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Robbins & Judge

Organizational Behavior
13th Edition

Conflict and Negotiation

Bob Stretch
Southwestern College

Chapter Learning Objectives
 After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
– Define conflict.
– Differentiate between the traditional, human relations, and
interactionist views of conflict.
– Outline the conflict process.
– Define negotiation.
– Contrast distributive and integrative bargaining.
– Apply the five steps in the negotiation process.
– Show how individual differences influence negotiations.
– Assess the roles and functions of third-party negotiations.
– Describe cultural differences in negotiations.

Conflict Defined
 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
– That point in an ongoing activity when an interaction
“crosses over” to become an interparty conflict
 Encompasses a wide range of conflicts that people
experience in organizations
– Incompatibility of goals
– Differences over interpretations of facts
– Disagreements based on behavioral expectations

Transitions in Conflict Thought
 Traditional View of Conflict
– The belief that all conflict is harmful and must be avoided
– Prevalent view in the 1930s-1940s

 Conflict resulted from:

– Poor communication
– Lack of openness
– Failure to respond to employee needs

Continued Transitions in Conflict Thought
 Human Relations View of Conflict
– The belief that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in
any group
– Prevalent from the late 1940s through mid-1970s
 Interactionist View of Conflict
– The belief that conflict is not only a positive force in a group
but that it is absolutely necessary for a group to perform
– Current view

Forms of Interactionist Conflict

Functional Conflict
• Conflict that supports
the goals of the group
and improves its

• Conflict that hinders
group performance

Types of Interactionist Conflict
 Task Conflict
– Conflicts over content and goals of the work
– Low-to-moderate levels of this type are

 Relationship Conflict
– Conflict based on interpersonal relationships
– Almost always DYSFUNCTIONAL

 Process Conflict
– Conflict over how work gets done
– Low levels of this type are FUNCTIONAL
The Conflict Process
 We will focus on each step in a moment…

E X H I B I T 15-1

Stage I: Potential Opposition or Incompatibility
 Communication
– Semantic difficulties, misunderstandings, and “noise”
 Structure
– Size and specialization of jobs
– Jurisdictional clarity/ambiguity
– Member/goal incompatibility
– Leadership styles (close or participative)
– Reward systems (win-lose)
– Dependence/interdependence of groups
 Personal Variables
– Differing individual value systems
– Personality types
Stage II: Cognition and Personalization
 Important stage for two reasons:
1. Conflict is defined
• Perceived Conflict
– Awareness by one or more parties of the existence of
conditions that create opportunities for conflict to arise

2. Emotions are expressed that have a strong impact on the

eventual outcome
• Felt Conflict
– Emotional involvement in a conflict creating anxiety,
tenseness, frustration, or hostility

Stage III: Intentions
 Intentions
– Decisions to act in a given way
– Note: behavior does not always accurate reflect intent
 Dimensions of conflict-handling intentions:
– Cooperativeness
• Attempting to satisfy
the other party’s
– Assertiveness
• Attempting to satisfy
one’s own concerns

Source: K. Thomas, “Conflict and Negotiation Processes in Organizations,” in M.D. Dunnette and L.M. Hough (eds.), Handbook of Industrial and
Organizational Psychology, 2nd ed., vol. 3 (Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1992), p. 668. With permission.

E X H I B I T 15-2

Stage IV: Behavior
 Conflict Management
– The use of resolution and stimulation techniques to achieve
the desired level of conflict
 Conflict-Intensity Continuum

Source: Based on S.P. Robbins, Managing Organizational Conflict: A Nontraditional Approach (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1974), pp. 93–
97; and F. Glasi, “The Process of Conflict Escalation and the Roles of Third Parties,” in G.B.J. Bomers and R. Peterson (eds.), Conflict Management
and Industrial Relations (Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff, 1982), pp. 119–40.

