs when groups within and outside the organization disagree on various issues. On the positive side. The integrative style shows high concern for self and for others and focuses on collaboration. because conflict requires an organization to reassess its views. Lecture Notes/MKRAVI/HR/Conflict Management Page 2 . and focusing on the needs of others while satisfying or ignoring personal needs. Intrapersonal conflict is a person's internal conflict over divergent goals. RavI Conflict Management Trimester – IV I-Business Institute Greater Noida II. and exchange of information. The avoiding style is based on low concern for self and others and a focus on suppressing. This works best when issues are unimportant. Conflict Good or Bad Conflict can have both positive and negative consequences. This is appropriate when the conflict is too strong and parties need to cool off. and ignoring the issues. there is long-term give and take. this loser effect harms long-term relationships and overall organizational performance. This is used when issues are complex. setting aside. On the negative side. Interpersonal conflict is due to differences in goals. high concern for others. openness. In contrast. K. and the managing the conflict has no power. III. c. conflict can bring energy to a competition and focus participants on the task at hand. The obliging style of conflict management is based on low concern for self. or roles. b. How can conflict improve effectiveness? Conflict can overcome inertia and introduce change. values. Different views are considered. Individual Conflict Management Styles a. Types and levels of Conflict There are four types of conflict. Finally. values.Lecture Notes By : M.

Negotiators from masculine cultures emphasize assertiveness and independence. and an issue is important to the party resolving the conflict. and increasing resources and rewarding cooperation. while the attitudinal approach targets the roots of the conflict. The behavioral approach targets the behavior causing the conflict. problem-solving approach. increase task ambiguity. which can cause them to see negotiation as a competition and spur them to win at all costs. Negotiation Stakeholders compete for the resources that an organization produces. including people's emotions. Managers can manage conflict by either preventing or reducing high levels of conflict or stimulating low levels of conflict. conflict hurts the organization and causes decline. An organization must manage both cooperation and competition among stakeholders to grow and survive. Attitudinal methods include having a common enemy.Lecture Notes By : M. K. rotating members. Beyond a certain point. team oriented business environment. or create interdependency. separating the parties. Power-distance. VI. Group’s battle for their interests. and a quick solution is needed. Shareholders want dividends. high or low context. To stimulate conflict. Negotiators from cultures comfortable with uncertainty will take a creative. having a common enemy or outside competition. clarifying tasks. but not all goals are identical. This is used when time is short. employees want raises. low concern for others. e. Behavioral methods include enforcing rules. parties have equal power. Negotiation Process It is the process used by two or more parties to reach a mutually agreeable arrangement to exchange goods and services. beliefs. Manager’s ways to manage conflict. All stakeholders have a common goal of organizational survival. emotion. rather than making decisions. Culture significantly affects the negotiation process. This is used when goals are clearly incompatible. and team-building and organizational development (OD). and the Lecture Notes/MKRAVI/HR/Conflict Management Page 3 . and focuses on advancing own goals at any cost. all solutions are unpopular. diverse. An organization in decline cannot afford to spend time on decision-making. dynamic. issues are trivial. RavI Conflict Management Trimester – IV I-Business Institute Greater Noida d. and behaviors. no agreement is reached. while those from high uncertainty-avoidance cultures will emphasize bureaucratic rules and procedures. increasing resources. Managers spend time bargaining. B. Managers need negotiating skills to be effective in today's global. The compromising style shows moderate concern for self and others and focuses on achieving a reasonable middle ground where all parties win. because it needs a quick response to recover its position. and time-orientation dimensions also affect negotiation. managers can introduce change. individuality-collectivism. To do this. managers can apply a behavioral approach or an attitudinal approach. The dominating style shows high concern for self.