E X H I B I T 15-3

Conflict Resolution Techniques
– Problem solving – Bringing in outsiders
– Superordinate goals – Restructuring the
– Expansion of resources organization
– Avoidance – Appointing a devil’s
– Smoothing advocate
– Compromise
– Authoritative command
– Altering the human
– Altering the structural
– Communication
Source: Based on S. P. Robbins, Managing Organizational Conflict: A Nontraditional Approach (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1974), pp.

E X H I B I T 15-4

Stage V: Outcomes
 Functional  Dysfunctional
– Increased group – Development of discontent
– Reduced group
– Improved quality of effectiveness
– Retarded communication
– Stimulation of creativity
and innovation – Reduced group
– Encouragement of interest
and curiosity – Infighting among group
members overcomes group
– Provision of a medium for goals
 Creating Functional
– Creation of an environment Conflict
for self-evaluation and
change – Reward dissent and punish
conflict avoiders

 Negotiation (Bargaining)
– A process in which two or more parties exchange goods or
services and attempt to agree on the exchange rate for them
 Two General Approaches:
– Distributive Bargaining
• Negotiation that seeks to divide up a fixed amount of
resources; a win-lose situation
– Integrative Bargaining
• Negotiation that seeks one or more settlements that can create
a win-win solution

Distributive versus Integrative Bargaining
Bargaining Characteristic Distributive
Integrative Bargaining
Goal Get all the pie you can Expand the pie
Motivation Win-Lose Win-Win
Focus Positions Interests
Information Sharing Low High
Duration of Relationships Short-Term Long-Term
Source: Based on R. J. Lewicki and J. A. Litterer,
Negotiation (Homewood, IL: Irwin, 1985), p. 280.

Yours Mine Yours Mine

E X H I B I T 15-5

Bargaining Tactics and the Bargaining Zone
 Distributive Tactics  Integrative Tactics
– Make an aggressive – Bargain in teams
first offer – Put more issues on the
– Reveal a deadline table
– Don’t compromise

E X H I B I T 15-6

The Negotiation Process
– The Best Alternative
To a Negotiated
– The lowest acceptable
value (outcome) to an
individual for a
negotiated agreement
 The “Bottom Line”
for negotiations
E X H I B I T 15-7

Individual Differences in Negotiation Effectiveness
 Personality Traits
– Extroverts and agreeable people weaker at distributive
negotiation – disagreeable introvert is best
– Intelligence is a weak indicator of effectiveness
 Mood and Emotion
– Ability to show anger helps in distributive bargaining
– Positive moods and emotions help integrative bargaining
 Gender
– Men and women negotiate the same way, but may
experience different outcomes
– Women and men take on gender stereotypes in negotiations:
tender and tough
– Women are less likely to negotiate

Third-Party Negotiations
 Four Basic Third-Party Roles
– Mediator
• A neutral third party who facilitates a negotiated solution by using
reasoning, persuasion, and suggestions for alternatives
– Arbitrator
• A third party to a negotiation who has the authority to dictate an
– Conciliator
• A trusted third party who provides an informal communication
link between the negotiator and the opponent
– Consultant
• An impartial third party, skilled in conflict management, who
attempts to facilitate creative problem solving through
communication and analysis

Global Implications
 Conflict and Culture
– Japanese and U.S. managers view conflict differently
– U.S. managers more likely to use competing tactics while
Japanese managers are likely to use compromise and
 Cultural Differences in Negotiations
– Multiple cross-cultural studies on negotiation styles, for
• American negotiators are more likely than Japanese bargainers
to make a first offer
• North Americans use facts to persuade, Arabs use emotion, and
Russians used asserted ideals
• Brazilians say “no” more often than Americans or Japanese

Summary and Managerial Implications
 Conflict can be
constructive or
 Reduce excessive conflict
by using:
– Competition
– Collaboration
– Avoidance
– Accommodation
– Compromise
 Integrative negotiation is
a better long-term
E X H I B I T 15-8

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