These four strategies are trusting collaboration. and active avoidance. Avoiding these common mistakes requires managers to be aware of the issues. K. winner's curse. and be willing to rely on expert opinion to reduce the possibility of making mistakes. firm competition. they may bring in a third party to help resolve the differences. but neither side may insist that they be bargained over.Lecture Notes By : M. o Mandatory Bargaining Issues Fall within the definition of wages. o Permissive Bargaining Issues May be raised. o Negotiation Strategies There are four negotiating strategies based on the importance of the substantive outcome and the importance of the relationship outcome. open subordination. Conciliation and consultation focus on improving interpersonal relations to foster constructive discussion of issues. Common mistakes made when negotiating include: Irrational escalation of commitment. Trusting collaboration is a win-win strategy most appropriate when both the substantive task outcome and the relationship outcome are important. o Prohibited Bargaining Issues Are statutorily outlawed. Bargaining issues in negotiation process can be divided into three categories: mandatory. and prohibited. Lecture Notes/MKRAVI/HR/Conflict Management Page 4 . Firm competition is used when the substantive task outcome is important but the relationship outcome is not. Open subordination is applied when the task outcome is not important but the relationship outcome is. permissive. falling prey to inertia. Active avoidance is useful when neither the task outcome nor the relationship outcome is important. RavI Conflict Management Trimester – IV I-Business Institute Greater Noida organization floats along. Mediation considers both interpersonal and substantive issues and relies on formal evaluation of positions plus persuasion to bring about a non-binding solution. be thoroughly prepared. Task conflict Conflicts over content and goals of the work Relationship conflict Conflict based on interpersonal relationships Process conflict Conflict over how work get done Vertical conflict It occurs between groups at different levels of the organization. and overconfidence. and other terms and conditions of employment. When two parties are unable to come to agreement during negotiations. Arbitration. a legally binding process in which the arbitrator imposes a solution. KEY TERMS Conflict Conflict is the process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party. can be used when all other methods have failed and the conflict must be urgently resolved. thinking the pie is fixed. hours.

team structures. the ability of one person to influence another. I. Power. the chapter examines politics. Someone need not have power to influence another person—and those with influence may not have power. K. Sources of Power Three types of power derive from the person's formal position in the organization: Legitimate power: It is based on a person holding a formal position. Negotiation It is the process used by two or more parties to reach a mutually agreeable arrangement to exchange goods and services. Organizations today use power and politics differently than in the past. Employees at all levels and outsiders such as customers have the ability to influence the actions and attitudes of other people. including the individual and organizational sources. Power. Politics In Organizations C. and influence are all integral parts of any organization. Next. either. although the way II. which refers to the power vested in a particular position. influence. Power and Politics in Context CHAPTER OVERVIEW This chapter explores how managers use power and organizational politics. such as the power of the security director. and authority Power is the ability of one person to influence another. Authority is the power vested in a particular position. Power B. the effect of culture and gender.Lecture Notes By : M. Power Power. corruption of power. and employee empowerment. power is not the same as authority. It is not the same as authority. This chapter opens with a look at power. POWER AND POLITICS After studying this chapter. based on a person's access to rewards. since someone who has power may not be able to influence others while someone without power may have the ability to influence others. given the uncertain environment and the shift to flatter hierarchies. and potential benefits of empowerment. Also. It is not synonymous with influence. authority. A. students should be able to understand the following: A. is not limited to managers. Reward Power: reward power. Lecture Notes/MKRAVI/HR/Conflict Management Page 5 . RavI Conflict Management Trimester – IV I-Business Institute Greater Noida Horizontal conflict It takes place between departments or groups at the same level of the organization.

department. they can establish appropriate policies and procedures to identify and stop unethical use of power and create an organizational culture that values high ethical standards for the use of power. III. based on a person's attractiveness to others. The result is abuse of power for personal gain. The main disadvantage is the potential for misuse and abuse. Empowerment leads to other benefits. One of the most visible ways managers and organizations can encourage the ethical use of power is by modeling and rewarding ethical behavior. The three strategic contingencies that are sources of organizational power are: coping with uncertainty. IV. Whether political activities help or hurt the organization depends on whether the person's goals are consistent with the Lecture Notes/MKRAVI/HR/Conflict Management Page 6 . depend on strategic contingencies— elements that are essential to the performance and effectiveness of the organization. and dependency and substitutability. based on a person's ability to punish. Advantages and Disadvantages of Power Power is necessary in an organization because it helps managers fulfill their leadership responsibilities. use of coercion. such as support for creativity and reduction of bureaucratic obstacles. K. In addition. Politics In Organizations Organizational politics are activities that allow people in organizations to achieve goals without going through formal channels. and possibly ethical or illegal actions taken by the manager. which derive from the structure. The disparity in power can cause employees to feel helpless. The consequences of the power corruption cycle are poor decision making. Organizations can prevent corruption of power by pushing for more contact between managers and employees. low opinion of employees. B. or team. Power Corruption Power corruption occurs when someone has a great deal of power but is not held accountable for its use. RavI Conflict Management Trimester – IV I-Business Institute Greater Noida Coercive Power: coercive power. The power corruption cycle starts when managers are physically removed from their employees. centrality in the resource network.: Expert power is based on personal expertise and knowledge Referent Power: referent power. more distance from employees. Two key benefits are the ability to inspire commitment (as a reaction to expert or referent power) and the ability to reduce uncertainty for others in the organization. it also helps all employees influence others in pursuit of organizational and personal goals.Lecture Notes By : M. they may develop an inflated view of themselves. so they respond by becoming more submissive and dependent and by flattering the manager. which can harm individuals and the organization. reducing employees' dependence on managers. and creating an open. performance-centered organizational culture and structure. Two types of power derive from the individual: Expert power. Organizational sources of power.

RavI Conflict Management Trimester – IV I-Business Institute Greater Noida organization's goals.Lecture Notes By : M. and structure) can generate uncertainty over resource allocation. and blame and ingratiation. leading to an increase in political behavior. Rational and political models of organizations Organizational politics are activities that allow people in organizations to achieve goals without going through formal channels. c. Changes in any of the five strategic contextual forces (environment. b. Relationship building can either help or harm the organization. systematic processes for problem solving and decision making. II. In contrast. Image Management Image management means remaining visible and presenting oneself in the best light within the organization. controlling resources and decisions can either help or harm the organization. b. Coalitions are relationships formed over specific issues. It also means knowing when to avoid association with people who are considered deviants. people are assumed to manage logically. individuals and groups have diverse goals. alliances. based on clear information and well-defined goals. and networks are broad. culture. K. based on clear information and well-defined goals. and supportive managerial linkages. Four types of political tactics are building relationships. Elements initiating Political activities Three elements create the conditions under which political activities thrive. In the rational model of organizations. involves developing expertise. and individual goals take the place of rational. Changes in the coordination and integration of organizational activities used to achieve common goals can also lead to an increase in political behavior. a. another type of political tactic. networks. a. Building Relationship People develop relationships through coalitions. and influencing decision criteria. technology. alliances are general agreements of support among different individuals and groups. Controlling Resources Controlling resources and decisions. controlling resources. image management. people are assumed to manage logically. changes in leadership. can create an opportunity for increased political behavior. Political Tactics Political tactics are activities that fall outside the standardized. In the rational model of organizations. formal processes of the organization. negotiation and alliances drive decision making. Lecture Notes/MKRAVI/HR/Conflict Management Page 7 . Like relationship building. the political model assumes that information is scarce. strategy. Finally. which change traditional relationships and processes. loose support systems. becoming indispensable. I.

The development and implementation of the organization's mission. and rewarding and modeling constructive behaviors. To be effective. The structure determines how power will be distributed in the organization. they should seek to maintain and encourage constructive relationships. Reward Power Based on a person's access to rewards. and culture. strategy. structure. which makes the strategic planning process ripe for political activity. RavI Conflict Management Trimester – IV I-Business Institute Greater Noida c. and managers need power to make structural changes in response to the environment. But power and politics also affect the organization's culture. increased cooperation with decreased internal competition. which are essential for coordination and effectiveness within the organization. Organizational Politics Activities that allow people in organizations to achieve goals without going through formal channels. Expert Power Based on personal expertise and knowledge in a certain area. Second. First. self-interested behaviors that can hurt the organizations. open. use of consistent. Power and Politics in Context Power and politics are linked to strategy. Authority Power vested in a particular position. KEY TERMS Power Ability of a person to influence another. Legitimate Power Based on a person holding a formal position. supportive organizational culture. and fair processes. in particular. National and ethnic cultural values influence how managers perceive and use power. information sharing to reduce uncertainty. Lecture Notes/MKRAVI/HR/Conflict Management Page 8 .Lecture Notes By : M. they also need to reduce negative. K. Managers need to manage political behavior from two directions. Others comply because of the desire to receive rewards. and seek cooperation from others. build relationships. how a top leader uses power and politics helps shape the culture. This can be accomplished through an open. Others comply because they believe in the power holder's knowledge. and rewards. Blame and Integration Blaming and attacking others to deflect attention from one's mistakes—and using ingratiating behavior to gain favor—are unethical and negative types of political actions. and goals entails much uncertainty. Others comply because they believe in the legitimacy of the power holder. procedures. managers must apply both power and politics as they negotiate. C.

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